The very first thing I learned in architectural design school was the value of process and critical thinking. Design thinking provides a rigorous solution based approach to solving problems. It frames the process of questioning: questioning the problem, questioning the hypothesis and questioning proposed solutions.
The process focuses upon a deep understanding of the people for whom product or service is intended. I have learned to carefully observe human behaviors in order to define user’s needs and identify with their goals.In addition to critical analysis, the approach requires creative intuition and the construction of emotionally meaningful ideas as well as functional.
Sketches and diagrams are great for ideating and quickly generating concepts. Rough prototypes can be quickly tested and used to refine ideas and discover possible solutions. I especially love this stage of brainstorming and testing out impressions and assumptions.
The design process is non-linear, and often spirals back upon itself as new information is discovered and innovative solutions tested.Phases are not always sequential, and often occur in parallel or repeat iteratively.The goal is to not become too attached to any one solution, but welcome the unfolding process and the looping back and forth along the design journey.
Identify the question.In order to find the solution the problem must be clearly defined.
Gather information and references.Recognize patterns & evaluate existing solutions. Collect research & discover what people really need.
Sketch. Make. Study. Brainstorm innovative ideas. Analyze the collected data & information.
Begin to develop solutions. Create multiple rough prototypes and small-scale design solutions to understand how to refine the idea.
Present ideas to as many people as possible for helpful insight and feedback. Experiment further, refine, test again, repeat.