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Design Thinking- A Non-Linear Approach to Solving UX Problems

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The term design thinking needs little introduction to any product or service industry today and is rather risking its way to become a cliché. However, that does not discount the merits of the approach. In 1969, Nobel laureate and economist Herbert Simon defined design as the “transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones” and stated that “design thinking is always linked to an improved future.” It is a problem-solving tool with a human-centered approach that leads to innovation. It is all about integrating the users’ needs, optimizing the possibilities of technology, and meeting the requirements for business success.

Design Thinking is essentially a user-centric approach to design, aimed at solving human-centric problems. Design thinking is concerned with solving problems of both present and future. The process requires the involvement of the people for whom a solution is being designed. It is all about user-centricity.

Design Thinking in UX Design

Design Thinking is an integral part of most UX design processes, where designers discover the right problems and come up with creative solutions by thoroughly understanding the end-users. In this approach, it is important that the end-users of the solution also stay as a part of the design team. The goal is to identify the perspectives of users who are experiencing a particular problem. What they need, how they think, and why they act the way they do, and to know if a design is meeting the needs of the users effectively or not. The end goal should be a delightful user experience. It is on the understanding of their needs, requirements, feedback, and response that a design team gets the perspectives of what a product requires making it more effective and adding value to the users’ lives.

Non-linearity of Design Thinking

As already mentioned, design teams’ job is to speculate on both the past and future of the problem. Theoretically, a design thinking approach includes empathizing with the user, identifying the problem, the ideation, and the implementation of the solution. However, in reality, it is not always so linear. The process often runs in parallel, and user validations happen iteratively. These are applied to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test, and this is done in cycles until a desirable solution is derived.

To suffice, design thinking cannot be limited to a fixed template. It is more of a journey to discover all the aspects and prospects of the desired goal. The design team understands the different approaches to solving a problem.

In Conclusion

The design thinking methodology is a means to create a tool that helps people live a life that requires less stress or ease of living, guarantees efficiency in tasks and even maximum productivity. Certain products add value to users’ lives on a different scale. These values can be economic in nature, or it could be a value of convenience, or freedom of fear that the user can benefit from.

UX Design is about solving people’s problems and having an empathetic approach to human interaction with any product or service. Design Thinking is the social technology tool that ensures that the UX design team gets abundant insights and ideas to solve a given problem. And due to its non-linear nature, design thinking ensures that the people involved in the process understand every facet of the problem statement and arrive at the best solution possible, by being equal contributors to the solution.

(The author is Samir Chabukswar, Founder & CEO, YUJ Designs and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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