A question that emerges when discussing adopting a design thinking approach is, which process model should we use. Several different process models are available (see IDEO’s HCD Process, d.school’s 5 Stage Process, the Double Diamond Process from the UK Design Council) and it can be confusing trying to figure out which process to follow. So, which process model should you use?

Well, it doesn’t really matter. The design thinking process (regardless of the specific process model) has three basic stages: The Understanding Stage, The Conceptualizing Stage, and The Experimenting Stage.

All of the currently available process models move through these three basic phases. They may each use different terminology, and employ slightly different tools, but ultimately if you embrace the process whole-hearty each process model will get you to the desired results. So, my advice is to check out a few different models and pick the one that best suits the needs of your project.

It is important to keep in mind that while these process models are presented in a linear format that in practice engaging in design thinking is an iterative process. Therefore, in practice, you would move back and forth between different process steps several times before you arrive at a final solution.

Looking to explore some design thinking process models? Check out these links:

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