Here’s what we’ll cover:
While design thinking is a methodology, it can be difficult to perfect without a robust set of design thinking tools.
Design thinking prototyping tools have evolved to cater to every step of design thinking, allowing designers to build and iterate ideas much more efficiently than ever before. Many of these tools are taught in both design schools and online bootcamps, and vary in complexity from simple online design thinking tools to more advanced design thinking ideation tools and design thinking empathy tools.
Below is a list of the most popular tools and how they are used by UI/UX designers in each of the five stages of design thinking.
Need to know more about the essentials of UI/UX design? Visit our comprehensive guide on how to become a UI/UX designer here.
Since the empathy stage is focused on absorbing the experience of others, the tools required to capture this knowledge allow designers to reach across the world for answers.
Platforms that have helped designers successfully empathize have succeeded in lowering the barriers of accessibility to those that they need to connect with. Ranging from video chat platforms to survey tooling, the design thinking tools used in the empathy stage allow designers to capture perspective.
Designers looking to define human-centric problems require more than just a simplified problem statement when following design thinking methodology. They require tools to generate data-rich pictures of not only the problem itself but also where the problem actually began and who it is impacting. Platforms that allow for customer journey mapping and persona design are all great options for designers looking to paint a vivid picture of what their human-centric problem might be.
The ideation phase of design thinking is rarely an individual task. Rather, designers look to collaborate with others and consistently tweak, discuss, and iterate on their ideas. Platforms that allow designers to not only share ideas but also communicate their thoughts are crucial for design thinkers.
When architects design buildings, they create blueprints that specify shape, load management, and other important details about that building’s structure. The same goes for design thinkers in their prototyping stages. Wireframing and sketch tools have become essential for designers who need to show their ideas will come to life. A website or app experience, for example, is rarely built before being mocked up in a wireframing tool by a designer.
Arguably, testing tools have provided the most valuable platforms for design thinkers. Without testing tools, designers have little ways to validate their ideas and measure their performance on iterations. Tools that enable data-driven conclusions are priceless to design thinkers; without them, designers cannot possibly iterate, prototype, or test in confidence.
Check out Springboard's UI/UX Design Career Track to see if you qualify.
Not sure if UI/UX design is the right career for you?
Springboard now offers an Introduction to Design course. Learn what designers do on the job by working through a project with 1-on-1 mentorship from an industry expert. Topics covered include design tools, research, sketching, designing in high fidelity, and wireframing.
Check out Springboard’s Introduction to Design Course—enrollments are open to all!
Download our guide to UX design fundamentals
This 50-page guide will take you through the foundations of user experience, including information architecture, user experience, and user interface.
Ready to learn more?
Browse our Career Tracks and find the perfect fit