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Design Thinking is a problem-solving process that helps students build empathy, resilience, creativity and reflection in order solving real-world, human-based challenges.
Empathize: Designers interview a person (user) who has a need or challenge. The designer wants to gain a clear picture of the problem by understanding the limitations, constraints, and needs of the user. Interview and probing skills are practiced and honed during this process.
Define: The designer defines the goal from the view point of the user. It is not the goal that the designer wants, but the goal that the user needs. This helps develop empathy!
Ideate: This is the step where the designer rapid prototypes or brainstorms multiple solutions for the user within a set time limit. The designer records the idea solutions using pictures and shares them with the person.
Prototype: Once a solution is identified, the designer builds a 3-D representation of the solution to help the person visualize the solution and make sure both parties picture the same solution. The prototype is typically built using recycled materials and craft supplies and will loosely represent the solution.
Test: The testing step allows the designer to use the solution in the world and see how it performs. It allows the designer to reflect, criticize, and refine the design.