First encounters with Design Thinking

Marco Manuel is an intern at On-Off Group. He is currently a college student and is interested in expanding his knowledge on User Experience and Design Thinking.

I think of my experiences with design thinking as a journey. It’s something I got into, not knowing anything about. In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to work in On-Off Group was because I wanted to learn about UX and design thinking. But as time goes by, I find myself understanding it more and more everyday.

I’m only a couple of weeks into my journey, but I’d like to share a few things that I’ve picked up along the way.

Design Thinking Concept

Working in On-Off Group, my first task was to immerse myself in design thinking through reading articles and watching videos about it online. Though I initially misunderstood it as an approach heavily focused on aesthetic design, I quickly realized that it is actually something more than that. I noticed that it is a very human-centric process, giving an equal importance to the user as it does to the problem.

For me, design thinking, first and foremost requires empathizing with the user, suggesting that the problem can’t be properly identified without understanding the context of the situation first. I realized that problems tend to be different for other people, depending on various factors like culture, environment, experiences, etc.

The process also encourages rapid testing of different possible solutions. One thing beneficial about creating mock-ups or prototypes to test ideas is that it can greatly reduce the cost and time it takes to test ideas, and also helps in coming up with sound decisions.

But seeing everything about how design thinking makes businesses better made me think, If it can be applied to business, can it likewise be applied to everyday life? Where else is design thinking used? Is empathizing better than jumping to a solution?

Next Step

I still have a long way to go, but what I love most about it is that I’m beginning to catch myself applying design thinking to everyday situations, and not just in business!

Though it has only been a couple of weeks since the start of my journey, my experience has proven that it is fun and immersive to learn about the process. I’m looking forward to attending more workshops, and seeing how others apply design thinking throughout the following weeks!

Marco Manuel