What Is Design Thinking? Why Is It Important in the Current Milieu?

What Is Design Thinking? Why Is It Important in the Current Milieu? | Design Thinking | Emeritus

“Thinking like a designer,” that’s how Tim Brown would encapsulate Design Thinking. Brown is the unofficial harbinger of design thinking. His firm, IDEO, has been working for more than a decade with large and small businesses to solve business problems by applying design thinking principles.

So, what is design thinking? Design thinking is a human-oriented process that draws inspiration from a designer’s toolkit to understand the customers’ needs and incorporate them into a product, service, or situation.

Instilling a designer’s perspective in business helps solve some of the biggest issues of the current milieu innovatively. Moreover, designers do not have a set process or framework for solving a problem, which helps in devising new ways of finding a solution. Here is a detailed view of what design thinking is and the importance, need, and principles of the business concept.

What Does Design Thinking Mean?

Design thinking was discovered by John E. Arnold, professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University, in 1959. Initially, the concept was used by engineers to solve complex problems. However, the concept transcended to business, science, and other industries with time. Today, many industries widely use the concept to understand the customer perspective and solve complex problems with novelty.

Design thinking is an ideology and process that incorporates the vision and perspective to transform the way an organization develops products, services, processes, and strategies. This approach takes into consideration the needs, wants, and desires of the customers. It also allows people who aren’t trained designers to engage in a creative process. There are five phases of design thinking:

Empathize: In this stage, the problem is analyzed, and businesses empathetically try to understand the problem to find the right solution.

Define: Once the research is done, then the next step is to define the problem.

Ideate: The next step involves gathering ideas for solving the identified problem.

Prototype: A prototype is developed to implement the solutions in this stage.

Testing: The solutions are implemented, and inferences are made to evaluate the success or failure of ideas.

Now that you have glanced through the phases of design thinking, in the succeeding sections, we will discuss some reasons why design learning is important for a business.

Why is Design Learning Important?

Increases profit

Design learning sheds light on customer needs, wants, and desires, which helps organizations to personalize products, services, processes, and strategies accordingly. It also helps in increasing the profit of the business.

Understands customer needs

Many businesses fail to understand the needs of their customers. However, there are no discrepancies in communication between an organization and its customer with design learning because the concept uses designers’ perspectives to understand users. And designers are keen observers and have an attention-to-detail quality that helps them grasp minute details about a person. This can even be learnt through a comprehensive certification program in product management.

Innovative methods

Design learning uses innovative methods to solve challenging and complex business problems. Designers use the concept of abductive reasoning to derive a conclusion or find a solution. Abductive reasoning is a form of logic that guesses different theories to explain a set of observations. With design learning, organizations can derive new and innovative methods to varied business problems.


Design learning offers a different perspective to the same situation, which aids motivation. Furthermore, the concept helps everyone to be at the top of their game by discovering novel solutions to business problems.


Design learning increases efficiency by negating mistakes and errors. In addition, the concept solves complex business problems and meets the customers’ needs, which in turn increases the overall efficiency.

What Are the Benefits of the Design Thinking Approach?

Design thinking, discovered in 1900, gained momentum during the early 2000s. Today the concept is used in various businesses for a varied set of reasons. Here are some of the benefits of design thinking.

  1. Design thinking helps in overcoming creative challenges. It uses methods like brainstorming and others, offering different perspectives and ideas.
  2. Design thinking involves testing the prototypes and implementing customer quality inspections. By following, a design thinking approach, business products, services, and strategies will meet the customers’ requirements.
  3. Design thinking is a creative process that makes one traverse through new roads, thereby, broadening knowledge-base.

What Are the Principles of Design Thinking?


The most important principle of design thinking is that it should take into consideration the human point of view. The main focus of the process is to understand what the audience needs and incorporate their desires into every aspect of the business process. When a business empathizes with its customers, a strong bond is formed between them, leading to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Embrace ambiguity

Ambiguity is an inevitable part of the business, so embracing it will offer businesses a new perspective. Moreover, as all business problems cannot have a definite solution, understanding that is one of the most important principles of design thinking and learning.


In this rapidly evolving world, every design gets redundant quickly. Moreover, with each new technological development, human needs also change. Therefore, there is no perfect product or service, and everything is work-in-progress.


The last and the most important principle of design learning is to make ideas tangible by forming a prototype. Design learning uses prototyping to understand if the idea or product will work efficiently for the unversed. So, implementing ideas to the prototype will help businesses evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.

If you are also planning to advance your career in the field of design learning, then you must consider pursuing some of the short-term online product management courses offered by Emeritus.

Emeritus India provides world-class executive education to working professionals from different parts of the world. We offer various certification programs in product management and design thinking in collaboration with globally renowned universities.

So, without any further ado, kickstart your career in product management and design thinking by enrolling for one of the courses today.

About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Yashvi is a dynamic content creator with 5+ years of experience crafting content for global brands, specializing in tech, finance, and healthcare sectors for both B2B and B2C audiences. Her diverse knowledge base empowers her to create meticulously researched, value-packed content for the EdTech sector, catering to various audiences. In her downtime, she explores the realms of mental well-being, reflecting her holistic approach to personal and professional growth and deepening her empathy for her audience's pain points and needs.
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