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Design Thinking Reflection on Strengths Gained in Design Thinking Knowledge


Task: This is an INDIVIDUAL assessment on design thinking reflection that consists of three components:
Blog detailing your weekly activities and learning (multi-media) Reflective report, which details your learning journey and explicitly cross-references the blog (written) Self- and Peer-Assessment of groups from previous assessments (online questionnaire)


1.0 Introduction
Design thinking as I have learnt is a problem solving process that is less staged and a flexible way of approaching a problem. It enables innovation and creativity and bring about the best solution in play. Design thinking is wide and not limited to any theory because it is a continuous outcome of collaboration and experimentation. A design mindset is wide and include empathy, imagination, experimentation, collaboration, optimism, critical thinking and curiosity. This shows the complexities and multiple aspects rooted in design thinking concept (Kembaren et al., 2014). Thedesign-thinking unit has been highly helpful and effective where various aspects of design thinking have been learnt. There was a total of 12 weeks where different areas of design thinking was addressed such as the design thinking process, theories, models, need analysis and problem solving, rapid prototyping, ethics and empathy skills and others. Through the weekly activities and tutorials, I have gained significant knowledge, skills and mindset of design thinking, however, still lacks in various areas.

The reflective report identifies and discusses on the strengths I gained in design thinking knowledge, skills and mindset along with the weaknesses I still possess as a design thinker.

2.0 Self-reflection on Design Thinking Knowledge
2.1 Strengths

From my involvement in different design thinking activities and presentations, I realized that I have gained various knowledge in design thinking. I gained knowledge on design thinking such as different trends of design thinking, definition of design thinking and journey map. Design thinking is closely related to experimentation and creativity where multiple solutions are experimented to reach to the most effective solution. When I got involved in making a presentation on the understanding of design thinking then I was able to make effective contribution on journey mapping concept, brainstorming and fifty phases (see blog entry 1, 25th August 2020). This makes me realize that the vague idea that I had on design thinking are now become strong in various areas. Now I know that design thinking is a creative process of understanding a problem that enable a person to take opportunities in experimenting and creating models along with redesign.

Through my involvement in brainstorming and journey mapping process, I have learnt the meaning and importance of these two process. When I engaged in project activities, I was able to cite example of journey mapping that is “Cook dinner for friends” (see blog entry 1, 25th August 2020). This made me realize that I am clear on the concept and process of journey mapping. It made me realize that now I can efficiently explain and place my journey mapping in any given situation. This shows that from the week activities and lecture I have learnt about design thinking creative process, journey map, redesigning and brainstorming.

Prototype is a kind of approach to design thinking that allow for trial and error of a design and is a way of visualizing the thoughts of the designer (Lim, Stolterman&Tenenberg, 2008). The week learnings also enabled me to develop my knowledge on rapid prototyping, which is yet another important concept revolving around design thinking. When I indulged in self-learning process through Google Books and Google Scholar I have learnt about the benefits and process of prototyping (see blog entry 4, 13th September 2020). Now I am aware that rapid prototyping is an iterative process that allow sketching, storyboarding, paper prototyping and physical prototyping of a planned design. I realize that now I understand the concept of rapid prototyping application in the process of design thinking.

2.2 Weaknesses
Along with strengths in design thinking knowledge that I derived from the involvement in various lectures, presentation, activities and learning there are various kinds of weaknesses in design thinking where I still needs to grow. Design thinking process is a human centered approach and starts with the understanding of the challenges and preferences of the current users (Leavy, 2010). I was always doubtful about my knowledge of being analytical and understanding othersview (see blog entry 3, 7th September 2020). After completing my learning paradigm in this area I was able to expose to knowledge of empathy and ethics, however, I still lack in the knowledge of empathy used in design thinking. This means that I still lack the actual meaning of being empathetic and ethics when indulging in the process of design thinking.

Rapid prototyping is a process that assist in improving the designing process by reducing the chances of errors and flaws in a design (Lim, Stolterman&Tenenberg, 2008). I have been involved in learning activities where I deciphered the various areas of prototyping techniques and this helped me enhance my knowledge on the concept of design thinking (see blog 4, 13th September 2020). However, there are still areas of prototyping where I can learn many new things, as I have not involved in experimenting related to prototyping process in design thinking.

Learning is an integral part of design thinking as it helps in developing self-confidence and skills and this involves planning and systematic movement towards the goal (Prahalad&Ramaswamy, 2004). As I got involved in using, support sheet and feedback capture grid, which is used by designers for making prototype I learnt that knowledge of learning launch is of prime importance for solving design problems (see blog 5, 21st September 2020). However, after the completion of overall process of gaining knowledge in learning launch I still feel that I would need assistance from someone while planning and forming the learning launch (see blog 5, 21st September 2020). Thus, I still consider this area as a weakness because if I need assistant it means I have not gained effective knowledge on this concept of design thinking.

