While the design-thinking approach may sound rather seat-of-the-pants, the truth is that it’s surprisingly regimented, consisting of three phases: observation, ideation and implementation. [...]
Focus groups have their place, but in design thinking, observation means ethnography: Noting how consumers behave in their natural retail habitats the way Margaret Mead once analyzed the tribes of Samoa. The use of ethnography as a primary tool in product development has gained widespread favor during the past decade. [...]
Phase two of design thinking—ideation—is nearly as free-form as the observation stage, but adds the critical element of synthesis. [...]
In implementation, the final phase of design thinking, low-res prototypes go high-res and then become actual products.