An Introduction to Design Thinking Process

Have you ever come across the term "design-led business”. So, what's a design-led business, anyway? According to, "Adobe is a one in many and a best in class example for a design-led company. Companies that put design at the very core of their brand are design-led. "

Isn't that wonderful? Indeed, it is!

Companies like adobe use design thinking in order to adopt innovative thinking and solve problems in a creative manner. 

So without further ado, let's explore what Design Thinking is.

What is Design Thinking?

  • Design Thinking is becoming an increasingly popular approach for organizations to solve problems.
  • Design Thinking manages to solve problems in a creative way.

Now, let's understand design thinking with a classroom example. 

Problem statement:

How would you redesign a classroom to meet students’ needs?


Ms. Monica is the class teacher for 1st-grade, and she prefers to talk to students directly and figure out the best interior design for the environment (classroom). 

After discussing with the students, she implemented the technique of design thinking. 

However, she got excellent results, which are: 

  • Students liked to stay in the classroom
  • The students showed wonderful improvement in terms of interaction with the teacher 
  • Students could move freely in the classroom
  • During class hours, they showed more interest in learning

Isn't it great? Of course, it is!

Next comes the important topic, the Design thinking process.

What is a Design Thinking Process?

The Design Thinking process is widely used in industries and was created by the Stanford d. school. The design thinking process involves the concept of 

  • Empathy
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test

Note: The five phases of the design thinking process are not always sequential. 

This process does not follow any specific order and can be applied once or can be repeated iteratively.

Now, it's time to examine how design thinking principles can assist us holistically in order to solve challenges.

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  • Perform research and analyze to know the current DEI State.

Note: DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • A good design idea comes through a continuous focus on human-centric ideas.
  • Design thinking not only encourages us to gain DEI solutions but also eliminates barriers for professionals who are aiming to achieve their career aspirations with fair and good opportunities.
  • Design thinking begins with empathy, and the aim in the empathy stage is to focus on the users. 
  • In this stage, it is important to focus on in-depth metrics like prediction and prescriptive analysis.
  • These metrics help an individual in cross-verifying the insights collected from the associates.
  • The result of the empathy refuels our strategy, process, and program with innovative solutions.


  • The understanding we gain from the Empathize phase encourages us to reframe the perceived problem and gain perspectives, but the define process helps us to allow a more holistic look at the path toward the expected solution.
  • While defining the problem, we should ensure that every associate follows the problem-solving process correctly. 
  • The phase helps us to build with the most authentic solutions.
  • The define stage encourages to:
  • Analyze your observations
  • Identify core problems
  • Focus on asking the right issues
  • Motivate users with wise words

Moving onto the next phase, let’s discuss the ideate phase.

Ideate Phase

  • This is an experimental stage, and the aim of this stage is to solve issues by identifying the best solutions.
  • Designers aim to strategize solutions for the problem identified in the define phase.
  • The designers isolate solution streams and later merge and refine insights.
  • In simple terms, in the ideate phase the designers focus on:
  • Sharing ideas and
  • Prioritizing the ideas based on requirements

So far we have discussed three phases. In the Empathize phase, we should address divergent styles of thinking. In the define stage, we should consider convergent styles of thinking to manage an overall process and purpose. Finally, in the ideate phase, we should be able to uncover more possibilities and accept maximum ideation.

After the Ideate phase, let’s discuss what happens in the prototype phase.

Prototype Phase

  • Create a prototype of the design solution that you finalized in the ideate phase.
  • A prototype is an early sample of the model submitted to the users for validation.
  • Prototypes are mid-to high-fidelity wireframes with more visual details and interactions between elements of the design.
  • The feedback is taken from the users and it reworks the flaws in the prototype model in order to present a stronger final product.
  • In simple terms, the proposed solution is validated in this stage in a cost-effective way before launching a fully fledged product.

What is the purpose of a prototype? 

  • Prototypes are useful for user testing
  • They are ideal for quick internal use and client feedback

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  • Testing is the crucial stage of the design thinking process.
  • Collect the valuable user feedback and get to know whether your prototype model has succeeded, or needs to be improved.
  • The insights collected during the testing phase will push you to iterate on your prototype model.
  • This phase helps you to gain a deeper understanding of your target users.

Note: Testing can also be deployed on a live website or application. 

  • Different designs are sent to different users, and it tests the performance or usability for each version. 
  • It finalizes the design version that is found to be the most desired and usable.
  • In this phase, usability testing tools are used for optimizing the user experience in websites. 

The goal of the Design Thinking Process

A lot of people must be wondering what is the goal of a design thinking process. Well, it's simple, the goal is to solve complex problems from a human perspective. 

The Design Thinking process focuses on creativity, innovation, and user-centricity, helping you to come up with actionable solutions that are:

  • Desirable for the user
  • Viable for the business
  • Technologically feasible

That was all about the process of design thinking.

The Design Thinking process serves as a firm foundation to formulate reliable strategies that result in good products.

Enroll for the Design Thinking Certification Training Course and be able to clearly define market fit and growth of your product and business!


In this article titled ‘Design Thinking Process’, we discussed what is design thinking, what is a design thinking process and what are the goals of the design thinking process.

Whether you’re an expert in design thinking, or you’re aspiring to break into this exciting industry, enrolling in our Design Thinking Master’s program will help you learn all the basic and advanced concepts of Design Thinking.

If you have any questions about the article Design Thinking Process, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section of this article; our experts will get back to you as soon as possible. 

To learn more, watch the following tutorial video:

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