UI/UX Design

The Ultimate Guideline to the UX Design Thinking Process and It’s Impacts

John Groth
John Groth
Calender Img
Getweb Inc - Full-Cycle Web Design and Development Services

Design thinking in UX is a systematic approach that involves thinking about the user’s pain points and needs, and what their user experience will be when developing a tech solution.

It can help boost your business by improving the usability of your product and making it easier for the audience to interact with.

This, in turn, can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and conversion rates. Implementing UX design thinking can streamline your business operations, increase ROI, improve retention, and create user-centric solutions.

This article will explain the UX design thinking process in simple terms. By the time you’re done reading the post,

You’ll learn how you can implement design thinking into your UX process, and explore the ways it can benefit your business.

What is the Design Thinking

Design thinking is a way of solving complex problems. Based on the methods and processes that designers use, it can be applied to any field. It can be identified as both an ideology and a process.

Most importantly, design thinking is user-centric. It focuses on understanding people’s needs and coming up with solutions that meet those needs.

In other words, design thinking is a methodology that can be used to solve complex problems. This methodology revolves around the user.

Despite what many think, the design thinking process isn’t a step-by-step linear process.

The different phases run parallel to each other and can be repeated multiple times within the process. The whole concept is based on creativity and collaboration.

If you’re looking for a simplified overview, here’s a short video description:
The Design Thinking Process – YouTube

What is the UX Design Thinking Process?

Design thinking is all about finding that perfect balance between two seemingly opposite things.

It’s the sweet spot between art and business, structure and chaos, concept and execution, intuition and logic, control and empowerment, playfulness and formality.

This is especially important in user experience (UX) design. UX designers try to put themselves in the user’s shoes and find the underlying usability issues.

UX design thinking process helps them notice issues in the environment and the behavior of end users that can be hard to find.

UX teams leverage the design thinking process to improve the quality of their research, prototyping, and usability testing so that they can create better solutions.

UX Design Thinking Principles

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to design thinking. However, there are some best practices that UX designers need to follow to create user-centric solutions:

The Human Rule

As UX designers, it’s easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of work. Designers focus on wireframes, user flows, and testing metrics.

But at the end of the day, design is a fundamentally human activity.

That means keeping the “human-centric” point of view at the forefront of the design thinking process.

This also involves constantly considering how our designs will impact real people and their daily lives.

The Ambiguity Rule

When it comes to UX design, ambiguity is not something to be fearful of or avoid. In fact, it’s essential in pushing the boundaries of what we know. It also allows us to come up with innovative solutions.

UX Design Thinking Process

Embracing ambiguity means experimenting at the limits of our knowledge and ability, which ultimately leads to a more creative problem-solving process.

The next time you find yourself facing a fuzzy problem, remember to embrace the ambiguity and see where it takes you. Who knows, you might come up with your best solution in life!

The Redesign Rule

UX designers are constantly faced with the task of redesigning experiences for end users. But instead of seeing this as a daunting task, we should embrace it as part of the process.

No matter how much you change your designs, it’s basically a form of redesign.

Think about it: technology and social circumstances may change, but basic human needs remain constant. So, we’re finding new ways to fulfill those needs or achieve desired outcomes.

But how do we approach this task in a UX design thinking process? First off, let’s remember that UX design is all about understanding and catering to the wants and needs of our target audience.

This means constantly keeping up with current trends and seeking feedback from the end-users. By staying on top of these things, we can easily spot opportunities for improvement and redesign.

Another important aspect to consider during the redesign process is maintaining a balance between innovation and consistency.

While it’s important to keep things fresh and exciting for the users, it’s also crucial to maintain some level of familiarity in order to provide a seamless experience.

The Tangibility Rule

It’s a simple concept that can make a huge difference in your design process. The idea is to physically create a prototype of your design solution as early as possible.

This doesn’t have to be an overly intricate or polished version – even rough sketches or mockups will do.

Principles Of Design

Why is this important? Well, for starters, it allows you to test out and iterate on your ideas in a tangible way. It also helps communicate your vision more effectively to stakeholders and team members.

