The process of Design Thinking is something that has become more and more prominent in both the business world and the realm of education. Companies like IDEO and others have created Research and Development powerhouses around these concepts, and have used the process to create amazing products and experiences.
The Stanford Design School has been creating learning experiences that teach the Design Thinking process for years, and their course offerings are all posted online, and available for free to anyone who is interested.
The process is broken down into a series of steps which at first seem sequential. The more you adapt to the process however, the more you begin to see them as cyclical and fluid. In either case, the process almost always begins with the definition of a problem, or a desire to create some kind of change.
In order to fully define the problem, the team must gather information. This is known as the “Empathize” step, and rather than retreating into books or journals that discuss human behaviors, the team is expected to get out and talk to people. To be more specific, the team must go to their users, those that will experience the eventual product, in order to more effectively design around it.