How design thinking works

Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that focuses on empathy, experimentation and collaboration. It’s a framework that can be used to solve a variety of problems, from creating new products to improving business processes.

Design thinking helps organizations become more innovative and customer-centric by developing a deep understanding of their users’ needs and preferences.

But how does design thinking work and how can it be used to drive innovation?

Design Thinking Process

Design thinking is an approach that puts people at the center of the problem-solving process. The design thinking process typically consists of the following five steps:

Empathy for the recipient

This step is about understanding the needs and preferences of the people you are designing for.

You need to observe and interview your users to gain empathy and develop an understanding of their pain points.

Define the problem

In this stage, you define the problem you want to solve based on the insights you gained during the empathy stage.

You will identify the core problem that needs to be addressed and you will create a clear problem statement.

Idea generation

In this stage, you brainstorm ideas for solutions to the problem.

You want to generate as many ideas as possible and consider different options, regardless of feasibility or practicality.


In this stage, you create a physical or digital representation of your solution.

The prototype should be quick, cheap and easy to make, and it should help you test your ideas with your users.

Testing and Verification

In this stage, you test your prototype with your users and collect feedback.

You will use this feedback to refine and improve your solution until it meets the needs of your users.


Tools and techniques for design thinking

There are many tools and techniques used in design thinking, some of which include:

User personas

Personas are fictional characters that represent your ideal users. They help you empathize with your users and develop a deeper understanding of their needs and preferences.

Customer trips

The customer journey helps you visualize the user experience and understand the problems and opportunities throughout the user’s “journey”.


Brainstorming is a group technique that encourages creative thinking and generates a large number of ideas.

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping is the process of creating quick and inexpensive prototypes to test your ideas and gather feedback.

User testing

Testing involves testing your solution against your users and gathering feedback about their experiences.


Benefits of Design Thinking

Design thinking has many advantages:

More innovation

Design thinking helps organizations become more innovative and customer-centric by focusing on empathy, experimentation and collaboration.

Better user experience

Design thinking puts users at the center of the problem-solving process, resulting in solutions that better meet their needs and preferences.

Increased collaboration

Design thinking encourages collaboration and cross-functional teamwork, which leads to better ideas and solutions.

Reduced risk

Design thinking helps reduce the risk of developing products or services that do not meet users’ needs.



Design thinking is a powerful problem-solving approach that can help organizations become more innovative and customer-centric.

By putting people at the center of the problem-solving process and focusing on empathy, experimentation and collaboration, design thinking can lead to better ideas, better solutions and better user experiences.

It’s a method that fits perfectly when creating design for sustainability.

Whether you want to develop a new product or improve an existing process, design thinking can help you drive innovation and create value for your users.