Stanford Design Thinking Process

Step 1: Empathy = Really get to know your user

Use human-centered design process, which puts the user squarely at the center of the process. When designing, you start with identifying who you want to design for (your user) and really get to know them.

3 ways to get to know our user:

  • Observation (what we observe them doing, in the environment we want to design for as well as in other similar and different environments, so we really get to know how they live and work, what they value, etc., and can use that to help us design solutions to problems that matter to them in ways that work for them)
  • Immersion (we walk in our users’ shoes, until we can experience firsthand the challenges they face that can inform our design)
  • Interviews (we listen to their stories to hear how they experience the challenges and opportunities they face, we focus on feelings in addition to facts, and we listen beyond what we hear directly).

Don’t make average products for average people. If your users have a name and you’ve walked in their shoes, you can both design for them as well as get their feedback along the way.

Step 2: Define = Define the problem your user is having that you want to solve

  • We always define the problem from the users’ perspective. Solve the problem they actually have, not the one you thought they have.
  • Reframe. Identify the underlying cause of a problem and solve that. If you only solve for the symptoms but don’t understand the true nature of the problem, you are less likely to create solutions that matter.
  • Aim for the Goldilocks Zone. Not too broad. Not too narrow.

Step 3: Ideate = Open up the solution set

  • Ignore feasibility at this stage. An awesome but infeasible idea at this stage may lead you to a breakthrough idea you never would have considered.
  • Go for quantity. Like taking pictures, the best way to get a good idea is to generate a lot of ideas.
  • Embrace radical collaboration. A wider variety of ideas is generated from diverse minds. Find colleagues in different fields, different age groups, with differing perspectives.
  • Go for wild ideas. Unleash your creativity.

Step 4: Prototype & Test

  • The best way to get feedback on an idea is to watch someone experience your solution. So what can you create quickly that someone else can experience…today?
  • Identify an important aspect of your solution, find a way to let someone experience its essence, and observe what they do.

Step 5: Iterate

On day 1 your solution is OK at best. By the time you launch, your solution will be AMAZING because it willreally solve their problem!


Folksonomies: education technology

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Design (0.974191): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mind (0.966506): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Idea (0.920753): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Thought (0.905505): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Creativity (0.801559): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cognition (0.786692): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Design management (0.690013): dbpedia | freebase
Concepts in metaphysics (0.601454): dbpedia
Mind map (0.578222): dbpedia | freebase | yago
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 Ed Tech Developer’s Guide
Technical and Research Papers>Government Report, Other:  Office of Educational Technology, (April 2015), Ed Tech Developer’s Guide, Retrieved on 2016-08-17
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: education technology