As the digital realm becomes ever more central to our lives, the
design of its interfaces becomes ever more important to people’s
quality of life.
Design brings its own cybernetic sensibility to delivering products
and services. The design community has encoded this sensibility
into a set of practices and principles known as design thinking.
It makes the customer’s perspective on a problem the starting point
for all design activity. It reflects the philosophy of user-centeredness.
No matter how beautiful a design solution, it doesn’t actually solve
anything if it doesn’t work from the user’s point of view. An elegant chair
that no one can sit in is a user-centered design failure.
It’s a disciplined process of nonjudgmentally observing users within their own
realms.Without ethnography, designers risk unconsciously imposing their own
biases instead of truly seeing the problem from the customer’s perspective.
It’s the process of finding creative solutions where there are no correct or
best ones. It succeeds in situations where analytical engineering fails. It
strives for designs that are practical as well as beautiful and inspiring.
Iterative user testing
It forces designers to repeatedly test and revise their beliefs about a
solution. Design thinking views the development of a solution to a problem
as the starting point, not the conclusion.
Iterative user testing
User testing exposes proposed designs to the harsh reality of usage in the
form of prototypes. Repeated revision and retesting leads to successively
Stages of Design Thinking
As well as it does on graphic media, Design Thinking works also for
software development, and it can be a very useful tool to understand the
needs of the final user or client, and it can be synthesized in five stages.
It works side by side with empathy. The developers must understand the final
users’ lives, their problems and needs. It’s important to get involved with the users
in order to make this stage work completely.
The information gathered in the previous stage has to be evaluated and only keep
the most valuable and relevant data, in order to build a general idea of the user’s
daily life, their problems and needs.
At this point, ideas for the creation of a solution are generated massively. It’s
imperative not to discard any idea, no matter how non-viable it seems.
Mind maps and brainstorming can be useful for this.
With a solution in mind, the creation of a minimum viable product starts on this
stage. A piece of software can be developed so it can be presented for the final
users to interact with it and give their initial impressions.
The minimum viable product is tested and users give their feedback about it. This
stage is helpful because you can find and correct errors to be eliminated when
the final product comes to life.