Design Thinking, like the scientific method, is a systematic structure for tackling a problem.  Science addresses finding truths.  Design Thinking finds solutions to problems.  In theory, the process cane applied to ANY problem.  The process includes 5 major steps:

  1. Observe.
  2. Identify Patterns
  3. Apply Design Principles
  4. Prototype.
  5. Iterate.

The 5 steps are misleading.  The first three steps are prep.  Learns from people, experts, do the research.  Find patterns in the information, and identify a potential path forward.  Consider color, composition, balance, scale and proportion, positive and negative space.  Here we arrive at a first stab at our solution.  The prototype.

The magic happens in the iteration.  This is the point at which the 5 steps turn into themselves in recursive loops.  The prototype is deconstructed, destroyed, rebuilt.  Analyzed for its elegance in solving the initial question.

This process of sacrifice and renewal is pivotal to design success.  The designer must not be seduced by his creation.  For he must destroy it.  Rebuild it from the rubble.  Develop from the collected wisdom and knowledge a fitting solution.  The cycle of deconstruction and reconstruction is a brain storm made manifest.  A fiddling with the hands, fashioning in clay, a uniquely human effort to bring an ordered answer to a complex problem.

This approach can apply to process as well as product.  It can rejigger how your organization operates, how you organize your day, or where you leave your keys.

“Good design is good business.”

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