What is Design Thinking ?

Design Thinking is a proven and repeatable problem-solving methodology that any business or profession can employ to achieve extraordinary results.

 The process of design is very important and any profession can benefit by employing design thinking and achieve better results. This concept has taken a considerable amount of time for business environment to accept as a hypothesis. Although Design is most often used to describe an object or end result, design in its most effective form is a process and a methodology for solving problems and discovering new opportunities. Techniques and tools may differ but the core of the process stays the same. In fact Design can be the foundation for driving a brand or business forward.

Earlier design would usually come late in the development process and would be focused on making new products aesthetically attractive or enhancing brand perception through smart, evocative advertising. Today, as the environment of innovation expands, it encompasses human-centered processes and services as well as products. Organisations are now asking designers to create ideas rather than to simply dressing them up.

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Design thinking consists of the following key elements.


Defining the problem may sound simple but doing it right is perhaps the most important of all the four stages. Another way of saying this is by defining the right problem to solve. Design thinking requires a team or business to question the brief and the problem to be solved : by participating in defining the opportunity and revising the opportunity before embarking on its creation and execution. Participation usually involves immersing oneself in the problem; and the intense cross examination of the filters that have been employed in defining a problem.

In Design thinking, observation takes centre stage. Observation can differentiate what people really do as opposed to what you are told that they do. Getting out of the box (or pre set environment) and involving oneself in the process, product, or experience is fundamental.

Design thinking in problem definition also requires cross functional insight into each problem through varied perspectives as well as constant and persistent questioning, like that of a small child until finally the simple answers and the true issues are revealed. Finally, defining the problem through design thinking requires the deferment of judgment in defining the problem statement.


Even the most talented teams and businesses sometimes fall into the trap of solving a problem the same way every time. Especially when successful results are produced and time is short. Design thinking requires that no matter how obvious the solution may seem, many solutions be created for consideration. And created in a way that allows them to be judged equally as possible answers. Looking at a problem from more than one perspective always yields richer results.

Many times we are not aware of the filters we may be burdened with when we create answers to problems. In this stage opportunites appear. The trick is to recognize them as opportunities. Multiple perspectives and teamwork are crucial. Design thinking suggests that better answers happen when a team work on a problem for a day rather than one person for several days.


A handful of promising results need to be embraced and nurtured. Even the strongest of new ideas can be fragile in their infancy. Design thinking allows their potential to be realized by creating an environment conducive to growth and experimentation, and the making of mistakes in order to achieve extraordinary results. At this stage many times options will need to be combined and smaller ideas integrated into the selected schemes that make it through.


Design thinking may require looping the steps of creating and refining until the right answers surface.


At this point enough road has been travelled to ensure success. This is the time to commit resources to achieve the early objectives. The by-product of the process is often other unique ideas and strategies that are tangential to the initial objective as defined. Prototypes of solutions are created in earnest, and testing becomes more critical and intense. At the end of this stage, the problem would be solved or the opportunity fully uncovered.

If Design Thinking interests you.  Gallopper can conduct a workshop on Design Thinmking customised for your organisation for a minimum number of 15 and a maximum number of 30 people at a time.


Participants will be introduced to the human-centred mindset of Design Thinking through a combination of interactive and engaging lecture and hands-on exercises.

Knowing Design is not a pre-requisite to participate in a Design Thinking workshop. Mail us at gallopper@gallopper.com