Here are the three most common blindspots teachers might encounter while working on the design challenge.
A common difficulty we face when using the design thinking methodology is that, as humans, we tend to make a lot of assumptions, which takes us off course. For example, when we hear about a problem, we automatically think that it is due to this or that. And then, without knowing it, we go down a path that takes us away from the design thinking process and what it can offer. At this point, we're only doing what we want to do without having the real needs in mind! It is therefore essential to take a naive approach to problem-solving. Not assuming what the problem is, why it is a problem and for whom is the most valuable lesson we can learn if we are on the right track to discovering unexpected problems, needs and solutions!
#2 Choosing a direction
Your design thinking project is a journey, which means that you will face situations where you have to decide what to do next. For example, after investigating a design challenge through interviews and observations, you will need to reframe your design challenge by making it more focused and clearer based on what you have discovered in the field. Next, you will need to brainstorm many ideas and select a few to take the project forward. In this case, to choose, you can either stick to factual criteria like which is the most feasible given the resources we have? or you can vote. All these choices have helped you to choose a design direction. But be aware that, even if it feels like it, you are never really stuck because the design thinking process is meant to be flexible, and you can always go ahead and quickly prototype your idea and ask for feedback or go back to a previous phase to clarify your ideas better. Even if you go back, you are still somehow moving your design project forward.
The design thinking methodology is a creative process that will help us generate many ideas. And most of these ideas are not necessarily the best ones to address our design challenge. To be sure whether ideas work or not, it is crucial to stay in beta mode and constantly test them or at least show them to the people involved in the topic so that they can react. This is the role of the prototype: to show a conceptual idea in a tangible form so that people can react to a concrete idea instead of a version that they imagine themselves. It will allow you to collect feedback so that you can decide whether you want to explore this further or change your idea. That's what prototyping is all about, testing an idea and confronting it with reality.
With this in mind, be aware that if your first prototype is not aesthetically pleasing, that's absolutely fine and normal! Just make sure you can get valuable feedback to help you make your next decisions. After all, a robust prototype requires many iterations and time.