What is design thinking? As an innovation thinking tool, design thinking fosters the capacity to combine: empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of ideas and solutions, and the skill to materialize those solutions through iterative prototypes. The Design Thinking course is taught in Stanford since two thousand and four, today, design thinking not only affects processes in the engineering practice, but in many other areas, we have found design thinking applications in education, what to say in business, in research and development. And its tools are used for new products and for their industrial design. It is also used to solve what people call ambiguous problems. Problems where neither the question nor the answer are clearly defined. and that is precisely what design thinking is for, when everything is really ambiguous and I still have to see what the problem is. Ambiguous problems for researchers are: How to reduce traffic? How to solve global warming? How will I win the next Nobel Prize? And design thinking is an approach that focuses on the user in order to solve problems. Its key elements: are that it focuses on people, it is highly creative, it is hands-on we start working immediately, and it is an iterative process. It focuses on people, it is part of what people, users, customers, consumers need, or want to do, their motivations and the problems that they are trying to solve. Empathy is the key. This is not about you, it is not about what innovation is doing, it is about the person who is having the problem and needs the abilities to comprehend, share and understand other people’s feelings. This is a highly creative process, design thinking forces us to look at the situation in a very different light to find a new solution that goes beyond and that improves the existing alternatives it is looking at the different aspects of a problem, it is hands-on stop arguing and start working. Yes, you may fail, as in any other innovation process you may fail, it is part of the process to be successful and experiments are trial and error, which are key too, we experiment. And it is iterative, it is not in a straight line, you come and go, come and go, the more you can cover, the more possibilities you have of getting good results. Iteration means that you try something, learn, go back, modify, and go back again Who do you go back to? You go back to your customer, the one who has the problem or the need. And we can, in this process of design thinking, we can apply it in five stages: The first one is being empathetic with the customer, empathize. The second one is defining. The third one is ideation. The fourth one is prototyping. And the fifth stage is testing, testing the prototype, testing. Empathy is understanding the experience, the situation, the emotion of the person one is working for One must observe the users, their behaviour in their daily-life context One must participate in conversations and in-depth interviews. One must know what to see and hear, ask someone to complete a task and ask him/her what he/she is doing Empathy is wearing your customer’s or user’s shoes Defining. In this stage results are processed and synthesized in order to have a point of view of the user, of the customer you will address. The user develops an understanding of the type of person it is designed for You need to synthesize and select a limited number of needs that you consider are important to be satisfied And this is where we find the famous “insights” which express the knowledge that you developed to later on define the principles. The following stage which is ideation, so it is called, ideation focuses on the generation of ideas. You translate problems into solutions. You explore a wide variety and a large number of ideas to go beyond the obvious solutions of a problem. Here is where the well-known brainstorming takes place Here is where we need creativity, not to combine the unconscious with irrational thoughts and using imagination very much, then in an ideation exercise with post-its we jot down as many ideas as possible, one per post-it, and see how many you come up with to solve that specific problem, and which also comes from the empathy stage. Group synergies are used, groups are used people are brought together and you ask them to give you ideas, you benefit from the group to reach new ideas and build up on the ideas of others. And you start separating the generation and evaluation of ideas to give imagination and voice. You separate those ideas, classify the ideas, many will be repeated. And you go on with your process to reach the next stage, which is the one of prototyping. This means building to think. In the prototype, prototyping is a simple, cheap, and fast way to shape ideas so you can go back again to your customer and show him that prototype so you can experiment and interact with that prototype with your customer. And you start building, you create a low-resolution device, it can be a physical object, or a digital draft or something that you can click. Do it fast, unclean, it doesn’t matter that it’s not beautiful. A stage must be created, where you can play with roles in a physical environment which allows your users, individuals, to experience the solution. And finally you conduct tests. You request comments about your prototypes. You go to your customer and carry out the iterative process, you test, have comments, ask your users with whom you were empathetic about your prototypes. Learn about their user, reassess their point of view, go back and redefine the prototype. You show the prototype, have the users handle the prototype. Give it to them, let them use it. Listen to what they say. If they don’t like it, throw it away, it is a very cheap version and make a different one, or modify it and go back. You have to create experiences with your customers. Let people talk about how they live it and how they feel. These are the Design Thinking stages, and further on in the course you will see some very concrete examples about design thinking.