What is Design Thinking?

The world needs fresh ways of thinking.

In the past, creating products and services was largely based on how logic and data could be applied to rethink problems.

The world has changed.  Technology is reshaping what is possible – and at the centre of everything we do lies our human nature, preferences and habits.  In our ever-connected world, we need more innovative outcomes to everything, from our day-to-day problems to global issues.

Design thinking and service innovation

Design thinking is a way to think about how products and services are experienced by people.  It takes a human-centred approach to a problem, generating and testing ideas to improve products and services. 

Service innovation is how these new or improved products or services are developed. Rather than focus simply on what has worked in the past, service innovation explores exactly what people need and want.  This process can reveal the kind of products and services customers will want to buy or experience not just once, but return to experience again in the future.

A design thinking and service innovation approach to tackling complex issues can be applied within practically any field from consumer-packaged goods, to healthcare access and government services.

The steps behind design thinking

Design thinking begins and ends with human needs and wants, covering these processes:


This involves engaging with people directly to understand their individual experience of a service or product, then identifying their needs.


The core problem is redefined, which will often result in discovering a different problem to be resolved than was originally thought.


Teams collaborate to generate ideas and explore new concepts.


Potential solutions are created quickly and refined as steps towards developing the most effective product or services.


The prototypes are rigorously tested and the human experience is observed. The process continues back to the first stage of the design thinking process.

Would you like to explore new possibilities and examine what makes a positive human experience? Explore our courses or check out our study options for international students.  
Posted on:

4 Dec 2018

Share this article:

Show your support

Clap to show your support for the article