coLearning: Design Thinking

  • Design Thinking coLearners only, please
  • More info!

COURSE GOALS:

UNDERSTANDING THE DESIGN THINKING PROCESS

We'll go through an overview of the design thinking process and it's major phases or steps: frame the problem, understand, observe, synthesize, prototype, measure, and communicate.

ACCESS YOUR CREATIVE DNA
There's a stigma around needing to be a designer in order to use design thinking. We're here to tell you this is not the case. Many people at different ranks use the process of design thinking to learn how to think differently, to gain a new perspective, to approach problems in different ways, and to see the world a little differently. It's truly a new mindset that is already present within you; you just might need a little help bringing it out.

ENSURE THE "RIGHT" PROBLEM IS BEING SOLVED
Problems are much easier to solve if you know exactly what they are, and they're much more impactful if you know you have the right one. Within a topic area, we will frame the right problem to solve by questioning our assumptions and ensuring the problem is focused on the user.

KNOW THE USER, KNOW THE CONTEXT
Once we have our general problem defined, we must seek to know the context and the users involved. What is the user doing? Where? How? Why? This includes primary methods, such as interviewing, observation, participatory design, and secondary methods, or collecting information from published work.

DRAWING INSIGHTS FROM THE DATA
Once you've collected data about the user and the context, how do you make sense of it? In synthesis, we will draw connections between ideas and observations to identify patterns. These patterns will lead to insights that will help us identify opportunity areas and potential solutions.

PROTOTYPE, MEASURE, ITERATE
Now that we have a general idea of what solutions we might create, the prototyping phase is where we make those ideas tangible. We will build prototypes not only to help us express our ideas but to learn from them. After some iteration, we will put our prototypes to the test to see if they meet the user needs.

STORYTELLING
This is your ability to communicate stories, ideas, concepts and learnings. Stories are sticky, facts and data can be forgotten, so when you need your work to reach to your stakeholders and possible customer, you need to make them part of your experience by showing your work in an impactful way.

BUILDING YOUR DESIGN THINKING TOOLKIT
Throughout the course, you’ll be implementing a number of exercises to gain insights and test theories. As you’re working through your project, you’ll be simultaneously building your design thinking toolkit by documenting the exercises and creating your own tests that are transferrable and applicable to present and future projects.