The Design Thinking approach is fundamental to the success of designers. This approach is a framework that helps designers solve both their own problems and those of others. But what exactly is the Design Thinking method? What is UX design? How are they related?? What do these methods look like in practice, and why should you know about them? This guide will give you tips on UX design and the UX design problem solving process.

“Design is the arrangement/sorting of elements in a way that best accomplishes a specific purpose”. The design thinking power is the ability to see a problem and imagine a solution. The most important aspect of this is the ability to make a connection between a problem and an idea, or between two ideas.

— Charles Eames

Who is a UX designer?

User experience (UX) designers are responsible for creating a user-friendly interface that meets the needs of the user and helps them complete their goals.

They are involved in all aspects of the design process, including researching users, understanding their needs, defining goals and personas, creating wireframes and prototypes,, and testing products with real users.

ux design problem solving method

How Do UX Designers Use Design Thinking?

Did you know UX designers use design thinking? It’s true. We’ve talked with many experienced UX designers and they’re constantly using design thinking when they do their design jobs. 

Design thinking is an approach to solving problems by using an iterative cycle of observation, brainstorming, experimentation, and feedback. It’s about understanding why people behave a certain way, and then creating solutions that fit their needs.

In fact, Design Thinking is the base of the UX design and UX design problem solving process, without which one simply cannot deliver any solutions. 

The Design Thinking Approach to UX Design Problem Solving

1. Researching the problem

Conducting research is the first step in UX design problem solving. It helps you understand your users and their needs, as well as identify pain points or challenges within an existing product or service.

This can be done through interviews and surveys, focus groups, competitor analysis, user testing sessions, and more. Your goal should be to gather as much information about a particular problem from as many different sources as possible so that you can determine how best to solve it.

2. Defining the challenges faced by the user

Defining the user problem is the next step of UX design problem solving. By defining a user problem, you’re setting yourself up for success by creating a shared understanding of what needs to be solved.

This isn’t just about getting everyone on board—this is about making sure that everyone on your team understands the same thing. And while it might seem obvious that this is important, it often gets overlooked. What’s more, there are a few things UX designers can do to make sure they’re not missing any opportunities:

  • Be ambitious—but stay realistic: When you’re setting out to solve an issue for users and potential buyers alike, aim high! But always keep in mind what’s realistically possible given time and budget constraints, you don’t get too far ahead of yourself or over your budget (or both). This may mean doing some research on similar products or services before brainstorming ideas around how yours could be better.
  • Don’t worry about other people’s goals:  Working with colleagues or clients who aren’t working directly with users every day can be difficult. They may not know what obstacles exist in their own processes until they’ve gone through them firsthand over time. And, even then sometimes they’ll need some convincing before committing fully themselves. Finally, don’t feel bad if there are times when these discussions hit roadblocks along the way.

3. Building Empathy with Users of your Product/Service

This step includes connecting deeply with the users and understanding the context.

Getting to know users involves talking with them directly or observing them in their environments or immersing yourself in their experience, among other methods.

Understanding a person’s context includes knowing what else they do in their lives and how those activities affect them. For example, do they work at night? Do they live by themselves?

Empathizing with the users will help you understand their mindsets and behaviors better when designing for them.

4. Understanding the needs of users to solve their challenge

You must first understand the needs of your users. This is an essential part of the design thinking process because it helps you to gather information about user needs and use it to make your design decisions.

Identify the people who will be using or interacting with your product or service.

5. Brainstorming to solve problems in the projects.

Brainstorming is a process where you can generate a lot of ideas. It’s an effective way to UX design problem solving.

In the beginning, we don’t know enough about the problem in order to solve it. But when we brainstorm we come up with a lot of different solutions or ideas which are not related to each other.

6. Visualize your solution idea

Some tips to successfully visualize your end solution:

  • Use a whiteboard or a sheet of paper to sketch out your ideas.
  • Draw a picture of your solution to help you see it from different angles.
  • You can use mind-mapping tools to organize your thoughts and visualize them with images, text, and color.
  • Use prototyping tools such as Balsamiq or PowerMockups to create a mockup of your solution that you can share with others for feedback before investing time in building anything too complex.

7. Improve and create new solutions for the existing products

Build-Fail-Iterate-Repeat is the motto of the Design Thinking approach when it comes to materializing your solution idea. UX design knows no differently. This allows the UX designers to incorporate user feedback at the early stages of design and improve their designs on the go. You can also attempt to make a rapid prototype from the idea to test it. This can be done using software or with old-fashioned materials like paper and glue. This involves testing the prototype with users to get feedback about whether it’s solving the problem or not. If you’re working on an existing project, this could take place within an established design process; if you are creating something new, you may choose to test the prototype on its own before progressing further into the design thinking process.

8. Refining the product according to user feedback.

This can be helpful for UX design problem solving. After you’ve gone through the above steps of Design Thinking, you’re ready to improve your product according to user feedback. This can be tricky because sometimes the customer is wrong! You may have created a successful design without even knowing it by listening to your intuition and following your gut. But other times, users will point out flaws that require changes in both your product and process.

No matter what the situation, it’s important not only to listen carefully but also to learn how to use user feedback as effectively as possible. 

But how to do this? Here are some tips:

  • Ask questions about specific features or things they liked or disliked about the product. In order to clarify what they’re saying, their comments are more meaningful when it comes time for analysis (and we’ll get into analyzing soon).
  • After asking questions, leave enough time between responses so that users aren’t pressured into giving an answer right away. Let them mull over each question individually before moving on. This allows insights from one question to generate ideas for another one!
  • Try not just to hear what customers say but also to observe their behavior – does this mean we need some sort of testing lab? No! It just means being mindful when recording data like video footage from interviews. And, we can see how people behave naturally instead of forcing ourselves into unnatural situations where we might miss important information about their behaviors outside of certain contexts (like working environments).

9. Execution of the prototype

This is the final step in which the UX designer will execute the prototype with thorough assistance from UI designers and programmers. Here, a User Experience (UX) designer will take the final build of the product to test the functionality and usability, such as how easily a user can operate the product and how interactive it is. As a result, users get a perfectly designed interface ready for their usage. 

Final words

A UX designer uses human-centered design and storytelling techniques to create experiences for users. This approach to design thinking is one of the best ways to solve a problem. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or what type of challenge you face–you can use this framework for any kind of project. The steps are simple and easy to follow, but they still require creativity critical thinking, and skills to develop a solution that’s not just adequate but innovative as well.

About the author

Anuradha is a passionate Design Thinking practitioner with 10+ years of industry experience. She has dived into the field of Design and Design Thinking, where she is trained to design experiences. She is the Founding Partner and Design lead at Humane Design and Innovation (HDI) Consulting. Her professional career spans various roles in Advisory, UX Design, Service Design, Engineering Design, Design integration, and Training. She was the lead designer of the Design Thinking and Innovation practice at KPMG. She has designed multiple digital experiences by conducting strategic UX workshops and design experiences that add functional and emotional value. To her friends & peers, she is the Bonding Agent of the team and always a Go-to person. She is an avid reader, blogger & painting enthusiast.

We at Humane Design strongly believe in the human ethos and draw inspiration from humans and other elements of nature to design innovative solutions for organizations of all sizes. We will be glad to be your success partner. Email us your requirements at

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