Design involves doing philosophy with the hands.
At its core, phenomenology is concerned with how we make sense of the world, and the objects we use are the means by which the world reveals itself.
The main attraction to design thinking, and one that is often misunderstood, is that the “thinking” part extends far beyond a Cartesian model of the thinking subject. The designer is not one who theorizes about the world and acts based on speculation, as this is not representative of the human condition.
What I like to call the problem-solution paradox states that we cannot think about solutions until we understand the problem, and we cannot understand a problem until we think about solutions.
It is easy for designers to forget the massive implications their decisions make. The current state of experience design, especially in the United States, is becoming worrisome for this reason.
The instinct for many designers is to apply familiar terms of “intuition” and “invisibility” to descriptions of optimal interface designs. These descriptors are turning into catch-all words meant to explain other qualities such as ease of use, smooth interaction, and noninvasiveness. As I have argued elsewhere, these adjectives are inaccurate and potentially harmful.