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Design Thinking: How to Create a Product That Solves a Problem

This article is about how to create or improve a product so that it solves the problem of your audience. We will create the product using design thinking.

Smart foreheads preparing the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring report say: “In Russia, only 3.4% of entrepreneurs pass the 3.5-year threshold, the rest leave the market.”

We can look for reasons in the crisis and economic downturns, generational change from X to Y and Z, in astrological forecasts, and even in the fact that “all buyers are goats.” But. A business closes when its product does not solve the problem of the audience.

This article will help to find a connection between a person, his problem and a product-solution.

Why am I telling you this? He studied design thinking from those who put it into practice: creators of the creative space, organizer of international digital conferences and German experts advising organizations and private companies.

Design is not about graphics, sites or interior design. In DM, design is all that is created by man.

DM is a product creation method. And also this is the worldview from which the method follows. DM as a worldview has certain principles.

The man comes first. DM is always about a person. A high-quality product solves the problem of the audience and fits into the context, that is, in life.
Design thinkers do not believe that “there is a customer for any product.” They act differently: they study the audience, identify the most acute problems and create a product solution for one of them.

Bidirectionality. In DM, two types of thinking are used: divergent (quantitative) and convergent (qualitative). First, we work on the number of problems identified or ideas come up, and then we select the best.
To be mistaken is good. Design thinkers accept their mistakes, do not hesitate to them. Often it is a mistake that leads to an outstanding solution.
Prototype. A prototype is not a product yet. This is what explains how it works. This is a picture, an explanation on the fingers, and a drawing on the board. The main thing in the prototype is to explain how the solution will work.
Test as early as possible. A prototype is created for the test. Made a prototype – do a test on the audience. Gather feedback. Improve. Do it again. Testing a prototype is cheaper than creating a product and saves you from failure.
Design never ends. So you used the DM method, created a cool product in demand, praised yourself. Think everything? No matter how! First, everything can be done better. Secondly, your decision may be outdated. Therefore, seasoned design thinkers periodically repeat all stages from beginning to end.
Thinking from the product is when mom prepares boiled liquid oatmeal and tells the child: “I have to eat, I did.” Here, too, a business sometimes creates a product that “must be sold” even when the buyer does not want to buy. And just as mom calls dad (“He doesn’t listen to his mother, tell him to eat!”), So business calls the marketing department.

What exactly to do? The method of design thinking answers this question.

Design Thinking as a Product Creation Method
DM as a method consists of 6 stages: empathy, research, focusing on a problem, generating ideas, choosing an idea, prototyping, testing. If you do everything right, get a prototype product that solves the problem of the client.

Stage 1. Empathy

Type of thinking: divergent, aimed at quantity.

Required time: from 15 minutes per person, from 10 representatives of Central Asia.

Required tools: notebook, pen, interviewee.

Additional tools: voice recorder, video recording.


Empathy is about feeling the client and understanding his life. It’s not from your office to decide that the client wants a new website design, but to go and see how he uses the old one. And if there is a problem, then solve it. In practice, this stage is easiest to implement in the form of an interview.

On the one hand, we draw a real portrait of the client and a “map of his problems”. On the other hand, we examine the relationship of the client, his problems and our product (if it already exists), the product of competitors.


A simple way is to ask about the latest audience experience related to the problem that your product solves (in your opinion).

A tricky trick: buy coffee coupons or certificates on ozone in a trendy cafe and offer CA (target audience) to get an interview for bonuses.

If you offer English courses, ask when the person last studied the language and when did he speak it. If you are repairing a car, ask about breakdowns and about interacting with services. If you are a psychologist, ask about how a person copes with difficulties in life and what or who helps him in this.

At the empathy stage, try to find as many sore spots of the client as possible. Imagine that you are a doctor who is looking for all-all sores. car mechanic who conducts a complete diagnosis of a car. It is important that the list of diseases is as large as possible.

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