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What Is Design Thinking? by Jennifer Mailhot, Ellen Siminoff, Julie Stanford, Mia Silverman

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What Is Design Thinking?

Overview of Design Thinking

Design Thinking has a lot of facets that we distill into one core idea: Design Thinking is a way to solve problems. It’s not the only way. It might not even always be the best way. But, it is an extremely effective way to radically increase your likelihood of success when you’re solving a problem. Design Thinking is often referred to as a process, and, in fact, it does include specific ordered process steps. However, it’s also a philosophy, a mindset, a set of core principles, and a satchel full of tools. In essence, Design Thinking is a cohesive framework for innovation that can be used in a multitude of areas ranging from creating something new to running a business to managing interpersonal communication. And, if you’re an entrepreneur, it is a remarkable approach for identifying the problem that you should be solving for people. If you’re looking for an official definition, here’s our favorite: Design Thinking is a human-centered process for identifying and solving problems that results in effective, innovative solutions.

History of Design Thinking

The term Design Thinking was popularized by Stanford University and IDEO after the founding by David Kelly and Hasso Plattner of the Stanford d.school in 2005. However, the process itself isn’t new or even particularly that novel. It’s a process that has been evolving since the time of Plato and more solidly since the 1960s by collecting the best tools and ideas together from ...

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