If you spend some time with the design thinking you will notice that you will find a lot of different representations of the process. But which one is the right one? Or can you even say that? Is there a right and a wrong here?

How many steps must the process have now?

In short, all representations are correct because it does not matter at all. Let’s take a look at the process as I have presented it here. 6 steps starting with Empathize followed by Observe, Point of View, Ideate, Prototype and finally the Test.

Now there are other representations also with 6 steps or also with fewer steps. 5 steps or even only 4. These representations are also correct because Design Thinking is not a step by step process. Rather it is a very individual and flexible concept which should help us to develop solutions and ideas. Because we can move freely within the steps there is no right or wrong, basically all representations have the same statement. The core of each approach is always the same and wants to give us the mindset necessary for the application.

Individuell and Flexible

No matter what our process looks like now, the crucial thing about Design Thinking is to have a user-centric process. The user is the focus. The strength lies in letting the user directly influence the development of the solution through clever interviews and observation. How exactly this should happen can be individually developed and implemented. So it can be that we have to adapt our approach to external influences and factors.

Flexibler Umgang mit dem Design Thinking Prozess

External Influences

In most cases, we won’t be able to find the ideal playground for our design thinking in companies. This is not to stop us, however, but may involve an adaptation of the process. Some customer requests or conditions require a rethink in our approach. This can also lead to a deviation from the normal process. However, we can still use Design Thinking and certainly achieve impressive results.

A Mindset, not a Prozess

It is not important what the process looks like, the mindset of the user is decisive. Whether 4, 5, 6 or perhaps a completely different orientation of the process does not matter as long as our user remains at the center of the application and we can work as a team on great solutions. Important is our mindset to tackle the topic. Since flexible and open to results.