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Our design thinking process

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The d-school's design thinking process moves iteratively - from problem to solution - through three broad phases: discover, ideate / prototype, and test and refine.

The process begins with a problem that needs solving.

During the discovery phase, students conduct research with users to develop a deep understanding of their needs, and the contextual constraints they experience. This phase usually leads to reframing of the challenge as the insights gained help teams to identify and understand the real problem.

Moving into the innovation phase, teams begin ideating: sharing ideas and conceptualising a range of solutions. Rapid, inexpensive, low-resolution prototyping follows.

This leads to the testing phase, during which prototypes are tested with the users, then refined and re-tested so that proposed solutions are viable, feasible and desirable, before being developed and implemented.

This iterative process sees teams diverging and converging as they move towards solutions that are human-centred, and will ultimately be effective, appropriate and sustainable.

Design thinking helps to cultivate creative confidence as both creative-intuitive and analytical thinking are activated.

Thinking forward and abductive thought - unencumbered by pre-determined solutions and pre-conceived ideas - are encouraged, to help students develop new solutions.

"Design Thinking helps
to cultivate creative
confidence as both
creative-intuitive and
analytical thinking
are activated."