- Empathy: Analyse the needs of your target group by creating “personas” that represent a typical member of that group. In this phase, it is crucial that you put yourself in the shoes of your target group. Try to understand their decisions and emotions, their struggles and successes.
- Define: Choose the need or group of needs you want to address.
- Ideate: Brainstorm potential solutions to your personas’ challenges.
- Prototype: Using simple materials, create a prototype to present to target group representatives.
- Test: Collect feedback from your target group representatives testing the prototype. Analyse the results, make improvements, or decide if it is necessary to go back to an earlier step in the process.
Step 1. Study the programme objectives …
Step 2. Interview your target group
Step 3. Observe your target group
Step 4. Use mind mapping
Collect all information gathered during the interviews and observations using a mind map. This is an excellent tool to group your conclusions and create a map of the needs of your target group. You probably will not be able to address all of them in your project, but it can help you understand the complexity of the challenges faced.
Step 5. Select needs to be addressed
Step 6. Brainstorm
Step 7. Choose the activities for your project
By designing your project using these 7 steps, you can be sure that your plan will address the real needs of your target group, as well as the programme objectives. We also encourage you to describe in your application how you used Design Thinking to formulate your project. It demonstrates to the evaluator that you took the process seriously, actively involved your target group, and that you use innovative, creative, and professional methodologies in your work.