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  • Writer's pictureBravo | Web3 Space


Updated: Aug 1

The starting point of any business or startup starts from taking the product as the first foundation. If you work in R&D or Product Development departments, you must have heard of "Design Thinking". Leading global corporations, such as Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, are applying this method,... So what is Design Thinking? Let's find out with Web3 Space in this article!

What is Design Thinking

"Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer's toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success."

This means that Design Thinking helps solve problems by understanding people, constantly testing, and improving solutions. It can be applied to every field, solving problems in the design process, building products, and business problems. This approach focuses on creativity, holistic thinking, teamwork, curiosity, optimism, and people-centered thinking.

Design Thinking approaches the problem from the customer's perspective, then identifies their problem. In the past, commercial companies made detailed business plans and invested a lot of resources in building products. However, in today's ever-changing society, this is no longer relevant. Innovation requires a different way of thinking and approaching problems: taking the time to understand customers to build products that solve their problems.

Design Thinking's 5-step process

The Design Thinking process consists of 5 steps: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. These five stages are not always sequential but can be iterative to tailor solutions continuously.

Empathy by actually having the consumer's feelings and thoughts

  • Define the problem in the direction of putting people at the center instead of products

  • Ideate and come up with as many possible solutions as possible

  • Prototype by realizing the most feasible idea

  • Test and make sure the product solves the problem the best it can by bringing it into everyday life

Stage 1: Empathy

Empathy is a journey into the feeling of others. This is the starting point of Design Thinking that opens up new solutions to help product designers have more user perspectives. This step requires you to learn about your target audience, the people whose problems you are trying to solve, to empathize with them. In this step, you need to interview, observe, integrate, and empathize with customers to understand their experiences and motivations and immerse yourself in the surrounding environment to get what you want a deeper understanding of related issues. UNDERSTANDING is a crucial element with people-centered processes like Design Thinking, and insight allows people to set aside their assumptions about the world to better understand users and their needs, thereby building more suitable products.

Businesses can use Empathy Maps Canvas to understand a specific object from different perspectives: feelings, actions, goals, and thoughts.

Stage 2: Define

"Framing the right problems is the only way to create the right solution" - Michael Shanks.

During this phase, you refocus the information you created or gathered during the Empathy stage. This is where you analyze and synthesize your observations to define the core issues you and your team have identified. You should determine your problem and develop a problem statement focusing on people.

The Define phase will help you gather ideas for building features, functionality, and other elements that solve problems or, at the very least, allow users to solve their problems with a Minimum difficulty level.

Stage 3: Ideate

In this stage, you start to come up with ideas. You understood the user and their needs in the Empathy stage; you also analyzed and synthesized your observations in the Definition stage and ended it with a focus-oriented problem statement focused on people. With these strong foundations, you and your team can start to think outside the box to come up with new solutions to the identified problem, and you can also look for new perspectives on the problem that subject.

In the early stages of the Ideation phase, developing as many ideas and solutions as possible is essential because you don't want your mind to be limited by untested assumptions. In short, you must be creative, brainstorm, and share as many ideas as possible. This is the stage where your design team continuously challenges themselves before evaluating and aligning the appropriate viability of each concept.

Stage 4: Prototype

“Build to think and test to learn” - Michael Sharks

This is the stage where you need to “implement the idea.” The purpose of this stage is to put existing ideas into the context of real-life use, eliminate unsatisfactory products, and choose the best possible solution. Don't focus too much on one prototype to save time and effort.

This is a process of experimentation to determine the best solution to each problem. These solutions are tested through prototypes and, in turn, are accepted, improved, retested, or rejected based on customer experience.

At the end of this phase, the design team must have the most effective, tangible solution to consider. The design team will better understand the product's limitations and existing problems and have a more specific view of how users will react, think, and feel when interacting with the end product.

Stage 5: Test

In this step, you give the prototype to the customer to use and get feedback from them. This is the final step in the Design Thinking 5-step process. Still, in an iterative process, the results drawn from the Test phase often redefine one or more problems by removing understanding of users, product usage conditions, and how users think, react, feel, and empathize.

The ideal test condition is to put the product into use in the context of the user's daily life. However, if time or budget is limited, you should consider conducting tests by building a real-life scenario and approaching users quickly, unexpectedly, or doing quick interviews to gather feedback. Recovery after use. Especially at this stage, you can still tweak or refine the product to better solve the problem or to understand as much about the product and customer as possible.

The Non-Linear Nature of Design Thinking

Above, I outlined a 5-step linear Design Thinking process: each previous step leads to the next and ends at the Test step. In practice, however, this process is often implemented in a more flexible and non-linear manner.

For example, different teams on the design team can work on more than one step at the same time, or you can collect information and prototype throughout the process to bring ideas to life and visualization. Solutions as quickly as possible. At the same time, the results from the Test phase can also reveal many insights about the user, which, in turn, can lead to new ideas and prototypes.

It's important to note: These five stages are not always sequential - they don't have to be in any particular order and can be done concurrently or repeatedly. These five stages should be understood in terms of 5 different commonalities, which all contribute to the realization of a project, rather than in terms of 5 successive steps.

However, what is unique about the 5-step Design Thinking model is that it systematizes and identifies five general stages/spirits that you will have to take to carry out any project (including innovation projects). New creation). Each project will include specific activities related to the product under development, but the general spirit behind each phase remains the same.


Any company must constantly innovate products to stay competitive and protect its advantage. And when products and services don't meet users' needs, it's time to "listen to the real voice of the customer." Design Thinking is an easy-to-learn, easy-to-apply method, but effective. Design Thinking can help solve many problems in the company, assisting members to share the same perspective and direction, so all members, from CEOs, managers, and departmental staff, need to know and apply Design Thinking.

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