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Design Thinking

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What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a solution-focused, problem-solving methodology that helps organizations of all kinds, participate in a learning culture, focused on driving solutions to everyday challenges. Design Thinking allows user to produce a structured plan of action after a period of Ideation, Innovation and Creativity. Originally popularized by the Silicon Valley design firm IDEO, Design Thinking principles and practices have been used in higher education quite a while. If we are to provide viable and sustainable student engagement practices, we must begin to think differently and evolve our praxis.

The Office of Success Coaching is a learning organization with Design thinkers as solution engineers. As design thinkers, we movie ideas to materialization. Design thinking offer creative way to solve problems using practical methodology, while also answering relevant questions for developing an improves product or service. Design thinking use technology to drive solutions which makes it a 21st century tool.

Focused on specific human values and experiences, design thinkers are social in nature and rely upon gathering insight and data, through research, which helps them empathize with the user. Once they have gathered enough data and drawn a complete understanding of the problem to be solves, they create prototypes and test for relevancy. The ideation phase allows design thinkers to generate creative ideas that can result in the production of a prototype. Often, with a protype in hand, they can begin testing the product or service and evaluate it as a possible solution. At the end of the testing process, implementation comes into play, and they evaluate for success.

Since design thinkers focus on creating understanding and balance between what is desirable and what is needed as an actual solution, it is exciting, dynamic, and transformative. Design thinkers help to create important pathways for onboarding new policies, procedure, and practices. Design thinking connects organizational learning and makes problem solving a deliberate choice. All team members feel empowered and find it easy to discover their personal purpose and intentionality, while being accountable and responsible for much needed change and transformation.

What Makes Design Thinking Innovative?

Design thinking is grounded in the methodology of sociocultural learning, systems theory, and consciousness. It allows all who practice investigating, understanding, exploring, and materializing potential solutions for identified needs. Creativity is the secret sauce that holds the process all together.

  • Human first! That is the number one principle and practice. The best designs are human centered. People first change second.
  • Setting the framework and gaining context. What questions are we trying to provide answers to? If we come up with the right questions, solutions begin to flow.
  • Innovation and Ideation go hand and hand. Transforming ideas into potential solution is empowering. Grouping humans together as willing participants make the best design thinking teams.
  • Applied learning is the mother of inventions or at least it should be. Design thinking allows all participants voices to be expresses in engaging and illuminating ways. Intellect is the new commodity and way of the future. So, let’s be mindful and practice cooperative works and responsibility.
  • Design thinking promotes and embraces human centered principles. It makes for team members who are also known as innovative solution engineers. Essential to the design thinking process is the practice of problem solving in real-time with real world challenges. It is what makes Design Thinking…Design Thinking.

The Office of Success Coaching has embraced the Design Thinking process to ensure equity, inclusivity, and diverse thinking. Problem solving is a natural part of our business model and it adds value to our commitment to organizational learning. To meet the challenges of a new era, all universities will need to retool and adjust to a knowledge economy that views intellectual knowledge, technology, and real-world problems for supporting a growing diverse student population.

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What are the Six Principles of Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a great process for building engagement. It offers the opportunity to be agile and work with a sense of purpose and intentionality. However, to plan well, we must be clear in our process and transparency must be part of the guiding principles. Beginning with the most important one empathize. It is the most important because it is in this phase where we discover what problems we are solving for, and we get to hear from the users in their own voice, of how they view the challenge. Listed below are the stages of Design Thinking.

Stage 1: Empathize.

This stage is meant to get a better understanding of the problem or challenge. It allows the team to hear directly from the experts (users) and engage them more closely. All while work with a “Community of Practice.”

Stage 2: Define.

Defining a problem gives the design thinking team an opportunity to gather data and information from the empathize phase. Knowledge is analyzed, organized, and visually reviewed for patterns and themes. From this phase team members move naturally into the ideation phase.

Stage 4: Ideate.

Ideation leads to creation! Creation promotes excitement and insight. A generation of ideas come from this process as team members gather data through brainstorming. The sky is the limit, and all ideas are good ideas. Problem solving also happens which begins the process of creating a prototype to test.

Stage 5: Prototype.

Here is where we create the product or service that has come out of the ideation phase. Trial and error are a good thing and practice makes perfect. By the end of this stage, the design thinking team should have a better understanding of the constraints the are apparent of the prototype. Changes are made and protype moves into the testing phase.

Stage 6: Test

Test. Test. Test. This is how we get the final product and service. Here is where the design thinking team measures the potentiality of the product or service and revise if needed. This process can be iterating. The cyclical and they continue until they are satisfied with their product or service.

 If an idea needs a space to bring inspiration to life, we leverage CSUSM's Inspiration Studios