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#59 - Design Thinking XV - vs Design Metholodogies

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Article written by
Juan Jesús Millo

Writing of the week

How does Design Thinking differ from other design approaches? What is the difference between interaction design? What is the difference between Design Thinking and User Experience or centered design?

There is a lot of play between the different design roles, whether if you are an interface designer, interaction designer, user experience designer... and now there are Design Thinkers, it's a bit crazy, isn't it?

All these roles focus on the user to a greater or lesser extent, they feel they are the user's advocates and with a scientific empirical approach. In the end, these types of roles face limitations based on the users' needs, standards and guidelines of the interfaces of platforms and applications, and business objectives, so their creativity is limited.

These limitations make us think of the intersection between art, science, craftsmanship and engineering, something a little different from a designer itself, right?

Design Thinking, as we have said, is nothing more than a resolution approach, either for that business problem or that problem in your day-to-day life; but the focus is also on the user and his problem.

So, what is the difference between Design Thinking and User-Centered Design? On the one hand, Design Thinking has a much broader approach because it can cover any problem that is presented to it, regardless of its magnitude and scope, with special power to poorly defined problems.

On the other hand, it has a much narrower focus, since it is a process/method, not a research discipline like UCD, which has many years of research and scientific background or a toolkit that can provide a very high reliability of results.

While Design Thinking is the fun group of class, UCD is the design police. Becoming this class fun person, it will only take one course, or one talk like this; while becoming a UCD expert, will take years, if not decades of learning.

So even though there is this overlap in terms of user focus, we have to know how to differentiate when a more creative approach is needed, or when a more systematic and analytical approach is needed.

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