The Design Thinking approach is a solution based methodology used to solve problems of any situation at all. The design thinking process can be applied to basically any problem in any sphere, and is proven to be completely ideal to all situations. It is used in solving complex problems, helping one to understand the scale of the problem intently before going ahead to profer adequate solutions.
1. Empathize: One needs to go into a deep dive to be able to understand the issues that prevail, and what better way to get these insights than from the people themselves. Seek to understand the problem you are trying to solve by observing, engaging and empathizing with people to understand their experiences. Use this as an opportunity to understand the needs of the users.
2. Define (the Problem): Right after getting insights as to the nature and scale of the problem(s), you should analyse these observations closely to be able to establish its process in a human-centered manner. Here you are expected to define the core problem statements that you were able to identify during the empathy stage.
3. Ideate: This is the idea stage. After understanding the scale of the problem and definig it, it is now time to sit with your team and discuss various ideas to solve the problem(s). At this stage, you and your team would be required to "think out of the box" and generate ideas to solve the identified problems of your users.
4. Prototype: Create versions of the solutions generated in the ideation stage and use these to get a clearer view of how real users would behave when interacting with the end product. You must know that this is an experimental stage, of which the created prototypes are tested with the end users, and then re-evaluated again from the define stage.
5. Test: At this stage, you are required to test your solution with its real users to understand how it works and its impediments. If what you have is ideal, go on ahead and finish up your product. If not, go back to the drawing board, take whatever insights drawn from testing your solution with its users to the problem statement stage to re-define your problem, and draw up newer ideas.