Design thinking is a concept that refers to the application of creativity and innovation to our actions, decisions and resolutions. It is a tool that focuses on feedback and interaction. Although its implementation is more widespread in work environments, it can also be used by teachers as a teaching tool to improve teaching methods and promote empathy in the classroom. That is, teaching students how to help others to resolve their problems through creative solutions, and relate them to their own dilemmas.
Principles of Design thinking are: empathize, define, develop, prototypes and test.
Empathy is the first step in the Design thinking. It is the ability that allows us to understand and share the same feelings that others experience. Through empathy, we are able to put ourselves in other people and establish a deeper connection. In this instance, observation is crucial. Some questions to consider are: What is the feeling? What actions or words indicate this feeling? What words would you use to describe your feelings?
The next step is to define the above feelings and identify the main problem to be solved. It is important that, throughout this process, students use a language that is positive and action-oriented, rather than focusing on the negative side of the issue.
It is at this stage that generated ideas and possible solutions to resolve the issue in question. There is no recipe to achieve the perfect solution, then we include some strategies that could be implemented: mental maps or creative notes, body storming, rain of ideas or brain storming. This process helps students to modify the perspective from which shows the problem, and departing from established the solution that is seemingly “obvious”.
At this stage, students should design the solution. This is a prototype, as it may be modified as often as necessary. During this process, they recognize that the error is part of learning. The failure should be analyzed, since thus not repeated in the future. In this instance, students should ask themselves: Why do we fail? Did it work? What did not work? How can we improve? Is this feasible solution? Do we design this solution thinking about the user?
During this stage, empathy plays a key role in shaping the user experience. It will also help students to identify possible improvements from which the users manifest. The tests are also useful to shape our views in relation to the user.