The Design Thinking Mindset

In Design (Track) by Estela Rueda

Design Thinking is a human-centered approach to problem solving that brings together the needs of people, technology, and business to solve complex problems with innovative solutions. This methodology isn’t limited to designers. Rather, it empowers anyone to use creative tools to solve challenges. It relies on our ability to be empathetic and intuitive and construct solutions that are both meaningful and functional. This workshop will provide a crash course on the design thinking mindset, from the fundamentals of human-centered design to the design thinking mindset in practice.

The facilitators will guide participants through the entire design thinking process through a “learning by doing” exercise around the following steps:

  • Empathize: Participants will be grouped and given a common prompt and begin working to empathize with the end user through various techniques such as interviewing, empathy mapping, and creating personas
  • Define: Participants will move from empathy work to drawing conclusions based on what they heard and saw. They will develop an understanding of the user and his/her subsequent needs and create a challenge statement based around the phrase “how might we…?” The challenge statement will focus the rest of the workshop.
  • Ideate: In the Ideate phase, participants will focus on generating solutions to address that challenge. Mentally it represents a process of “going wide” in terms of concepts and outcomes.
  • Prototype: From ideation, participants will vote on and carry forward two or three ideas that received the most votes to prototype. Depending on the amount of time allotted for this workshop, participants may actually build prototypes, or simply sketch them out
  • Test: The Test provides the opportunity to participants to solicit user feedback and have another opportunity to gain empathy for the people you are designing for. Participants will get the chance to revise their prototype according to this feedback. Time permitting, participants will “pitch” their final ideas to the rest of the group

Throughout the process, the facilitators will provide real-life examples of how they’ve incorporated Design Thinking into their daily work, and lessons learned. The facilitators will also provide resources for participants to learn more about design thinking opportunities.

Claire Brawdy & Mary Little