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5 Stages of Graphic Design Thinking

by Soft2share.com

Understanding these five stages of design thinking will enable anyone to apply these methods to solve complex problems that occur around us – in our companies, our countries and even on our planet.

In his original 1969 text on design methods, Nobel Prize winner in the field of art, Herbert Simon outlined one of the first formal models of the design process of thinking. Simon’s model consists of seven main stages, each of which includes the stages and actions of the components, and significantly influenced the formation of some of the most widely used design models. Today there are many variations of the design process, and although they can have a different number of steps, from three to seven, they are all based on the same principles as in the 1969 Simon model.

We will focus on the five-speed model proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Design Institute at Stanford. According to the design institute, five stages of graphic design thinking are distinguished: Empathy, Problem Definition, Idea, Prototype, and Testing. Let’s take a closer look at the five different steps.

1. Empathy

The first step in the design process of thinking is empathy. This stage includes expert consultations to learn more about the area of ​​concern, attraction, and empathy for people, to understand their experience and motivation, as well as to plunge into the physical environment in order to have a deeper personal understanding of the issues raised. Empathy is critical to a person-centered design process, such as design thinking.

Depending on the time constraints at this stage, a significant amount of information is collected for use in the next stage and to achieve a better understanding of users, their needs and problems that underlie the development of this particular product.

2. Definition of the problem

During the Problem Determination phase, you process the information that you collected during the Empathy phase. You will analyze your observations and synthesize them to identify the main problems. You should try to define the problem as a statement of the problem from the perspective of the end user.

To illustrate this, instead of defining the problem as our desire or the need of the company, like “We need to increase the market share of food among teenage girls by 5%,” there is a much better way to identify the problem “Teenage girls should eat nutritious food, to be healthy and develop harmoniously.”

The Problem Determination phase will help your team’s designers come up with great ideas for creating features and any other elements that will allow them to solve problems or at least allow users to solve problems themselves with minimal difficulty. At the Problem Determination stage, you will begin to approach the third stage of the Idea, asking questions that will help you find ideas for solutions, asking: “How can we … encourage teenage girls to perform actions that benefit them, as well as the company’s product or service ? “

3. The idea

At the third stage of the design thinking process, designers are ready to start generating ideas. You gathered enough information to understand your users and their needs at the Empathy stage, ”and you analyzed and synthesized your observations at the Problem Determination stage, and you end up with a person-oriented definition of the problem.

Based on this foundation, your team members can begin to “think outside the box” to identify new solutions to your problem definition, and you can start looking for alternative solutions to the problem. There are hundreds of methods for group generating ideas. Brainstorming and other methods for generating ideas are usually used to stimulate free thinking and expand problem space.

4. Prototype

The development team will now release a series of low-cost, smaller versions of the product or specific functions in a modified product so that they can investigate how the problem is solved. Prototypes can be transmitted and tested in the team itself, in other departments or in a small group of people who are not part of the development team.

This is an experimental phase, and the goal is to determine the best possible solution for each of the problems identified during the first three stages. Decisions are introduced into prototypes and, one by one, they are investigated and either adopted, improved and revised, or rejected based on user experience. By the end of this phase, the development team will better understand the limitations inherent in the product, the problems, and have a more prominent point of view on how real users will behave, think and feel when interacting with the final product.

5. Testing

Designers and / or experts thoroughly test the complete product using the best solutions identified during the prototyping phase. This is the final stage of the 5-stage model, but in the iterative process, the results obtained during the testing phase are often used to redefine one or more problems. Even at this stage, changes and clarifications are applied in order to eliminate problematic solutions and as deep as possible understanding of the product and its users.

The main advantages of the five-step model is that the knowledge gained at later stages can respond to earlier stages. This creates an endless cycle in which designers continue to receive new ideas, develop new ways of positioning the product and its possible applications, and also improve the understanding of users and the problems they face.

In essence, the design process of thinking is iterative, flexible, and collaboration-oriented between designers and users, with a focus on translating ideas into reality, based on how real users think, feel and behave.

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