Critical thinking vs Design thinking: Throwdown

I’m not sold on either of these definitions/process outlines (particularly for the design thinking), but hey, it’s a place to start.

It may come to pass the the ADDIE model is actually a better outline for design thinking.

Critical thinking

  • raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
  • gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively;
  • comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
  • thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences;
  • communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
  • Design thinking


  • Decide what issue you are trying to resolve.
  • Agree on who the audience is.
  • Prioritize this project in terms of urgency.
  • Determine what will make this project successful.
  • Establish a glossary of terms.
  • Research

  • Review the history of the issue; remember any existing obstacles.
  • Collect examples of other attempts to solve the same issue.
  • Note the project supporters, investors, and critics.
  • Talk to your end-users, that brings you the most fruitful ideas for later design.
  • Take into account thought leaders opinion.
  • Ideate

  • Identify the needs and motivations of your end-users.
  • Generate as many ideas as possible to serve these identified needs.
  • Log your brainstorming session.
  • Do not judge or debate ideas.
  • During brainstorming, have one conversation at a time.
  • Prototype

  • Combine, expand, and refine ideas.
  • Create multiple drafts.
  • Seek feedback from a diverse group of people, include your end users.
  • Present a selection of ideas to the client.
  • Reserve judgment and maintain neutrality.
  • Choose

  • Review the objective.
  • Set aside emotion and ownership of ideas.
  • Remember: the most practical solution isn’t always the best.
  • Select the powerful ideas.
  • Implement

  • Assign tasks.
  • Execute.
  • Deliver to client.
  • Learn

  • Gather feedback from the consumer.
  • Determine if the solution met its goals.
  • Discuss what could be improved.
  • Measure success; collect data.
  • Document.
  • Advertisements

    3 Responses

    1. The “Design Process” sounds like it was written by a marketing executive or CEO. It’s something like 1.7% design and 98.3% ancillary stuff.

      Design usually is a super-simple process, as far as I can tell.
      1. Find problem.
      2. Think of a solution.
      3. Tell somebody about it.
      4-a. Try it because it seems like it’d work.
      — or —
      4-b. Bag it because it’ll never work.
      5. See if somebody wants to pay money for it. If not, jump back to #2 and start over again.

    2. I agree, Carl. I want to pare it down and think it through more, but in the end, the plain old instructional design model seems like it works across design fields:
      1) Analyze
      2) Design
      3) Develop
      4) Implement
      5) Evaluate

    3. Can u show in a flow chart different between critical thinking and design thinking

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: