Design Thinking - Introduction

Design thinking is a methodology that designers use to brainstorm and solve complex problems related to designing and design engineering. It is also beneficial for designers to find innovative, desirable and never-thought-before solutions for customers and clients.

Design thinking is used extensively in the area of healthcare and wellness, agriculture, food security, education, financial services, and environmental sustainability, to name a few.Design thinking has helped in the digital space, contributed to the development of physical products, spurred social innovation projects and much more.

The iterative design process helps the designers to involve clients and customers in meaningful ways. It is not just a strategy to come up with feasible solutions to a problem, but also a method to think of unimaginable solutions and then trying to make them not just feasible, but also viable.

Design thinking is a blend of logic, powerful imagination, systematic reasoning and intuition to bring to the table the ideas that promise to solve the problems of the clients with desirable outcomes. It helps to bring creativity with business insights.

Origin of Design Thinking

It is a methodology of design that originated in Stanford University and is today considered to be one of the most sought after skills in the industry. The concept of design thinking began only with a few domains under consideration, but is now found to be applicable to a myriad of disciplines, ranging from medicine and aeronautics to management, operations, and human resource planning.

The teaching and acquisition of design thinking skills has assumed so much importance that it is now being taught at some of the leading universities of the world, as well as the leading global corporate houses across the globe.

Infosys Ltd., India’s second largest IT-based company providing business consulting, information technology and software engineering services, has also made design thinking a mandatory skill to be acquired by each of its employee.

Stanford University in the United States and the University of Potsdam in Germany have also promoted design thinking, citing it as one of the most useful skills for professionals.

Application Across Professions

In the wake of such support and encouragement for design thinking by big entities, it is easy to understand the significance and influence that design thinking will assume in the near future for all sorts of professions. Design thinking is a methodology for finding simplicity in complexity, improving quality of experience with the designed products and serving the needs of customers by addressing the target problem faced by them. Design thinking is at the core of the development of efficient and effective strategies for organizational change.


Design thinking is a five-step process, where each step focuses on a specific goal. Each of the steps is independent of the next step but is borne out of the previous step. Design thinkers are expected not to think of the following steps when working on one step.

For example, it is not recommended to think of solutions, when the problem is being defined. The problem definition must be written in detail without missing any point, even if it makes finding a solution difficult. In this tutorial, we will understand the importance of design thinking, its impact of strategy development and we will then explore each of the steps of design thinking.