Design Thinking

During Spring 2015, I had the opportunity to take a course based around design thinking.  Prior to this course, I had never thought about design thinking.

During the course, I had a moment of clarity.  I didn’t realize the thought and process that goes into the design of a website, a product, etc.   I am so used to seeing and using the end product, that I never sat and thought about what the designers did in order to get to the end.  I began to ask myself questions such as “why” and “who is the audience for that product” and began to see products and websites in a whole new light.  Designers have to think about all of the users and how this product will help them make their lives easier or help them solve a problem.

Throughout this course, I realized how important it is to think about WHO you are designing for not the WHAT.  In order for a design to be truly innovative and truly work, it must be helping someone do a process easier.  I think this is why the authors in the article focus so much on empathizing and the process by which you create your design.  I really like the Critical Reading Checklist posed by the authors.  I think this is a good starting off point when thinking about designing a product.  You must ask yourself “what’s the point?” “Who is this going to help?”  “How is this going to help?”  Once you have these answers, you can begin to empathize with the users and interviewing different users.

The culminating project involved a problem of practice.  I had to choose a problem in my life (personal or professional) and go through the process of design thinking to come up with a solution.

Check out the pages below to see my process.

#1 – Choosing a Problem of Practice

#2 – Empathy and Engagement

In addition, throughout the course, we completed many projects that allowed us to learn the process of design thinking.

Learning Empathy Through the Perspective of a Dog

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