5 Design Thinking Concepts for Product Managers

Ajitesh Abhishek
7 min readAug 9, 2022

I landed upon Design Thinking frameworks a bit late in my career when I was at Kellogg School of Management and attending “Design for Delight” session by Intuit PMs. I found it extremely powerful for product managers.

From then on at Kellogg, I attended multiple courses and workshops to get a grasp of design thinking concepts. I’m writing this blog to serve as a handy toolkit for Product Managers who are looking to employ Design Thinking frameworks in building product.

Here are 5 design thinking toolkits that I believe would be useful for product managers:

1. Empathize (User Research)

As a Product Manager in a team of engineers and designers, I believe the understanding of users is one of the core parts of what we bring to the table. There isn’t a dearth of concepts and recipes to conduct user research.

Let me highlight some design thinking approaches and frameworks that I found useful.

First, starting with the approach. Research should be done without judgment, with a beginner’s eye and with curiosity and respect. This is easier said than done. I remember when I started as PM, I used to take customers feedback with a grain of judgment — “why can they get such simple UI”.