The “magic trick” behind Design Thinking: Synthesis

The general three-step synthesis process — a list of explicit methods can be found at the end of the article

How to get to results and prototypes that create “Aha” experiences

My personal go-to synthesis methods:

  1. Collect all information / documentation
  2. Filling existing framework:
    a. Search through existing frameworks and adapt these if necessary
    (for inspiration: The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking)
    b. Filling in and prioritizing information in the chosen framework
    c. Establishing (new) connections
  1. Externalizing all available information (PostIts, sketching, ...)
  2. Building own framework:
    a. Prioritizing and thus limiting the information
    (screening, grouping, evaluating, clustering, ...)
    b. Connecting the remaining information
    c. Redrawing and creating a new structure
  3. Finalizing and discussing the build framework with the team/users
  1. Collecting all information (PostIts are the go-to medium for flexibility)
  2. Structuring/clustering the information
  3. As a team discover/derive clusters and manipulate them iteratively
  1. Documentation
    a. Describe existing structures
    b. Standardize complexity
  2. Reshaping/rebuilding/repurposing
  3. Test or discuss new view with users and incorporate feedback
  1. Summarizing each individual source into one sketch
  2. Clustering sketches according to themes (places, things, sequences, ...)
  3. Discussing and redesigning the new pictures with the team
  1. Choosing a viewpoint
  2. Storytelling
    a. Collecting all related information
    b. Linking information to user journey
    c. Creating story
  3. Discussing story to derive new insights

Blogs, articles, books, resources, and courses that inspired this article and my Design Thinking learning experience:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store