As previously discussed, Design Thinking means thinking like a designer. It is not so much a process but a mindset. There is a process that designers follow… in the simplest of terms, it is research, design and test.
Designers do have a bias to designing. They want to create elegant solutions that make peoples’ lives better. But a designer needs research data to inform their design direction and they need testing to ensure that the design actually meets their target audiences’ needs.
There is a dance between research, design and testing. They learn and iterate from one another. Maybe there is an initial design concept based on a perceived need. Some research may be conducted to validate that there is a desire for the solution – do people want it, will they pay for it, will they pay for it now, will they pay enough to create a viable business around it, and is it even technically feasible to develop? The research findings inform the design, it adapts, more research is done, they iterate.
Once it has been established that the solution is desirable, viable and feasible, the dance continues with designs and testing. Testing evaluates the design. There is more iteration and more learning… maybe more research is needed, too. Eventually, testing will proof the design is ready for its target audience and the solution is released to the world… and makes live better.