Plus, let’s face it, it just feels good to see those ideas come to life! Next time you’re stuck in the brainstorming phase, try out the tangibility rule and watch your design process soar.

Solution Vs Problem-Based Thinking: What’s the Difference?

Are you a problem-based thinker or a solution-based thinker? This may seem like a silly question, but it can actually have a big impact on your approach to problem-solving in UX design.

Solution-based thinking means approaching challenges with the idea that there is always a solution out there, and finding ways to make it happen.

Problem-based thinking, on the other hand, tends to focus more on limitations and barriers rather than finding solutions.

solution based thinking

Which one is better for UX design? Well, according to researcher Bryan Lawson, an Architecture Professor at the University of Sheffield, the answer lies in Design Thinking.

This iterative process favors ongoing experimentation until the right solution is found, rather than getting stuck on a certain problem or obstacle.

One of his studies shows that technical people (e.g. scientists) focus on identifying the problem (problem-based thinking) whilst creative people (e.g. designers) tend to take a solution-based approach.

UX Design Thinking Process Simplified

As said before, despite what many people believe, the UX design thinking process is not linear.

UX Design Thinking Process Simplified

It consists of six different stages, which can be parallelized and repeated when necessary. For those who want to have a closer look at the UX design thinking process, here is a simplified overview:

6 Stages Of The UX Design Thinking Process

Empathize With the Users

In the first stage of the design thinking process, it’s important to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve.

That means getting to know your users – their desires, needs, pain points, and objectives when interacting with a product or service.

That’s where user research comes in. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, and competitive analysis are all great ways to gather insights about your users.

This helps put yourself into their shoes and understand the challenges from their perspective.

Once you have a solid understanding of the audience, it’s time to brainstorm the potential solutions.

Empathize with the users

Don’t limit yourself to the very first ideas that come to mind – push your creative boundaries and think outside the box. And remember, there are no bad ideas at this stage!

Think of yourself as a detective – gather information through observation and asking questions. This will help you understand the “problem space” and what is currently hindering user success.

You can also create in-depth empathy maps that can streamline the development process down the line.

By empathizing with the users, you’ll be able to create solutions that truly serve their needs. So go forth and sleuth like Sherlock Holmes!

Define the Parameters

This is where we take all the information gathered from our research in step 1 and start making sense of it.

We look for patterns, common issues, and difficulties users faced in order to identify their needs and problems.

It’s time to define a clear problem statement. This sets out the specific challenge we will address and helps guide our entire design process.

Design parameters

Design thinking will help you leverage the UX information architecture to reach your maximum potential.

It’s important to keep the user in mind at all times, rather than focusing on what might benefit the business.

A good problem statement is human-centered, giving us enough room for creativity while also providing direction and guidance.

UX designers take all the insights from the previous phase and use them to define a specific problem for the end-user that they can tackle in the next steps of the UX design thinking process.

This statement serves as a compass throughout the entire design journey, keeping the team aligned and focused on creating a solution that truly addresses the user’s needs, frustrations, actions, questions, happy moments, and pain points.

Generate New Ideas

In this phase, designers brainstorm and generate ideas to solve the problem statement.

This can be done individually or as a team, through traditional methods like whiteboarding or more unconventional techniques like improvisational theater exercises.

The important thing is to stay open-minded and not get too attached to any one idea.

So while this phase may seem like just coming up with cool ideas, it’s crucial in setting the foundation for the rest of the project.

By ideating and generating multiple options, we give ourselves more opportunities to find the best solution.

With a solid understanding of user needs and motivations, you can create solutions that truly fulfill their goals.

Generate ideas

Brainstorming and generating ideas to solve the problem statement is a crucial part of setting the foundation for the rest of the project.

By ideating and generating multiple options, we give ourselves more opportunities to find the best solution.

It’s important to stay open-minded and not get too attached to any one idea during this phase.

But before you get too excited about all those awesome ideas, remember to consider the feasibility and constraints as well.

Can your solution be realistically implemented within the given timeframe and budget? Will it align with the business goals? Does it play well with your business strategies?

Create Prototypes

Now that you’ve selected your top ideas, it’s time to bring them to life. Make a quick and inexpensive prototype of each one.

