Design Thinking Framework

  • June 2nd, 2020
  • Meghna Parikh
  • September 28, 2020 3:37 pm

During the lockdown, regular people at home are trying to slowly accept the new normal but designers and creative minds can’t help but see these as opportunities for improvement. By seeing these as design problems, they try to find different ways to apply design thinking and hopefully solve these pressing issues. 


With a lot of people assuming designing to be design thinking, it is crucial to clarify. It is a process that stimulates the individual/ organization to understand, brainstorm, and experiment with various solutions to an opposing problem or for futuristic growth. 

With the shift in consumption patterns, the focus of companies has shifted from product to consumer. In order to gain consumers’ attention, we need to make user-experience-focused solutions. Hence, we can build ideas on desirability, feasibility, and viability. 

To make this process more efficient, Hasso-Plattner’s (Institute of Design at Stanford) structured 5 stage framework can be adopted. 

5 stages of Design Thinking:

   The following methods can help us solve complex problems that occur around us or even the world.


     Empathizing helps us get a deeper understanding of consumers, their thought process, their needs and wants. Consumer research has been an impersonal task for the longest period, but to create a breakthrough, empathy would work. This involves, interviewing the consumers, immersing themselves in the physical environment and discussing with the experts about the concerning areas. Assuming a beginner’s mindset and keeping away from existing knowledge opens new areas to work on.


      Once a considerable amount of information is collected and insights are built from the initial stage, we need to narrow it down. This leads to defining, where we analyze and organize the collected information. From that, we get the problem statement. 

It is important that the problem statement is built from the customer point of view and not the organization’s point of view. This can be done by asking a few questions – Who is the user, What is their unmet needs and Why is this insightful?


      Once the problem statement is defined, it’s time to brainstorm some ideas. The entire session should be recorded. It is best to not have a ‘this is a bad idea’ attitude. You know people always say “Looking at the worst possible idea could lead you to the best one”.  Brainstorming over those ideas would further help in developing the idea, bringing an out of the box approach and gaining a better perspective on how to tackle the defined problem.

Trying fun ideation techniques with your team generates constructive and rational ideas. Once the team has exhausted all the possible routes and ideas, filtering out promising solutions should be done which leads us to prototype.


      Prototyping is a highly effective stage in experimenting the problem-solving solutions. One of the most prominent attributes of design thinking is “show, don’t tell”. Prototypes aid in better visualizing of the possible solutions that were ideated upon.

The main aim is to get evaluated within the team, giving them a “pre-experience” of the potential product. The feedback is then looked at, assessed, changes are made and hence shaping the ideas into a more detailed solution. 


     By testing the product, we ensure that consumer satisfaction is achieved. This stage helps in gaining insights into what we need to improve, points of concern and changes that need to be made to our product. 

Design thinking is not a linear process, it causes rethinking through the process, relearning and rebooting the chosen solution and hence refining the solution to its finest form. 

As creators, implementing design thinking helps us assess the risks before putting our product out there. We can always go back to the above stages and revise our information to give out the best product. To wrap it all up, design thinking helps us focus on projects where the problems can be solved easily and delivered quickly.

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