Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving

 

Design thinking utilizes elements from the designer's toolkit like empathy and experimentation to arrive at innovative solutions. By using design thinking, you make decisions based on what future customers really want instead of relying only on historical data or making risky bets based on instinct instead of evidence.

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Why Design Thinking

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
— Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

Thinking like a designer can transform the way organizations develop products, services, processes, and strategy. This approach, which IDEO calls design thinking, brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. It also allows people who aren't trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges.

INNOVATION
FEASIBILITY
What is functionally possible within the foreseeable future?
DESIRABILITY
What makes sense to people and for people?
VIABILITY
What is likely to become part of a sustainable business model?

Design Thinking Approach

Design thinking relies on the human ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, and to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional. The elements of design thinking combine to form an iterative approach—one you can try out and adapt to suit your needs. As IDEO founder David Kelley says, design thinking is not a linear path, "it's a big mass of looping back to different places in the process."
Phases of Design Thinking
Phases of Design Thinking

FRAME A QUESTION

Identify a driving question that inspires others to search for creative solutions.

GATHER INSPIRATION

Inspire new thinking by discovering what people really need.

GENERATE IDEAS

Push past obvious solutions to get to breakthrough ideas.

MAKE IDEAS TANGIBLE

Build rough prototypes to learn how to make ideas better.

TEST TO LEARN

Refine ideas by gathering feedback and experimenting forward.

SHARE THE STORY

Craft a human story to inspire others toward action.

Learn Design Thinking

IDEO U's class and course offerings span all stages of the design thinking process.

Introductory Class

HELLO DESIGN THINKING

An online, on-demand introduction to design thinking—a process for creative problem solving.

Design Thinking Foundations

INSIGHTS FOR INNOVATION

Uncover insights about the unmet needs of your customers and turn these needs into human-centered solutions.

FROM IDEAS TO ACTION

Learn techniques to generate an abundance of ideas, turn ideas into prototypes to gather feedback and learn quickly, and evolve through multiple rounds of ideation and prototyping.

Applied Design Thinking

DESIGNING A BUSINESS

Learn an agile way to remove risk from creating new business models by testing your assumptions early.

HUMAN-CENTERED SERVICE DESIGN

Service is where your organization meets the world. Learn to design moments that people will remember.

Design Thinking Certificates

Certificate

FOUNDATIONS IN DESIGN THINKING CERTIFICATE

Gain a practical understanding of the design thinking approach.

Certifiate

ADVANCED DESIGN THINKING CERTIFICATE

Deepen your design thinking skills and advance your practice.

Additional Courses

CULTIVATING CREATIVE COLLABORATION

Gain the skills and frameworks you need to foster creative collaboration and unleash the potential of a team.

LEADING FOR CREATIVITY

Learn how to scale design thinking across your organization.

DESIGNING FOR CHANGE

Design thinking applied to organizations and systems.

STORYTELLING FOR INFLUENCE

Understand your audience, prototype your story, and inspire others to follow your lead.