Third stage in Design Thinking: Synthesize

The third stage in Design Thinking is called Synthesize. In this stage all the important information and insights from the first two stages, „understand“ and „empathize„, are gathered and melted together – synthesized (this is an overview of the design thinking process).

The pivotal point in the third stage is the future users’ needs.

Point of view for the synthesis of knowledge in Design Thinking

The synthesis can be well represented by the POV, the point-of-view.

Overview of the POV method in Design Thinking

  1. Person – name, age, family, occupation, personality
  2. Needs – social – individual, active – passive, changing – preserving
  3. Environment – conventions, obstacles, opportunities, zeitgeist

With this structure, you can break down every difficult problem from the relevant person’s point of view. If you have a clear POV, you can easily invent something new and develop ideas in the next stage. This is why the right questions with the following approach are helpful.

HMW Questions in Design Thinking: How might we…

Who ask, they lead. And the creative stage leads to a good question. The following approaches to the HMW questions will help to get the creativity flowing in the team:

HMW – How might we …

  • … solve the Problem?
  • … master the challenge?
  • … satisfy the needs?
  • … achieve the goals?
  • … allow new possibilities?

Those who want to go a step further and develop truly courageous and wild ideas should try the following trick of reframing.

Reframing: Put the problem into a new context

It is very inspiring to put the problem into a different and more creative question.

For example: Instead of asking „How might we make the waiting at the airport more enjoyable?“ You might ask, „How might we make waiting at the airport as fun as being in love?“ 

Or: „How might we make the passage through the airport feel like a game with several levels?“

That’s why we’re looking at another problem that’s about entertainment, enjoyment, and amusement – and transfer it to our real problem. This is a little art in itself that you can learn in our Design Thinking training.

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