Dr Guruprasad Rao, Director of Faculty of Design, MIT-WPU

Dr Guruprasad Rao is Director of Faculty of Design, MIT-WPU, Pune Kothrud campus. He mentors two design schools, namely School of Design & School of Fine Arts. His current focus is on shaping  State of the art Design schools to create future design leaders in Product Design, UI/UX Design,  Visual Communication, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Instruction Design and  Digital Media. Dr Rao is a technocrat with over 32 years of experience encompassing Industry & Academia. He  holds BE (Mech) with PG in Tool Engineering from GTTC, Bengaluru, M Des in Product Design from  IISc, Bengaluru and PhD from IIT Bombay.


Design Thinking cannot be considered exclusive property of designers because it has been practised by all great innovators in art, music, science, and business. The question raised here is why Design Thinking is important.

Here’s why: It can help us systematically learn and apply these human-centred techniques to creatively solve our problems, such as our designs, businesses, and lives.

Design Thinking is a tool for simplifying things creatively.

Design thinking is an iterative process that seeks to understand your customers, challenges hypotheses, reviews problems, and produces innovative results that can be prototyped and tested. It is based on observing people’s interactions with their surroundings with empathy and employs an iterative, hands-on approach to producing innovative results.

To be truly mortal-centred, designers observe how people use a product or service and continue to upgrade the product or service in order to improve the consumer’s experience.

A 5-Step Procedure

Empathize means determining what the consumer requires, even if they are unaware of it. Every other honey bottle or pack, for example, was painfully messy due to how difficult it was to use the honey from them and how quickly they attached to any surface. That’s when Dabur invented the most practical, remarkable, and useful honey pack – Dabur’s squeezy bottle, which changed the way Design Thinking works.

To define, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and determine the most pressing issue they face. Similarly, the Uber team discovered that the need to wait is the most important factor influencing the client’s overall perception. Uber describes each step while customers wait for the car to give the impression that they are nearing their destination, making Uber an impossible app to abandon.

Ideate means to generate ideas for how to solve the problem you’ve identified. Netflix’s design philosophy extends beyond digital design. The main goal is user interaction, and it does the most about it. Netflix was able to transform the video rental market while also establishing itself as an important component of proper relaxation by constantly considering what would be best for its users. Because, let’s be honest, “chill” and “Netflix and Chill” are not the same thing.

To prototype is to turn an idea into a working solution. The purpose of prototyping is to give the theoretical version of the idea a more practical test that demonstrates the customer’s reaction. The iPhone is the best example of a prototype that comes to mind.

Testing means providing a prototype solution to the consumer, who needs to observe how it interacts with it. Steve Jobs tested the iPhone  with the audience in 2007, and today Apple is ready to launch its iPhone 14, which the  world is eagerly awaiting.

Making Design Thinking a part of today’s curriculum is a must.

It forces you to think outside the box.

Design thinking enables us to conduct the appropriate research, develop prototypes, and test our products and services in order to discover new ways to meet the needs of our customers.

Attempts to solve a human need

Using an observational, human-centred approach, teams can discover pain points from the consumer that they had not previously considered, and that the consumer may be unaware of.

A science and an art

The science component looks at how customers react when they see the product. Once a number of potential solutions have been identified, the selection process is supported by rational ideas.

Addresses ambiguity and raises awareness

Instead of relying solely on preconceived notions of the consumer, a close examination of actual consumer behaviour may reveal difficulties.

Why should one incorporate Design Thinking into institutions?

One reason for the proliferation of design thinking in industries is that it is useful for breaking down problems in any complex system, whether it is business, education, government, or social organisations.

Because of the enormous intellectual contribution that Design Thinking represents, institutes all over the world, such as Stanford, Columbia Business School, and others, have already begun to offer various courses and certifications in the field.

Design Thinking has grown in popularity as a key to the success of many high-profile, global organisations. It employs an iterative, hands-on process to generate new results and is based on observing people’s interactions with their surroundings with empathy. It is now taught in many leading universities, and given its effectiveness and success rate, it should be included in today’s curriculum from the start.

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