As Health for America Fellows, we are utilizing Design Thinking to develop specific, high impact solutions that will improve outcomes and lower costs in the treatment of heart failure. But what exactly is Design Thinking?
Design Thinking is a human-centered design process that focuses on using empathy as a key tool in problem solving. It is a deviation from traditional problem solving, which primarily focuses on creating a functional solution but may ignore the people side of the equation, such as user preferences and tendencies.
This process can be applied to all aspects of design including the design of products, applications, systems, spaces, curriculums, and processes. Though nomenclature may vary, the design thinking process boils down to the following steps:
Understand the challenge and audience,
research the topic, talk to users and stakeholders, explore similar problems and solutions
Search for themes and opportunity areas, narrow down the challenge, identify needs and motivation of end users, establish a point of view
Brainstorm creative solutions, refine ideas
Further refine ideas, build solutions, identify areas for improvement
Gather feedback, collect data, ensure needs are met, improve solutions
Design Thinking is an iterative process that works best with multi-perspective, interdisciplinary teams to ensure that all aspects of the problem and solution are addressed. The objective is to integrate users into the process to create seamless solutions.