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The Design Thinking Process consists of Empathy, Define, Design, Prototype, and Test. While the last two phases are straight-forward, i.e Test might include usability testing, A/B Testing, etc. and Prototype might include interactions, micro-animations, states, etc. I need more clarity on the initial phases.

For the Design Phase, we might have wireframing, IA, etc. But will the user personas and flows be part of design or define? Especially what will come under Empathy is something that I am stuck at.

In short, mapping the UX Research and UX Design (and UX Testing) with the Design Thinking stages.

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Here's the thing: From my experience, if you get too attached to a fixed process and number of steps, you might start to feel frustrated because one of the steps might not fit what you're trying to achieve next and this might even hinder your creativity.

It's good to have a process but also a lot of flexibility as to what should you do next to get something done.

I will share my process with you. This is more of a "UX toolbox" that I use to get things done. I choose the right tool depending on context instead of strictly following a process step-by-step. I hope this helps: enter image description here

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For empathy, I usually create customer journey maps where I add a "Frustration" or "Happiness" dimension.

That helps define and pinpoint specific parts of the process where the user might feel dread, anxious or trapped

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