Show your team and get their feedback. Be willing to change or reject prototypes that don’t work well.

This phase is all about experimenting and finding the best solution while also uncovering any potential constraints or issues that were previously overlooked.

A single, carefully crafted prototype can communicate a thousand times better than words.


Remember, a prototype doesn’t have to be high-tech or fancy. From a simple pen-on-paper sketch to high-end coded apps, prototypes can take any form you want.

When the concept will be fleshed out, UX designers are now able to produce several cost-effective, scaled-down versions of the product or features you are planning to develop.

This is crucial because it enables designers to inspect and validate their ideas quickly without breaking the bank.

It also may introduce additional iterations of the product’s early concept before the final execution, avoiding expensive mistakes along the way.

Conduct Tests

Test the prototype involving real users. This is where you get to see if your design solution actually solves their problem and meets their needs.

Gathering user feedback at this stage helps improve the overall product experience.

Some ways to test include usability testing, A/B testing, and accessibility analysis. These methods allow for finding and fixing any underlying usability or accessibility issues in the design.

Remember, the ultimate goal of UX design thinking is to create a solution that truly delights and satisfies the end user.

Conduct Tests

It’s important to note that testing and iteration are continuous processes that run throughout the entire design thinking process.

As new ideas and insights are gained, the solution may go through several rounds of testing and refinement.

So don’t be afraid to fail and keep iterating until you get it just right!

Deploy and Monitor

Once you’ve completed all the previous steps and have a finished product, it’s time to deploy it to your users. Unlike many other processes, the UX design thinking process never truly ends.

Be sure to monitor how your users interact with and respond to the design in order to continue making improvements and iterating on the design. After all, there’s always room for improvement, right?

Once a product has been deployed, continuously monitor its performance and gather honest feedback.

Deploy and Monitor

This can inform future iterations and improvements, ensuring that your tech product continually meets user needs and delivers value.

So, before you pat yourself on the back and call it a day, remember to keep an eye on your creation and gather those valuable user analytics and feedback!

Why is it so Important?

Reduces Time-To-Market

Instead of developing a solution and then trying to retrofit it for user needs, the UX design thinking process allows you to focus on those needs from the very beginning.

This leads to faster development and ultimately getting our products into the hands of users quicker.

The process also makes customers happier and loyal to your brand. Designers who use the process are more likely to solve problems and be creative. This also gives you a competitive advantage in the market.

Company-Wide Application

The UX design thinking process is very important because it helps companies think about their products in a more user-friendly way.

This process can be used by everyone in the company, from the CEO to the janitor, to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to making products that people will enjoy.

This can help to create a more user-friendly product and can improve customer satisfaction. And the numbers back the claim up.

The Design Management Institute says, over the last 10 years, data-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219%.

Improve Teamwork and Collaboration

The UX design thinking process is very important because it helps teamwork and collaboration thrive. People from different parts of a company can work together and share their ideas. They can also challenge each other’s assumptions to create better products.

What’s more? This process also helps break down silos within a company, creating a more cohesive and open work environment. By bringing diverse perspectives together, the UX design thinking process can lead to better solutions.

With a variety of ideas and different ways of approaching problems, teams can come up with innovative and effective solutions.

A recent study shows that 71% of companies have benefited from a better working culture. 69% stated that design thinking made their innovation process more efficient.

Overall, incorporating the UX design thinking process can greatly benefit a company by improving teamwork, encouraging creativity, and gathering customer insights. It’s definitely worth implementing in any organization.

Drives Innovation and Problem-Solving

The UX design thinking process is important because it helps to come up with new ideas and solve problems. It also encourages people from all parts of the company to think differently and come up with innovative solutions.

By challenging assumptions and encouraging stakeholders to think outside the box, the UX design thinking process also helps us see things from the user perspective. This allows the designers and developers to create better experiences for the end users.

The process promotes collaboration among the team members and the stakeholders, leading to improved communication and efficiency.

Overall, the benefits of using a UX design thinking process are numerous and can greatly benefit a company in terms of innovation, problem-solving, and creating better experiences for users.

