An introduction to design thinking: Process guide

Date published
01 Jan 2010
Hasso Plattner Institute of Design
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Comms, media & information, Innovation

“To create meaningful innovations, you need to know your users and care about their lives.”

WHAT is the Empathize mode?

Empathy is the centerpiece of a human-centered design process. The Empathize mode is the work you do to understand people, within the context of your design challenge. It is your effort to understand the way they do things and why, their physical and emotional needs, how they think about world, and what is meaningful to them.

WHAT is the Define mode?

The Define mode of the design process is all about bringing clarity and focus to the design space. It is your chance, and responsibility, as a design thinker to define the challenge you are taking on, based on what you have learned about your user and about the context. After becoming an instant-expert on the subject and gaining invaluable empathy for the person you are designing for, this stage is about making sense of the widespread information you have gathered.