Stages of the Design Thinking Process

Stages of the design thinking process 1

Designing a website or app is not something you just jump into. It requires some planning and laying out the design and ideas you may want to use. There are ups and downs in the design thinking process and you may need to come up with a few different ideas. In the end, the project will be that much better for having taken the time.

There are five basic steps in the design thinking process and each one is equally important.

Step 1: Find what your users need

Step 2: Determine the issue you want to solve

Step 3: Come up with potential solutions

Step 4: Create a prototype of your best idea

Step 5: Test your product repeatedly

Step 1: Find what your users need

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This is the beginning stage, when you need to figure out just what people actually want and need. If you skip this step, your project won’t get very far. Most developers will take the time to hang out where their target market is, on social media, blogs, chat streams, forums, etc. This gives you a much better idea of what is going on in their world and what they truly need help with.

Once you have a general idea of what is going on with your customers, you may wish to interview some of them. This allows you to ask some market research questions and build your audience avatar.

Step 2: Determine the issue you want to solve

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What is the biggest problem your target market is facing? What can you do to alleviate their pain? This is the next big step and it is where you define the actual problem at hand. This will help you narrow down your possibilities.

Again, you need to be in contact with your ideal customer at this point, to ensure you are getting their thoughts. You may think you know what they want and need, but unless that is confirmed by the actual customer, it may not be profitable. It’s always best to check with the people who will actually be using the product. They are your best method of checking what the market is like.

Step 3: Come up with potential solutions

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Now that you know what people want, what causes them pain, and have narrowed down the problem to just one, you are ready to solve the problem. This requires brainstorming and you may want to do it with someone else to ensure you have as many minds working on the problem as possible.

It’s important to figure out the best way to solve the problem. Chances are, you will come up with more than one way to resolve the issue, but you won’t pursue all avenues. Figure out which option is the best one, even if that means talking to your target audience once more to get their feedback.

Step 4: Create a prototype of your best idea

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This step can be fairly simple in the beginning. You just need a prototype that will give the basic idea of its function for the first stage. This will be something you can show to your target market and find out what their thoughts are, before you go back and work up a more detailed prototype.

Each level will take more time and will be closer to the end product. If you manage this step correctly, you should be adapting the product at each stage to improve it. Every adjustment will bring it closer to its final form, shaped by feedback from those who will actually be using it in the field.

Step 5: Test your product repeatedly

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Finally, you have your completed product. Depending on how complicated it is, you may reach this point in a few months, or in a few years. There’s no limit to how fast you have to get through the changes and upgrades.

Testing the product will allow you to find the glitches and mistakes that need to be repaired before it goes to market. A limited run release may be helpful in finding the worst problems. Your customers will let you know just what they think and will give you ideas for fixing everything and making sure it is running as close to perfect as possible. From there, you can finally release your brand-new design.

The design thinking process may be long and drawn out, but it saves a lot of time in the end. You’ll find yourself moving step by step through the various parts of the process with the end being a great product.

UXPin has everything you need to create your prototype app faster than ever before. Speed up the process and you’ll find it easier to get to the testing point and then launch. If you’re planning to start designing your own app, you can do that at UXPin. It’s free to join.

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