Boost Your Web Performance Through UX Design Thinking

Save on Development Cost

UX design thinking can help boost your business performance by reducing development costs. This method prioritizes user needs and creates more efficient solutions, leading to fewer revisions and a streamlined development methodology.

It can also save future development costs by identifying UX problems early on and addressing them. This helps prevent future UX issues that may require costly changes or updates.

You’ll also have a reduced time-to-market, meaning your product or service can hit the market and start generating revenue sooner.

Improve Retention and Loyalty

UX design thinking emphasizes understanding user behavior and creating solutions that address their needs and wants. This, in turn, leads to improved user satisfaction and experiences with your products or services, leading to increased customer loyalty.

Happy customers are more likely to continue using your product or service and also recommend it to others.

Almost all the top brands use UX design thinking to shape their products and features.

According to Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, they used design thinking to guide their decisions and as a result, PepsiCo gained an 80% increase in sales during her 12-year tenure.

UX design thinking also improves conversion rates by creating an intuitive user experience that guides customers through the decision-making process, leading to higher sales and customer satisfaction.

Increase ROI

UX design thinking leads to improved ROI because it increases efficiency and conversions while reducing development costs. It also increases ROI by providing a seamless user experience.

UX design helps make it easier for users to navigate through your app or site effortlessly.

With UX design thinking, you’ll be able to create an intuitive user journey that guides potential customers toward making a purchase decision.

UX design thinking is a valuable tool for businesses looking to optimize their performance and grow in the long term.

Recent data shows that companies that follow design thinking see around 30% rise in revenues and 56% higher ROI than the companies that don’t.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage

UX design thinking can help you be more competitive. With an amazing user journey and user experience, your customers will choose you over competitors.

The UX design thinking process focuses on creating a positive experience for the user, leading to happy and loyal customers.

It’ll help you create a positive perception of your company as a user-focused business.

This can lead to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations, resulting in long-term growth for your business.


I hope that today’s article will prove to be useful to those who are looking into the UX design thinking process.

UX design thinking is not just about making things look good; it is about creating a positive user experience.

By prioritizing the user experience, you can attract and retain customers, ultimately boosting your business performance.

UX design thinking can lead to improved customer satisfaction and business performance.

Overall, incorporating UX design thinking into your business strategy can have a significant impact on the success of your company.

To reap the benefits of UX design thinking, it is important to continuously gather feedback from users and make improvements based on their input.

By staying focused on the customer experience, UX design thinking can be a valuable tool for driving business growth.

John Groth
VIP Contributor
John Groth
UX/UI Design Specialist

An awarded designer who focuses on creating emotional connections with the end user through his design for a lasting impact. Active since 2008, John has worked with several companies ranging from startups to big corporations around the globe.

His design work mainly revolves around fully responsive websites, landing pages, web applications (SaaS products and dashboards), mobile apps, and interactive UX prototypes. But he also provides industry-leading front-end and WP development services.

Related blog

Read more on our blog

Check out the knowledge base collected and distilled by experienced professionals.

Top 10 Web Design Trends in 2024 You Should Check Out

Just like any industry, new web design trends emerge every year that replace the previous ones. Trends are supposed to come and go because the human mind doesn’t...

How a Bad Website Design Affects Your Business

Not only does a website serve as the virtual forefront of a business, but it is also often the first point of contact, which sets the first impression...

Is WordPress Good for Business Websites? : That Depends!

Is WordPress good for business websites? For startups and SMEs, WordPress is more than good where you can easily make changes yourself without having to involve developers. WordPress...

Web Design vs UX Design: How Do They Differ?

When you’re designing a digital product like a website, you will have to make the best of both web design and UX/UI design.   But what’s the difference between...

What Makes a Good Logo? : 5 Essential Traits You Can’t Ignore

Logos are everywhere around us. From the iconic golden arches of McDonald's to the swoosh of Nike, logos are symbols that represent companies, brands, and even ideas. But...

Branding vs Logo: What Every Business Owner Should Know

Branding is all about creating a distinct identity, image, and reputation for your company in the minds of your target audience, prospects, and customers. It’s a broad idea...

Let us know how we can help!

We are eager to listen to killer ideas or your needs for a digital solution! Drop us a text and we will reply within a business day