James Ferguson

Design Thinking


Stage 1 involves understanding the strategic approach required to solve complex business problems whilst always considering user needs, motivations and goals. It’s about long term planning, evaluating and adopting to change. Gathering insight from data is invaluable in making the right decisions.


Stage 2 is more about the day-to-day understanding and executing of projects. This process, Design Thinking, is the collaborative systematic approach I use to handle problems and generate new opportunities. There are 5 stages – Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test. Every stage needs input from multiple roles, so collaboration is not only key, it’s essential. Each person involved has a unique perspective with varying levels of insight, interest and investment in the project. Spending time on each stage ensures that solutions are user-centric and always focused on the right problems. The process is a flexible framework, which means I don’t always begin at the Empathise stage and work through to Test. Often, I already have a good idea of the defined problem or opportunity so I can start anywhere and work towards Test. It also means I can “loop back” into a stage once I’ve learned something new through testing.