Design Thinking – Testing (Phase 6)

Testing is part of an iterative process that provides practitioners with feedback. The purpose of testing is to learn what works and what doesn’t, and then iterate. This means going back to your prototype and modifying it based on feedback. Testing ensures that practitioners learn what works and what doesn’t work for their users. Iteration is key here as you will not solve the problem in one go.

“What innovation boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.” – ThomasEdison

Why Testing? Quite simply it is to get early feedback from end-users, experts and stakeholders and to ensure that we learn along the process. This is an iterative and agile methodology so testing is an important phase.


How to test?

  • Let the prototype speak …………But know what you want to learn
  • Do not defend your idea
  • Be open-minded
  • Be thankful


  • Re-visit end users and take them through a scenario that shows how to reach the goal with the new solution
  • Listen carefully to what they say
  • Capture and later synthesize all feedback
  • Ideate how the feedback can be worked into the next iteration of your solution

Capture Feedback and Learnings:

Show don’t tell. Put your prototype in the user’s hands – or your user within an experience.And don’t explain everything (yet). Let your tester interpret the prototype. Watch how they use (and misuse!) what you have given them, and how they handle and interact with it; then listen to what they say about it, and the questions they have. Create Experiences. Create your prototypes and test them in a way that feels like an experience that your user is reacting to, rather than an explanation that your user is evaluating. Ask users to compare. Bringing multiple prototypes to the field to test gives users a basis for comparison, and comparisons often reveal latent needs.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO TEST And how to test it. TEST is about failing with your prototype by receiving feedback from end users.

Because design thinking is iterative, intermediate “solutions” are potential starting points of alternative paths, including redefining of the initial problem, in a process of co-evolution of problem and solution.

If you would like some furthe inforamtion, please see the link below for a Case Study from the Harvard Business Review regarding Design thinking.

Better Service, Faster: A Design Thinking Case Study

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