Great design solves a need of the user in a pleasant, even delightful way. The best approach to this that I use is design thinking.

This is a system of innovation that will help you craft amazing experiences for your users.

This approach was created ad evangelized by Stanford’s and is used by some of the worlds best companies to create innovative and highly successful products and experiences.

BTW, if you can attend the workshop or course, I highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic experience.

You may already be familiar with this method. For those that are not, here’s a quick overview of the process.

The overall design thinking method looks like this.


While this seems like a linear flow, it’s not. Here’s a quick breakdown of how design thinking works.


The first part about delivering great design is to understand and empathize with the user. Who are they? What are they trying to accomplish? What’s the best way for THEM to accomplish this task? The more you can understand and empathize with your user, the better your end product will be.

And the best way to understand your user is to spend time with them.

This could be from an interview you have with them, shadowing them, and even doing the same tasks as they do, with their own challenges.

Things you may create

  • Personas
  • Journey maps
  • Empathy maps
  • User insight docs


  1. Define the core problem to solv

As we understand our user, we discover what their core problem is that we’re solving.

The work we’ve done so far provides a solid foundation and guide.

What is the end result that they want? Think from the end and work backwards to keep focused on the solution.

For example, if a user goes to the hardware store to buy a quarter inch drill bit, they don’t really want the drill bit. What they want is what the drill bit will give them, which is a quarter inch hole in the wall.

When you switch from “how can we make a great drill bit” to “how can we give them a quarter inch hole in their wall”, you open yourself up to many more possibilities.

From the work we’ve done inthe empathy section, we now have a pretty good idea on how the user sees the situation and what result they are looking for.

Categories: Design

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