The five stages of Design Thinking, according to, are as follows: Empathise, Define (the problem), Ideate, Prototype, and Test.

During my workshops I often use clips from movies or TV series to explain the different concepts related to the steps of the Design Thinking process. I want to share them with you all

If you are acquainted with Design Thinking, I hope you can relate to the clips I propose. If you are a Design Thinking neophyte, I hope these clips can help you get a better grasp of the process.

Let’s take a closer look at the fist stage of Design Thinking “Empathise”: in this phase we try to get to know the user of a product and service much better than we already do. It’s like getting into his mind to understand what motivates him, what he likes, what disturbs him instead. Every effort is about getting into his shoes and understand what he feels and what drives his behavior.

For me, the TV series that best embodies the spirit of this phase is undoubtedly “Criminal Minds”.

The work of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit aims to build the “profile” of the serial killer on duty, trying to identify, not only the physical and demographic aspects, but also -and above all- the more psychological and emotional aspects (why do they do so?). Isn’t that very similar to the “Persona” that is created in the Empathise phase?

The tools they use are the careful observation of what is there but also of what is missing, the analysis of patterns and regularities and the collection of clues and information coming from very different sources. Exactly the same thing happens in Design Thinking. Data and information from different sources are put together to draw a complete and meaningful overview of the needs and behavior of the User!

What do you think?

And here is a clip from the Season 6, Episode 14: The profile!

The trademark “Criminal Minds”, and the images are the exclusive property of CBS

Do you want to know more?

This post belongs to the series: “what if it’s a movie? Design Thinking explained with TV series and movies”

Design Thinking – Stage 2 – Define

Design Thinking – Stage 3 – Ideate

Design Thinking – Stage 4 – Prototype

Design Thinking – Stage 5 – Test