What is design thinking?

What is design thinking? How can it sustain my start-up?

This module aims to deliver us the knowledge and understanding of creative and business behaviours essential for developing a product/service and founding an innovative multidisciplinary business enterprise which I will work in teams to set up a real-world market.

Firstly, we learned that Design thinking had been externally applied to business. There is a necessity to address the question: “how do designers think?” in order to understand how design thinking can inform business and start-ups. Framing is a fundamental aspect that design thinking can offer to start-ups. As Dorst, (2010) described

“Framing is the term commonly used for the creation of a novel standpoint from which a problematic situation can be tackled—this includes perceiving the situation in a certain way, adopting certain concepts to describe the situation, patterns of reasoning and problem solving that are associated with that way of seeing, leading to the possibility to act within the situation” (p. 134).

How do designers think? What is innovative? How we create valuable? These all are a question from Kees Dorst which could help us to understand the core of design thinking. Let’s start with the underlying reasoning patterns then are Problem Solving and Abduction respectively. Let’s say, the things that we have in common is what we regularly know the value that to achieve. In term of Problem Solving that we were already known what is the value of it, a ‘working principle’ and ‘how‘ that will benefit to achieve the value what we aim for. However, it still missing something that is ‘what’ (an object, a service, a system), so then to answer this is to find the solution which is one of thing that designers and engineers always do. That means we have to create an object that works within a known working principle and a set scenario of value creation.

The core of design thinking (Dorst, 2010)

Next, we learned the five step of Standford d. school Design Thinking Process to help us find the effective way to solve the problem with innovative idea.

Step 1: Empathize

  • Interviews with non-judgmental
  • Shadowing (dig a little deeper)
  • Seek to understand

Step 2: Define

  • Personas
  • Role objectives
  • Decisions
  • Challenges
  • Pain Points

Step 3: Ideate

  • Share ideas
  • All ideas worthy
  • Diverge/Converge
  • Prioritize

Step 4: Prototype

  • Mockups
  • Storyboards
  • Keep it simple
  • Fail fast
  • Iterate quickly

Step 5: Test

  • Understand impediments
  • What works?
  • Role play
  • Iterate quickly

Those all are some part what I have learnt from the previous class which I will use several tool to enhance my creative thinking to produce any service or product, and then I have to form a team with four people with collaborating between MACE and IME student. It’s sound nice, isn’t it? But wait… I still have no idea what is it going to be? Who are my teams? What product/service we will make? Also, would it be innovative? I am looking forward to getting on our start-up and hope that this module will keep us on track and work well:)


d.school. (2018). An Introduction to Design Thinking PROCESS GUIDE. [online] Available at: https://dschool-old.stanford.edu/sandbox/groups/designresources/wiki/36873/attachments/74b3d/ModeGuideBOOTCAMP2010L.pdf [Accessed 26 Dec. 2018].

Sprouts. (2018). The Design Thinking Process. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r0VX-aU_T8 [Accessed 26 Dec. 2018].


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