Responding to Katelyn LaBelle

The article I decided to review for this week’s article discussion was an article posted by the Nielsen Norman Group. The author of the article is Sarah Gibbons. She is the Nielsen Norman Group’s Chief Designer and specializes in design research, strategy, and user experience design. Overall, this seems like a credible source. However, it does lack references which could make it seem like an opinion piece instead of an informational piece. After reading the article it is an informational piece on Design Thinking. Other than the lack of references, this article seems to be well put together.

This article has an overview of six phases that are needed when it comes to design thinking. Design Thinking is defined in this week’s YouTube video as, “a philosophy and a set of tools to help you solve problems creatively.” (Smart, 2020) This can then be broken down into 3 larger groups. These groups are understood, explore, and materialize. Each of these groups is then broken down into multiple phases. Understand has empathize and define, explore has ideate and prototype and materialize has test and implement. In many cases people do not group implement as a step however this article did include it. During the empathize stage someone will conduct research to gain a better understanding of their user. They then move to the define stage where they take all their research and observe the user’s problem. Next, they move to the ideate stage where they will generate creative and crazy ideas. From here they will move to the prototype phase where they will build the ideas they created. Next, they will go back to their users and gain their feedback. Finally, they can either begin the process over if the users aren’t satisfied or they can move to the implement phase where they will put their tested idea into effect. Using the first five phases of this six-phase process, one would be able to come up with creative solutions for their problems. Once they have finished the five stages, the sixth phase would allow them to implement their creative solution to solve the problem.

Overall, this article matched my ideas of what design thinking is. It gave me a better understanding of what design thinking is as it broke each phase down into more detail. It also included the advantages for utilizing design thinking. This made it easier for me to understand why it would be used. The one advantage that stood out the most to me was the fact that design thinking, “starts with user data, creates design artifacts that address real and not imaginary user needs, and then tests those artifacts with real users.” (Gibbons, 2016) Instead of trying to solve potential problems, design thinking looks at problem’s users are facing and works to solve them. And then they make sure their solutions are satisfactory to the users. This makes the whole design thinking process come full circle and helps me understand why it is effective. Out of everything posted in this article, I feel that it should have included some disadvantages. I now understand the process and all the advantages; however, it would be nice to know the downside to utilizing design thinking. This article did a great job explaining the steps in design thinking and why it should be used as well as some other information about design thinking. It would be an ideal read for someone who is looking to gain an understanding of the importance of design thinking as well as a description of the phases of design thinking. If someone wanted more clarity on design thinking, this article would be great for them to read.

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