Definition of design thinking and about good design

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Definition of design thinking Design thinking is a concept that deals with a structured form of thinking, where creativity, rationality and empathy are important factors in shaping the direction of thinking (Meinel &amp. Leifer, 2011:12). Thus, simply defined, design thinking is a process that seeks to match the needs of the people with what the technology can offer, so that the final product is a strategy that solves a problem amicably and creates new opportunities (Rowe1987:55). The concept of design thinking can be traced back to 1973, when Robert McKim developed the concept of design engineering, which is a concept that seeks to seek solution to existing problems through building solution actions (Rowe1987:7). This concept was further refined by Peter Rowe in 1987 in his book ‘design thinking’, which then defined the actual process of creating solution through a visual and tangible design (Rowe1987:13).
The bottom line of design thinking is that the techniques and the tools applicable in the process of devising solutions to a problem may change, while at the same time the effectiveness may differ, but the process never changes (Mootee, 2013:44). Through applying the right process, design thinking does not only create a solution to an existing problem, but is also a driving force for the corporate world to design and develop new brands (Meinel &amp. Leifer, 2011:36). Design thinking is therefore not only a concept of creating amicable solutions to problems, but also a concept seeking to create an improved future. Design thinking is quite different from critical thinking which entails the process of analyzing and breaking down a problem into smaller units, since design thinking seeks to build up on the existing problem as a means of arriving at an amicable solution not just of the single problem, but also for the associate buildup issues (Rowe1987:56).
Design thinking is not an event but a process seeking to create solutions for multi-dimensional problems, and then the implementing the solutions in a manner that develops skills and competence in addressing multifaceted problems (Meinel &amp. Leifer, 2011:77). Thus, design thinking is an approach to problem solving that follows the path and lifecycle akin to that of a designer of a product, which entails defining an existing problem, considering the different options that are available for addressing the identified problem and then refining and prioritizing the options to arrive at the one alternative that is plausible based on the existing resources and knowledge (Rowe1987:21).
The repeat stage follows the refinement and prioritization stage, where the process of creating and refining many viable options to resolve the identified problem is repeated again and again, until the most plausible alternative is finally found (Rowe1987:35). The final step of the design thinking process is then choosing the best alternative among the ones available and them implementing it. Design thinking thus does not represent the normal process of tackling an existing problem, but the full cycle of transforming an existing wanting condition into the desired state, through precision in identifying the problem and systematically seeking for the plausible solution by applying the relevant technological tools (Meinel &amp. Leifer, 2011:61).
In the design process, it does not matter how the final product is well designed or built, and it does not matter the level of technological sophistication that has been applied in producing the product. All that matters is that the product will meet a need for which it was designed. Therefore, the most important stage in the process of design thinking is the problem definition stage (Mootee, 2013:49). This is because, ones the problem has been accurately identified, the rest of the processes can fall into place, as opposed to when the problem has not been precisely identified, which means that the whole attempt to resolve the problem will be devising the right solution for the wrong problem.
Meinel, C., &amp. Leifer, L. (2011). Design thinking: Understand – improve – apply. Berlin: Springer.
Mootee, I. (2013). Design thinking for strategic innovation: What they cant teach you at business or design school. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley.
Rowe, P. G. (1987). Design thinking. Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press.