Back to Top

Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a non-linear, creative and critical thinking process which seeks to understand users, challenge assumption, redefine problems, and create innovative solutions to prototype and text.

Professor writing on a board

Define Problem: Empathy

  • Issues with problem.
  • Who is user/audience?
  • Determine successes/benefits.
  • Establish a glossary of terms.
Student researching


  • Review the history of the issue and remember any existing obstacles.
  • Collect examples of other attempts to solve the same issue.
  • Note the project supporters, investors, and critics.
  • Talk to your target audience because that brings you the most fruitful ideas for later design.
  • Take into account thought leaders' opinions.
Student writing on a sticky note


  • Identify the needs and motivations of your end-users.
  • Generate as many ideas as possible to serve these identified needs.
  • Log your brainstorming session.
  • Do not judge or debate ideas.
  • During brainstorming have one conversation at a time.
  • Combine, expand, and refine ideas.
Refining ideas


  • Review the objective.
  • Set aside emotion and ownership of ideas.
  • Avoid consensus thinking.
  • Remember: the most practical solution isn't always the best.
  • Select the powerful designs.
  • Refine refine refine (repeat).
Group discussion


  • Gather feedback.
  • Determine if the solution met its goals.
  • Discuss what could be improved.
  • Measure success/collect data.
  • Document.