The Design Thinking Process

Step 1: Learn about design thinking and how it is related to agile development

The Design Thinking Process – An Introduction (2021)

Lean vs Agile vs Design Thinking: Lean vs Agile vs Design Thinking

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Step 2: Identify a target industry

Choose a target industry. Ideally, this is the industry in which you want to work after graduation.


Action item: Open a new Word or Google Doc. Clearly state your target industry and why you chose this industry.

Step 3: Perform the first four steps of the design thinking process

3a: Empathize

For your target industry, identify some problems that you think users (customers) are facing. Note that these are not necessarily problems that you personally are facing; they are problems that you think or know other users are facing.


Look up information online such as user reviews, social media, blogs, and YouTube videos to try to understand the experiences and motivations of users facing these problems.


For example, let’s say that you want to work in the retail industry after graduation. You identify a problem that many users face: due to supply chain disruptions, some popular items are out of stock and there’s no easy way to track a small business’s stock. Users report frustrations in having to drive around to different stores to check stock. There may be other problems.

Action item: In the same doc as before, write a short paragraph describing the problems and your understanding of the issues involved. Title this paragraph “Empathize.”

3b: Define

Choose one problem from 3a that you want to address. Define this problem as a problem statement in a human-centered manner, not as your own wish or the need of a company.


For example, using the problem from above, a bad definition would be “We need a way to track our store’s inventory and show this to users.”


A better definition, in terms of design thinking, would be “Users want to make in-store shopping more efficient due to travel restrictions and health concerns.”


Action item: In the same doc as before, write your revised problem statement. Title this line “Define.”

3c: Ideate

Get a minimum of ten (10) ideas for solutions to your problem. Write down each step of your ideation process and the outcomes. You can use the ideation techniques from the videos or this webpage , or Google around for other ideation techniques. If you have the opportunity to do so, you can ask friends or classmates for ideas for solutions to your problem.


Action item: In the same doc as before, make a new section or page titled “Ideate.” Put all of your ideation processes and outcomes here. If you are working on paper or a whiteboard, you can take pictures of your work and insert them into the doc.

3d: Prototype

Now you are ready to prototype, which is described in the next major Step. There is no action item for 3d.

Step 4: Prototype five solutions in Google Slides

Choose five solutions from your list in 3c. For each chosen solution, think about how you can modify an existing product or create a new product to implement this solution. For the purposes of this IS class, consider the product as an app or website.


The point of this Step and Project is to go through the design thinking process and come up with five testable prototypes that you could test with users.


Each prototype should contain a minimum of three screens.


Action item: Create a new Google Slides presentation. Follow the instructions in the lecture recording to create your first prototype. Create a share link to this presentation and make sure the link is publicly accessible without sign-in (test it in a private / incognito browser). Repeat this process for your remaining four prototypes. You should end up with a total of five publicly-accessible Google Slides links. In the same doc as before, create a new section titled “Prototype links” and paste in your five links.

Important points

· If an object is clickable on a screen, make the object a standout color like orange. I should be able to look at a screen and clearly identify what’s clickable.

· You are not making a 100% perfect and pretty product at this point. You don’t have to worry about color schemes, font formatting, etc.

· You do not need to include basic things like a home screen, a login page, a registration page, etc. Assume the user is already registered and logged in and can start using your product immediately.

Step 5: Write a short guide to your solutions

Action item: In the same doc as before, underneath each Google Slides link, please include the following information.

· A brief summary of this solution and how it addresses the problem you defined.

· What actions the user can perform in this prototype.

Step 6: Answer the prompts below

Action item: Choose one topic from (Python/R code/Agile, MVP, pivot/Blockchain and AI/IS) that really resonated with or interested you. In the same doc as before, create a new page titled “Short Answer” and write a short response (half page to one page total, single spaced) addressing all points below.

· Why did this topic resonate with or interest you?

· If you are not planning to concentrate in IS: How do you think this topic can be applied (or is currently being applied) in your target concentration and field?

· If you are planning to concentrate in IS: What do you think is the future of this topic in five years once you have entered industry and gotten your first or second job?

· What would you like to see as the future of business school education?


This is primarily an opinion and reflection section, but you are welcome to cite sources if you wish.