3.0 Self-reflection on Design Thinking Skills
3.1 Strengths

I have always been confident enough to play an effective team player be in in any activity or assignment. Teamwork also form an integral skill in design thinking process where multiple mind can solve a problem and introduce a solution in most creative manner (Seidel &Fixson, 2013). When I was allotted with some responsibility in co-creation and presentation-learning activities to perform the assigned responsibilities as a group then I successfully accomplished it and developed my knowledge on co-creation (see blog 7, 5th October 2020). This proved that I hold my strength in teamwork where I can accomplish my responsibilities by collaborating effectively with other team members. I think that this is a very useful skill that will enable successful development of new product designs and problem solving.

I have always been aware of the process of reflective writingand this has been responsible for leveraging my understanding in design thinking. The process of reflection was not new to me and therefor it did not looked interesting when it was taught in class (see blog entry 6, 28th September 2020). I was involved in reflecting activities on design process during the class session that helped me gain more knowledge on reflective writing formats and apply this skill in practical academic writing (see blog entry 6, 28th September 2020). Thus, now my strength lies in reflective writing skills with improved acquaintance with structural aspects of reflecting on design processes (Hong & Choi, 2011). Journey mapping are too integral skills in design thinking that allow visualization of ideas and bringing information into stories and images (Prahalad&Ramaswamy, 2004). I have been acquainted with brainstorming and journey mapping processes and my involvement in personal life has made it my strength (see blog entry 1, 25th August 2020). I have discussed about a journey-mapping example called “cooking dinner for friends” that further clarified my understanding on journey mapping skill (see blog entry 1, 25th August 2020). This shows that journey mapping is my strength when it comes to design thinking and this will further help me in future to attain career growth. Likewise, I also took part in verbal interview where I was asked to illustrate various aspects of design thinking process. This was when I showed my strength in brainstorming skill as I illustrated my views and perspective on design thinking.

Research forms an integral part of design thinking process to encourage innovation and effective design outcomes (Leavy, 2010). With my involvement in research activity where I was expected to search academic articles on design thinking I came up with effective outcome using both qualitative and quantitative research activities (see blog entry 2, 29th August 2020). This helped me realize my strength in research process and my ability to conduct much extensive research on design thinking application in future as a part of strategic approach in the corporate world. My research skill has been strengthen further after learning the application of generic value chain tool in business activities through extensive research on design thinking papers.

3.2 Weaknesses
Design thinking process requires the understanding of empathy and patience to analyze the need of the situation while planning new design (Sanders &Stappers, 2008). It needs a deep understanding of the mind of the user by aligning the solution with the actual problem. When indulging in the activities of design thinking I was doubtful about my capabilities of learning the skill of empathy and need analysis of the user. Even after completing my learning process, I feel that there is lot to learn in being empathetic and keeping patience in design thinking processes (see blog entry 3, 7th September 2020). This is because I am still not confident on my ability to be patient or being empathetic when involving in design thinking.

I always considered as a systematic process that requires moving from one step to another with not much complications. However, the process is not that easy and involves deep understanding of the situation before moving to the solution through design thinking process (see blog 1, 25th August 2020). My experience with activities of presentation shows that I tend to jump to the solution before much involvement in brainstorming process. This I consider as a weakness that will affect my future designing thinking activities and career.

4.0 Self-reflection on Design Thinking Mindset
4.1 Strengths

Creative mindset is one most important requirement in design thinking where the design thinker should open to new ideas and learning (Liedtka, 2011). I have successfully completed my blog writing and reflective activities in classroom session that let to use my creativity and class activities to think and write best quality paper (see blog entry 6, 28th September 2020). Blog and reflection activity helped me realize that I has a creative mindset with open-mindedness and this enabled me gain knowledge on various aspects of design thinking. Further, I have successfully completed mind mapping and concept development diagrams as a part of my activity that further helped me identify my creative mind. Thus, my creative mindset is my strength that will help me become a great design thinker in future. Collaboration also forms a strength as a part of my mindset because I am an effective team player and believe in collaborative work. During my 11thweek, I successfully completed the given responsibilities that was to be accomplished by indulging in collaborative work with team members (see blog entry 7, 5th October 2020). This shows my mindset of working in a collaborative manner and achieve effective and innovative outcome.

Curiosity is the most evident mindset in my personality, as I was curious about learning new things in design thinking throughout different activities and class sessions. Curiosity is the most essential mindset in a design thinker that enables innovation. While indulging in rapid prototyping, problem solving and activities on co-creation I always curious about learning new skills and knowledge (see blog entry 4, 13th September 2020). I am always curious about exploring new areas in design thinking. My involvement in consulting with Google Books and Google Scholar prior to learning classes was due to my curiosity of knowing about rapid prototyping (see blog entry 4, 13th September 2020). This mindset will always help me learn new things and gain excellent skills on design thinking.

4.2 Weaknesses
Critical thinking mindset helps in involving in best design thinking process to come up with best possible ideas (Welsh &Dehler, 2013). During my classroom process, I was encouraged in applying critical thinking for improving my analytical expertise. This made me realize that I lacked in this particular mindset that would be an integral part of my design thinking process. I have been able to clarify on some of these aspects, however, I still lack in this mindset because it is not inbuilt in my behavior.

5.0 Conclusion and Action Plan
From the above analysis it can be concluded that even though I have developed my strengthen in various areas of design thinking skills, knowledge and mindset, yet I still lack in some areas of knowledge, skills and mindset that will help me form strong design thinking career. Throughout my learning process, experiments, writing skills and others I have been able to develop my abilities in design thinking. Some of the skills and mindset was in built in me and thus forms a strength in my as a design thinker such as creative process, rapid prototyping and journey mapping. Further, I have also identified my design thinking skills and mindset such as teamwork, reflective writing, journey mapping, research, collaboration and curiosity. However, there are various weaknesses identified that needs to be strengthen in future such as empathy, brainstorming, critical thinking, prototyping and learning launch. This will require action plan with specific and realistic activities that will help in overcoming my business in next 6 months.

Action Plan
The action plan will help design new actions to be taken on different areas of weaknesses that has been identified from self-reflection process. I lack in four most important areas and each will need daily activities for the next six months to help me become an effective design thinker in future. Eachweaknesses will be overcome using both academic and practical activities in both professional and personal spaces. Each weakness will involve indulging in more than one action to help strengthen in those particular areas.

Weakness Identified

Actions to be taken


Struggling to show empathy and need analysis

Indulge in verification habit for everything I listen about from today before forming any opinion or assumption.

Practice emotional detachment while taking any decision regarding professional or personal life.

In next six months

Difficulty in forming prototype of complex design

Form a plan for every idea that I form in near future for solving any personal and professional problems.

Indulge in reading activity of academic materials to gain insight into five stages of prototyping process.

In next six months

Inability to indulge in brainstorming process during idea development

Indulge in effective thinking activity in every situation to develop thinking abilities.

Give more and more ideas in every personal communication with friends and families to develop idea generation ability.

In next six months

Lack of in-built critical thinking ability

Question in every situation to indulge in deep understanding of situation.

Reflect on daily learning activities to evaluate situation from every perspective.

Become a self-critic of my own thoughts and actions.

Indulge in active listening habits that allow analyzing the situation from different perspectives.



Table- Action Plan
Source- Author’s Creation ?

Hong, Y.-C. & Choi, I. (2011). Three dimensions of reflective thinking in solving design problems: a conceptual model. Education Technology Research & Development, Vol. 59. pp 687-710.

Kembaren, P., Simatupang, T. M., Larso, D., &Wiyancoko, D. (2014). Design Driven Innovation Practices in Design-preneur led Creative Industry. Journal of technology management & innovation, 9(3), 91-105.

Leavy, B. (2010). Design thinking - a new mental model of value innovation. Strategy & Leadership, 38(3), 5-14.

Liedtka, J. (2011). Learning to use design thinking tools for successful innovation. Strategy & Leadership, 39(5), 13-19.

Lim, Y. K., Stolterman, E., &Tenenberg, J. (2008). The anatomy of prototypes: Prototypes as filters, prototypes as manifestations of design ideas. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 15(2), 1-27.

Prahalad, C. K., &Ramaswamy, V. (2004). Co?creation experiences: The next practice in value creation. Journal of interactive marketing, 18(3), 5-14.

Sanders, E. B. N., &Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. Co-design, 4(1), 5-18.

Seidel, V. P., &Fixson, S. K. (2013). Adopting design thinking in novice multidisciplinary teams: The application and limits of design methods and reflexive practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30(S1), 19-33.

Swann, C. (2002). Action Research and the Practice of Design. Design Issues, 18(1), 49-61.

Welsh, M. A., &Dehler, G. E. (2013). Combining critical reflection and design thinking to develop integrative learners. Journal of Management Education, 37(6), 771-802.


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