5 steps to increase impact with design thinking

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The concept of "design thinking" has surged in popularity in recent years as those outside the design department have realized the appeal of an approach to innovation that prioritizes creativity and meeting consumers' needs.

A recent article from Birmingham, Ala.-based bank BBVA's Momentum social entrepreneurship program describes a five-step process to ensure the most effective form of design thinking.

1. Empathize: Before brainstorming even begins, put yourself in the consumers' shoes to better understand the challenges that need solving.

2. Define: Filter through the information gathered in the first stage to determine which challenges are most in need of attention.

3. Ideate: Brainstorm a variety of possible solutions, without getting too attached to any one idea or worrying about thinking too far out of the box.

4. Prototype: Construct early drafts of the potential solutions that seem most plausible to make it easier to visualize whether and how they would work.

5. Test: Finally, test the prototypes with actual consumers to identify any flaws or shortcomings before choosing one solution to develop on a broader scale.

More articles on innovation:
UCLA launches federally funded innovation hub for medical tech, digital health
Medtech investment firm launches with $225M fund
America's Most Innovative Leaders: 24 healthcare leaders on the list

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