Paul Hill by Paul Hill

The scoop on design thinking 101: what’s it all about?

  • Design
  • Design Thinking

Design thinking is an iterative process that keeps the user at its heart. It encourages a holistic view, accepts that uncertainty is always present during development, and helps to consider every angle of a problem to come up with creative ideas.

No matter what you’re developing or what issues you’re trying to solve, design thinking asks you to look from an outside perspective.

This incorporates empathy into the development process and allows you to build products that offer true value to the end-user.

Design Thinking Methodology 101: The five main principles

The phases of design thinking are commonly split up into five distinct principles: 


Empathy is crucial to a human-centred design process like design thinking. It allows the team to put aside their own assumptions and gain valuable insight from real-life end users. 

Users typically have tons of valuable information tucked away — insights they didn’t even realise they had to offer, coming from a perspective you may not have considered.


In order to fix problems, you first need to identify them. 

As you look through the research data, you will soon see patterns emerging — indicating the problem areas. Chances are you won’t be able to resolve every issue right away, so identify and prioritise the improvements with the highest value to your customer.


You know the problems that need addressing, now it’s time to figure out how to solve them. It would be great if every problem had a simple solution — but that’s not always (read: never) the case. That means your team will have to come up with a creative fix. 

The best way to find that? A good, old-fashioned ideation session.

You’ll need to gather as many ideas as possible to start off with. Using a brainstorming session (or whichever ideation method you prefer), you can gain lots of ideas from your team and plenty of insight into the team’s next steps.


The team will now experiment with the different ideas that came out of the ideation stage. Each prototype will provide a realistic representation of the solution that allows you to understand what works, and what doesn’t.


This is where everything starts to come together. Prototypes are shared and tested with users outside of the team. 

Similar to the first stage, you’ll need to gather feedback from your end-users. This time, they’ll have the prototype to explore, rather than highlighting issues in your product.

Save time and money with a Design Thinking approach

By incorporating design thinking early in the process, your team can gather insights from real end-users. Those insights will help them to focus on what the customer needs — and that can improve satisfaction, reduce risk, and lower the need for expensive redesigns later in development.

Incorporating Design Thinking doesn’t need to be difficult

Our team at Thunk are experts when it comes to all things design. We can help you refine your design teams by incorporating things like Design Thinking into your processes and take your products to the next level. 

Remember, time is money, so let’s not waste it. Contact us today to get started.