Design Thinking: Skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a mindset and methodology for problem-solving, learning, and collaboration. The design process is a framework for recognising problems, collecting data, generating potential solutions, refining concepts, and testing solutions. Design Thinking can be utilised flexibly, serving as a foundation for course design or a guide for an activity or group project.

Things that turn out when learners engage in Design Thinking:

become problem -solvers

think divergently

learn to take creative risks

become explorers

Source: John Spencer

Why is Design Thinking important?

In the changing world, students should be adaptable and flexible to succeed in the future. They should be prepared to face situations and challenges they have never anticipated before. Design Thinking creates self-confidence in their capabilities to acclimatize and act in response to new challenges. They can distinguish and develop innovative, creative solutions to problems that they and others confront.

The Five Phases of Design Thinking:

By identifying the issue and then resolving it in human-centric ways, design thinking is an effective method for dealing with many types of vague or complex situations. Empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test make up the five steps or phases of the design thinking process in its simplest form.

Phase 1: Empathise

The process of design thinking begins with empathising. The only way to explain new solutions is to understand the demands, obstacles, attitudes, and aspirations of consumers. Research is done by design teams to better understand the needs of their users. They put postulations aside in favour of examination and discussion to get perceptions into the users’ reality. They try to comprehend the issues, goals, and concerns of consumers.

Phase 2: Define

The second phase of design thinking is Define. The objective is to synthesise a problem statement through analysis. A problem statement is vital to a design-thinking project because it focuses on a specific need or collection of needs and guides the team. The second stage of the process is clarity, concentration, and definition.

Source:  sustainability guide

 Phase 3: Ideate

The third step in the Design Thinking process is Ideate. In brainstorming and mind-mapping sessions, designers develop ideas as part of the creative process. Open-minded participants get together to generate as many solutions as they can to a problem statement in a supported, judgment-free setting. They try to come up with fresh ideas, keep on subject, and employ mind mapping techniques.

Source: How to Focus: Art-based mind map (source: learning fundamentals)

Phase 4: Prototype

 The fourth phase of Design Thinking involves prototyping. A prototype is a simple experimental model of a proposed solution that is used to test or validate concepts, design assumptions, and other conceptual components of the proposed solution quickly and inexpensively. Prototype is an excellent conversation starter. It promotes and supports design thinking.

 Source: system concept

Phase 5: Test

The test comes under Design Thinking’s fifth step. Asking open-ended, issue-solving inquiries like, “What problem could this answer for you?” Questions like “How could this affect your experience?” and “What could make this a better solution?” are posed.



Design Thinking is “thinking outside the box. It enables everyone to utilise creative skills to concentrate on a variety of issues. The technique is action-oriented, embraces basic mental transformations, and approaches issues and challenges from a different angle.


What does design thinking entail?

Design Thinking is a creative problem-solving methodology.

 What makes design thinking unique?

Design Thinking is a human-centred, highly innovative, collaborative, and iterative process.

What are the benefits of Design Thinking?

Design new business models, create better customer and employee experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *