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Article: Introduction To Design Thinking Vs. Design Feeling

Introduction To Design Thinking Vs. Design Feeling

Created by Danilo Gusmao Silveira

Have you ever wondered what makes one design look more technical and other more appealing for the viewer? One thing is for sure, the touch of feeling or emotion can change one work into something more meaningful. But does it mean one should always consider emotion when designing something? No, there are times that thinking is the first thing you need. 

You will need to work to find or solve a specific problem. In many cases, the problem relates to how to make a product or design. It is where people come up with the idea of Design thinking. But, the new trend also mentions the importance of design feeling. So, what are they? What to do? Read further for more information. 


What is Design Thinking? 

The first one is the thinking method. The idea of design thinking is very famous and well-known in this business realm. In other words, you can find that it has been part of the work from a long time ago and you can also use it nowadays. But, what is it? Just as the name says, the method focuses on thinking on providing a solution which is the opposite of design feeling.

The approach in creating a solution will be based on a problem-solving method, which is very technical. Called technical since you will do a certain sequence of research, innovating, prototyping, and testing it in real life. You will find that the thinking process for the project can take around five stages. 

In many cases, you can also call it one way to seek answers and solutions to understand users, face the assumption, and redefine the problem. It is mainly to identify alternative solutions and the strategy that comes in the same initial level of understanding. The method tends to focus on solving problems and collecting hands-on methods to solve. 

While the thinking method can cover many objects and works, design thinking is unique in several ways. One of them is how the method forces creators to engage in the creative process by incorporating logic, systemic reasoning, and strategy. But all of them will need to be effective in the world of art. 

Created by Nithyakalyani M


What makes it more interesting to see and important to use is the logical process. Creators that focus on thinking rather than feeling will put ahead some design points. Those points help them to empathize, define the problem, create ideas for the solution, create the work, and do testing to see the solution. That is way different from the design feeling. 

1. Empathies 

Compared to the design feeling, the idea of design thinking has been there for so long. It also has a pretty diverse interpretation. However, most of them go with the same aspect to tell the thinking stages in creating a project. The first one is empathies, in which the creator tries to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. 

In this stage, thinking about the solution can be done by consulting with experts. In some cases, there are also observations, engagement, and emphasis with people or the audience. So, the creator can get more motivation experience and immerse themselves in the physical environment of the problem. In other words, you are trying to understand by emphasizing the problem.


2. Define 

Sometimes, the problem that you need to solve is more than just what you need to do. The information given can hide the real problem, which you need to discover and define in this stage. With logic, strategy, and systemic reasoning, the design thinking process will push you to find the real problem and find the resolution. 

One of the best examples is not about needing to make a design that helps increase 5% sales with new smartphone accessories. But your thinking logic should find the grounding issues and define problems that can affect that goal. So, maybe the best definition of the problem is that you need to reach the hands-free accessories market to make the sell. 

During the defined stage, your progress can go further and more detailed. Rather than just focus on accessories in general, you can focus on TWS as an example. From that thinking process and defining stage, you can gather more ideas in the form of function, feature, or any other design thinking element. Starting from that, you can continue to ideate many solutions. 

Created by Terran Washington


3. Ideate 

Is a TWS product enough? No, at some point, you need to find reasoning to ideate the solution. In the ideate stage of the design thinking process, the designer is ready to start generating ideas for more solutions. In this case, the designer has learned how to empathize with the user or the target. So, they got the grounding ideas on how to solve the problem. 

One thing that the thinking process pays attention to is the idea of the box invention, by creating something new and looking for new alternatives by seeing the problem in different ways. In this case, design thinking can use several methods to stimulate free thinking. Some of them are brainstorming, worst possible ideas session, brainwriting, etc. 

Created by CharacterPérez


4. Prototyping 

In the thinking process, the prototyping stage will help realize the ideas. In this case, the creator will produce several inexpensive works to share and check the design thinking solution. The idea of experimental phases during this thinking process makes the product and ideate more rational. In which the company or creator can evaluate the solution for more edit or pass.  

Created by Marius Kindler


5. Testing 

When the evaluator and the designer decide that the product is the best solution one can make, the thinking stage comes to the last part. In this part, testing is the way to identify the prototyping phase and correction. Most of the time, the 5-stage model emphasizes the last decision in the testing phase. It will take more people to finally say whether the work is okay or not. 

In this design thinking phase, there is a lot of testing generated. The creator or company will ask some users for feedback as well as their ideas about the product. In other words, the testing is mostly meant to redefine more problems as well as inform the users' comprehension. So, there are many thinking processes and alterations during this phase. 

Created by Andrea Tortone


The Downside Of Design Thinking

Yes, the thinking process and the idea are pretty helpful in product design or so. However, along with the positive function and its logical work, most of the thinking work is very stagnant in a way it looks negative. In many cases, the idea of using this method only focuses on creating solutions without taking the emotional or feeling part of the work. 

Thus, many works fall into the pit of too-rational and affectionate a process. The best example is Google. There are times that their product is heavily focused on thinking, which makes it look like a robot and lacks feeling. This kind of impression can also appear in the most generic form of design product, which only focuses on providing an effective experience. 

And the worst-case scenario of the thinking method is the templatized world of innovation. There are many or less similar-looking solutions, which make one design lose its value. This is why design thinking is considered as the basic and should be followed with emotion or feeling in its creation. In which the design feeling comes as the next solution. 

Created by holasoyka


What is Design feeling? 

As said in the previous point, design thinking is not the only way to make the best product. On a new trend, you will need to consider the use of design feeling. The idea comes from the fact that the templatized work has started to take over and make many works more or less look the same. So, if you want something more personal with feelings in it, use this idea. 

Unlike the thinking method, the design feeling pays attention to the use of intuition and emotion. The last one is more logical and practical, in a way that the process and thinking idea come like a template. At the same time, the focus is shifted from simply making a solution, and you are now trying to also satisfy the user. 

In other words, you are trying to capture the human emotion or feeling of your project. It is hard to do since the audience and the creator will give a huge factor in the process. The point of different design feelings, interpretation, and emotion make the work appear more human. Even more, it will look different from others. 

Created by Camilo Garzón Rengifo

So, how do you make it? In the case of design feeling, the emphasis goes to the use of creative processes and a more personal approach. You will need to consider some aspects such as passion, desire, imagination, or spontaneity during the designing process. Isn't it easier to make compared to the complicated research and brainstorming? 

No, it is not easy. One way or another, the use of feeling in the designing process tends to have a counterintuitive effect. It is an effect where you have to weigh the fact that the user is a human being and the goal of making a streamlined user experience or design. At some point, you might have to think more about the feeling rather than the goal. 

It makes the design feel hard to digest since most of the work will focus on creating a solution. But at the same time, you have to pay attention to the user's emotion toward your work. While it does look like a gambling success, a perfect implementation of feeling and emotion will make your work more valuable. 

How so? Using feeling in your work provides a sense of belonging or attractivity. Even though you can also do the same with design thinking, this method goes far beyond touching people's feelings. The point of design feeling is to attract the viewer by adding emotion to your work. It can be fun, enchanting, engaging, or anything. So, your work will not feel like a robot. 

Created by Maryanne Nguyen


The Main Goal of design feeling

The idea of design feeling is also known as emotional design. The concept pays attention to emotion. It is way different from the thinking method. That is why the feeling work has more adaptive and flexible in it. But, there is one catch that makes it unique on its own, the main goal. 

In this method, you want to make a design that evokes emotion. To do that, the best way is to emphasize three human cognitive levels. In one sequence, the viewer will do three different cognitive processes: visceral, behavioral, and reflective. When one can capture all of the three aspects, their feeling through design will appear as a positive association. 

The best pinpoint is that the method is not only focused on the final goal in mind (creating a solution). But, it also focuses on designing something that brings experience and makes users feel engaged with the product. In other words, focus on the experience. The Main goal can also go around the idea to make a design feel that anticipate and accommodate users.

The best way to consider is to make people get the best first impression (visceral), help users evaluate and make them feel satisfied (behavioral), and encounter your design (reflective). The reflective point can also appear in the form of keeping using your product, feeling emotionally bound, and many more. That is the main goal of design feeling.  

Created by Mr. Feelings


The Downside of Design Feeling

One of the biggest downsides is the difficulties in justifying how to reach the final goal with emotional aspects in the process. Adding feeling can make one or another element go in the opposite direction from your main goal. In many cases, when one wants to add feeling, the number of workers will increase.

It happens a lot in the realm of UX or user experience. Since creators want to emphasize feeling and make an emotional feature, there is more to do. An example is to add fun animation to the uploading progress section. It will help release users' stress and make some attractive bait. But, from a designer's point of view, it means more work. 

Created by Filip Justic


What Is The Best?

The answer is none of them can stand by themselves. Design is pretty much a complicated object to cover fully. So, there is a time in which the creator needs to shift from one design method to another. It includes moving from thinking to feeling or vice versa. In other words, both model and mindset come with their own set of potential and quirks that support each other. 

You as a designer should consider the two options to make a completely logical work that helps solve any problem, which you can complete by using design thinking carefully. However, the work will look more complete with a touch of emotion and intuition. That is when the design feeling comes into play. 

There are many examples of how the two-mindset comes together as a good product. One of them is web UI or UX. Several designs come with the idea of industrial-looking products. Most of it only figures out how to completely nail the thinking process in the making. But there are also those too focused on the feeling that it lacks in the solution. 

UX design is one of the most common implementations of design thinking. The website model only focuses on giving features and fulfilling all the needs. But, with a little bit of feeling and emotion on the layout or project, the thinking result can appear more humanly. You can do it by using an appealing picture, phrase, or even an emotional section. 

You can also refer to one of the events at the Front End of Innovation conference 2019. One of the candidates that work for Google, Ivy Ross, makes groundbreaking ideas for new products. It captures three aspects, human, optimistic, and daring. She decides to add the supposed design thinking product with a bit of emotion and human feeling in it. 

The result is amazing. The addition of design feeling makes the Google home mini voice assistants react to what people see, hear, or sense. It is a good example of how human emotion can make a good addition to the thinking solution. The innovation eventually makes a great headline in one media that says the nerds have finally figured it out.

What does it mean? Surprisingly, before the innovation idea, Google was a laughing stock due to its lacking emotion. Their works are simply robotic, which is pretty explanatory for a design thinking company. However, the new design feeling makes a great impression with its beauty, simplicity, elegance, flexibility, and ability to provide solutions.  


Final Words

To conclude the article, you can say that both design thinking and design feeling are two terms that are very well known. However, not many can complement both ideas. But once you can make it, the idea of giving solutions and appealing to people is not far-fetched. It just needs more research and consideration when doing some arts.  

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