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”.

Next, let’s discuss methods. Here is a list of methods that could be used for user research:

  • User persona: It’s a fictional character created based on deep user research to represent a typical user of the product. It’s extremely helpful in keeping the team clear about who they are building for! (refer to this article)
  • Customer journey mapping: Idea is to plot all the interaction points and events a typical user goes through in the process of achieving his goal. It consists of a timeline of the events, and emotions that a user goes through at each step. (refer to this article)
  • Empathy Map: It has…
Ajitesh Abhishek

Product Manager at Google | Runner | Loves writing | Personal Blog-https://xupler.com/ | Speak with me: https://topmate.io/ajitesh_abhishek

Recommended from Medium