Design Thinking


Design Thinking

Design Thinking adds the human element to problem-solving that sees a problem from the eyes of your end-user—the consumer, the employee, the partner. It is a way of thinking that embraces empathy, inspires creativity, and encourages experimentation to create solutions that meet the needs of the audience for whom you are designing.  Workshops in this area will provide an understanding of how to tap into creativity and think innovatively to resolve everyday problems. Workshops will be designed in consultation with the client and customized to a variety of contexts.


These following 3 workshops are anchored in the design thinking principles, and are closely intertwined with elements of the Imagination, Creativity and Innovation.


Defining the Problem


Albert Einstein coined the phrase - No problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it.  In this workshop we will go through the process of a careful examination of alternatives when defining a problem and how to get to the “real problem”. We will examine how we go beyond our standard approach to problems in higher education and entertain new possibilities. 


The process of Design Thinking combined with Creative Problem-Solving methodologies will include:

  1. brainstorming,

  2. diverging into all possible areas problem relative,

  3. converging ideas for purposeful decision making,

  4. creating an action plan with active strategies.



The evaluation matrix to filter possibilities and bring seemingly wild ideas to concrete solutions will be a tool of use.  All this will be done to the backdrop of human beings at the center of the process therefore maintaining the human element while we innovate and move forward.  Come play with an empathy map to assist you in understanding your audience as you move forward to define the problem.


Prototyping- Graphical Representations

In the prototyping we will be taking a solution and creating many representations in many potential ways. That could be a storyboard - a series of scenes that walk an audience through the solution step-by-step, or a physical mock-up of a course or a program to address a specific need.  Storyboards are a relatively simple but powerful tool for moving an idea into a prototype.  Using the storyboard approach to curriculum design, modification of office space, or building relationships are all possibilities that can be explored. The true value of storyboards is that they move your idea beyond the Post-It notes on the wall by:

  1. creating a shared understanding of a project or task,

  2. exposing story flaws and things that just don't make sense and are inconsequential, and

  3. inviting diverse teams to explore key aspects of the prototype and make alternative suggestions.

Testing Possible Solutions


Testing the solutions extend brainstorming and prototyping efforts into a live environment. This process allows for looking at the problem, the prototyping with fresh eyes and taking that lens to solutions.  In this session we will cover how to bring your ideas to fruition through the process of concept testing. Topics such as Interviewing and Concept testing will be explored.


In the very early stages of the design process, you will want to test your initial concepts before actually designing them. Low-fidelity prototypes—a simple sketch, or even static images—can be used to communicate your ideas. Adding one more item to your teaching and learning toolkit may prove to be very important in expanding your repertoire of skills.


Apply Design Thinking to real-world problems and opportunities