Design Thinking: 5 Principles for Engaging User Experiences

STAUFFER made its way to the Inc. 5000 list because of its reputation as a creative agency that leverages strategy and engineering to provide simple solutions to complex problems. To do so, our team of UX strategists, engineers, and creatives deploy a 5-step process to ensure the consistent delivery of brilliant products for our clients. While not a catch-all solution for every problem, this process is extremely helpful in providing clients with insights and understanding of the creative process. 

Design thinking is a problem-solving approach created by scholars and researchers at Stanford University that addresses complex problems by prioritizing the needs and desires of the user. 

The five design thinking principles employed by STAUFFER all look to empathize with users, define the problem statement, ideate creative solutions, and prototype and test iteratively in pursuit of perfection. Let’s dive in.

Empathizing with Users

STAUFFER believes in understanding the target audience through research and observation. Using empathy maps and personas, STAUFFER gains valuable insight into users’ needs, desires, and pain points. This approach helps to develop a user-centered design that considers the customer journey and provides an engaging user experience.

Empathy maps are the first step in brainstorming how a user intends to engage with one of Stauffer’s products.

When building a practical empathy map, we help our clients define the scope and goals of the initiative and then gather suitable materials and qualitative research. We then compile our findings and cluster them into user insights. Understanding your target market and those tangential to your “perfect dream client” will give you more insight into how to improve your product for broader appeal. 

Defining the Problem Statement

STAUFFER emphasizes clearly defining the problem or challenge that needs attention. Conducting brainstorming sessions with cross-functional teams to identify critical issues is crucial to this process. By identifying pain points, STAUFFER can develop solutions addressing users’ needs.

STAUFFER engages every product in a silo-free office structure, meaning that every department is welcome to get hands-on and dive into the intricacies of the unique challenges everyone is dealing with. This roundtable approach brings about a greater understanding of the project for the whole team and allows for unique answers to be found where they would be left otherwise unheard.

Ideating Creative Solutions

STAUFFER always works towards fostering a diverse range of ideas without judgment or criticism. Using techniques such as mind mapping and storyboarding to generate innovative concepts, STAUFFER collaborates with an all-hands-on-deck approach to identify potential solutions between all our departments and the client. This approach fosters creativity and results in ideation techniques that are innovative and effective.

Figma has fantastic storyboarding and mind mapping templates free to use on their site.

These days, there are about as many different ideation platforms as there are ideas to put on them. At STAUFFER, we use Figma; although not a paid endorsement, we find it easy to work with for our clients and packed with enough features that our engineers love.

Prototyping Iteratively

STAUFFER’s prototyping approach emphasizes the quick development of low-fidelity prototypes to test feasibility and gather feedback early on. Incorporating iterative feedback loops from users throughout the prototyping process, STAUFFER emphasizes fast iteration cycles for continuous improvement. Rapid prototyping benefits and usability testing are critical aspects of this process.

Prototyping and the meticulous process known as QA testing go hand-in-hand when it comes to optimizing UX and squashing bugs; to learn more about how we can do this tedious process at scale for the biggest of clients, read our article, The Indispensable Role of a Robust QA Team

Testing and Iterating Continuously

STAUFFER conducts usability tests with real users utilizing high-fidelity prototypes, making necessary iterations based on user feedback by analyzing data gathered during the testing phase. This approach emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement and A/B testing.

We recently went further in-depth on iterative, or A/B testing. To learn more, check out our article: UX & WEB DESIGN: THE A/B TESTING IMPERATIVE

Design Thinking Can Help All Organizations!

These five design thinking principles (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and iterate) are critical for creating engaging user experiences. STAUFFER’s adoption of this design thinking approach prioritizes the needs and desires of the user in the design process and has led to a unique learning experience for both our team and our clients. By employing these principles, STAUFFER and our clients can better collaborate to bridge ideas that innovate, improve, and outperform the prototypes developed outside this system. 

STAUFFER encourages the adoption of design thinking principles for all organizations’ internal ideation processes and is always looking for new ways to implement them for our clients. If you want to bring design thinking to your next project, we would love to help.

Did You Know...

Stauffer can help you navigate security considerations on your digital systems.

Contact Stauffer

We look forward to hearing from you!

    How Would You Prefer We Get Back To You?

    EmailPhone Call

    May We Add You to our Mailing List?

    Yes, please send me your emails (once per month)

    protected by reCAPTCHA PrivacyTerms


    Contact Us

    [email protected]

    Los Angeles

    11150 W Olympic Blvd, Suite 1170
    Los Angeles, CA 90064

    Get Directions | 424.239.6025


    10363 104 St NW
    Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

    Get Directions