Design thinking

C Emmanuel Onyema
2 min readFeb 20, 2021

Meaning and processes.


Design thinking is the cognitive and strategic approach used for developing design ideas and creative problem solving. It is fundamentally a user-centric, focusing on humans, their behavior, their goals their needs and an iterative approach to solving (complex) problems.


First, I would like to state that these processes are non-linear, you can often run them in parallel, out of order or repeat them in an iterative manner.

  • Empathy- empathize with the users.

It’s by empathizing with our users that we fit ourselves in their shoes, research and understand their pains and problems.

  • Definition- define their problems.

After empathy comes definition of the problem, what were you able to deduce as the problems of your users? this is where you define them.

  • Ideation- welcome ideas

This is where you brainstorm and generate ideas, at this stage every idea is welcomed.

  • Prototype- bring ideas to life

This is where you experiment, bringing your ideas to life and trying to find the best possible solution.

  • Test: testing and getting feedback.

At this stage, (and often the last processes before literation) our experiments or product prototypes are tested. Feedback gathered are used to improve the product.

What does it mean for a designer to be able to fit himself into the shoes of a user?

· What it means is simply the ability of the designer to empathize, to identify his/her users, gain empathetic understanding of them and their needs, wants and their objectives.



C Emmanuel Onyema

C Emmanuel Onyema is a user centered product designer and developer in beta, a physiology student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University.