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Implementing Design Thinking Approach Using Various Tools.

| by Savita Pahuja Follow 3 Followers on Jul 20, 2015. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Design thinking refers to design-specific cognitive activities that designers apply during the process of designing. Tom Dabson, Senior Director of Engineering at Artefact, shares his experience of using design thinking approach in software development, in his recent blog.

We at Artefact use design thinking as the approach to solve problems. Design thinking is centred around truly understanding client needs and opening yourself up to try as many things as possible before coming up with the preferred solution. This is the approach we are taking with development as well –analyze, experiment, and remain flexible to use the approach that best suits the nature of the problem, the needs of the client and the capabilities of your team.

Tom shares that in Artefact they choose one approach over the other often depends on the nature of the projects. Developers do quick prototyping in some projects in contrast to this, in some projects they do heavy design and research. Tom recommends to experiment design thinking approach in different kinds of projects and see the results:

Try to utilize some design thinking strategies – especially brainstorming – open it up to everyone involved and put no boundaries on the ideas that people can suggest. Come together as a team, discuss them, and try them. Or as the post-agilist would say if it works, do it, if it doesn’t, don’t.

There are many tools available in the market for design thinking. One of them is WE THINQ, which is useful to develop creative solutions. We THINQ recently added an option to work on the project using the design thinking process.

WE THINQ helps you put your design thinking project into action. It is set up to take you and your team through the stages of design thinking. Upload your research, define key challenges, brainstorm ideas, put them to the test and repeat!

There are some other options of using design thinking tools as: Innovation Flowchart, Question Ladder, Design thinking tool kit, IDEO design kit etc.

Rafiq Elmansy, Lecturer at American University in Cairo, shared using Lego Serious Play as a design thinking tool, in his recent blog.

Lego bricks extend their role as a play toy to contribute to design thinking inside large organizations through the Lego Serious Play tool......

The Lego Serious Play is one of the tools that implement Lego bricks in the design thinking process to help generating innovative ideas and solutions. Using Lego bricks and characters, the team share ideas within the context of organizational strategy.

Rafiq explains the steps of using Lego Serious Play for design thinking as:

  1. Question: Introduce the challenge and ask questions related to the problem which needs to be solved in order to start the discussion.
  2. Metaphor: In this step, the participants build the models that reflect the challenged described in the first step with the ability to describe each part of the model.
  3. Sharing: In this step, each participant shares their thoughts and ideas about the challenge and how it is visually reflected to the challenge.
  4. Questions: In this step, the facilitator asks questions and the groups share experiences in order to build a solution for the model based on thoughts discussed during the process.

Dr Arindam Basu, Senior Lecturer at University of Canterbury, is doing a research on the usage of Lego Serious Play as a design thinking tool. He shared his thoughts in his presentation on SlideShare.

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