How to create user-friendly product with design thinking

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a human-centric approach to the creation of products and services. This is a way of exploring the outside world by identifying the «breaks» of user experience (experience gap) of interaction with the product. Experience gap refers to a mismatch between user expectations and reality in the process of using the product.

  • Before you think of a solution, you need to understand the user, as well as the problems and needs that he faces
  • When you figure out how to help a user, you need to create quick prototypes to check how well you understand the user
  • Empathy
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Prototyping
  • Testing

Stage «Empathize»

Empathy is the ability to feel like someone else, to learn from their experiences, and to know how they see the world. By watching people and communicating with them, you begin to understand what they are thinking and feeling. These observations and help to find the answer to the question: «What do people need?». The result of such research is insight — grasping the essence of a problem situation; a assumption that may or may not be confirmed in the testing process. Often, insight has such qualities as: subjective, inspiring, memorable.

  • In-depth and express interviews with the target audience
  • Monitoring users when using the product (field study)
  • Method «Mocassines»

Stage «Define»

Needs do not change (for example, the need to eat), changing the preferences of customers (self-cooking, buying cooked food in the store, delivery of prepared food at home). To think that new products should meet unique needs is a mistake. Preferences can be revealed by watching customers or asking them questions. Needs are likely to be hidden. To move from preferences to needs, the «Define» step is used.

Stage «Ideate»

At this stage, we need to offer as many solutions as possible for the formed problem. To do this, we use a brainstorming session. This is an example of divergent thinking.

  • At the beginning, make a small speech explaining what you have learned during the research, what you expect from the brainstormers and how you will benefit from the results
  • Announce the timing: how long does the brainstorming session last, whether there are breaks
  • Explain the rules of brainstorming: refrain from criticism, develop ideas of colleagues, do not be afraid to offer crazy ideas, strive for the maximum number of ideas, let all participants speak
  • Present the point of view obtained at the previous stage
  • Start a brainstorming session. If you are a moderator, follow the timing and rules. If you see a command deviating from point of view, gently remind about the stated topic of discussion

Stage «Prototype»

At this stage, it is necessary to assemble the prototype of the future product as quickly as possible. By prototype means everything with which clients can interact: interface, object, room, etc. Business processes can be simulated using Lego toys or by shooting videos. The main task is to visualize the idea, then bring the basic information to the users of the product. At this stage, convergent thinking is predominantly applied.

«Test» stage

At the word level, misunderstandings often occur between people. When you show a person a prototype, the number of misunderstandings decreases. By testing the prototype with users, we learn:

  • Whether the prototype works as we planned it;
  • Whether the prototype evokes a desired response from the user.
  • Determine the success criteria of the prototype being tested;
  • Invite customers for the test;
  • Test and record its results.
  • It is useful to assign roles in advance among team members. Choose:
  • Interviewer who will test with user prototype
  • The observer who will record the results
  • Players who play roles with the respondent if necessary
  • Everything that the user liked
  • Prototype criticism
  • Questions The Client Had During Testing
  • Ideas put forward by the user


The concept of design thinking proposed in consists of the following five stages. However, I will take the liberty to mark another stage, which implicitly is implied in this concept — storitelling.

  • Introductory part, telling what the client is trying to do and what goals to achieve;
  • A climax telling what is interfering with the client
  • A denouement demonstrating the true cause of what is happening (insight)
  • Solution. Tell us how you came to the current decision and how users react to it



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