There are many variants of the Design Thinking process in use today, and they have from three to seven phases, stages, or modes. However, all variants of Design Thinking are very similar. All variants of Design Thinking embody the same principles, which were first described by Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in The Sciences of the Artificial in 1969.
Below, is an example of a five-phase model proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, which is also known as d.school. We’ve chosen d.school’s approach because they’re at the forefront of applying and teaching Design Thinking.
The five phases of Design Thinking, according to d.school, are as follows:
- Empathise – with your users
- Define – your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights
- Ideate – by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions
- Prototype – to start creating solutions
- Test – solutions