March 23, 2020
Interest in design thinking as a professional practice seems to ebb and flow. Currently, we’re in a period when there is great interest in design thinking. This trend may lead to some confusion or even consternation among my UX colleagues, who may see design thinking as a faux version of User Experience that dilutes interest in the real work that UX professionals do. Other criticisms of design thinking are that it is derivative of other innovation methods and that its reliance on empathy is a poor stand-in for doing real user research.
While these criticisms are fair, they may be misdirected. Certainly, design-thinking workshops take certain shortcuts. An abbreviated description of design thinking might emphasize the need for multiple iterations and the fact that an innovation process diverges at the beginning, then converges on possible solutions. The assumption is that insights arise from a project team alone, with little to no interaction with users. However, design thinking has made creativity and design processes accessible to more people and introduced new ways of building consensus. Read More