DH Pedagogy

A sub-discipline of Digital Pedagogy;

Teaching and Learning Module under the direction of Dr Mike Cosgrave at University College Cork for 2018/19

Design Thinking MOOC


Self-direct learning and self-regulated learning framework


Click on this to assess if Design Thinking is for you

Is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for you?  Success in a MOOC (link)

Digital Literacy Skills: Free courses to learn and familiar with digital literacy skills to assist with learning, and protecting yourself online.



Create a free blog page on WordPress (see resources)

Create a Twitter account

Create a Video Blog (optional)

Take the online questionnaire to assess your learning needs


32- and 64-bit (unless noted): Microsoft® Windows® XP (32-bit), Windows Vista® (32-bit), Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows 10. Latest versions of one of the following; Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera. Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word, Flash Player v.32.


12 Weeks, the course is a self-paced, equivalent to 8-12hrs study per week. Must be completed within four months of enrolment.


 Blog page, and a final exam (quiz result; 80% minimum) or a Research Project of your choice (5,000 words), is required for certification.


Interactive ‘World map’ of students, Website blog, Discussion forums, Whatsapp, Facebook group page, Twitter, Video blog.



This ungraded quiz is a great way to get familiar with completing graded activities. You may answer these and any online graded questionnaires via a ‘Video Blog’ if you prefer. These questions will check your understanding of the course syllabus, expectancies, grading structure, and overall course mechanics. On completion of the questionnaires, the correct answers are available with explanations..


I will create an interactive World map so that students can interact with people on this course with people from all over the world; students can set up communities through the discussion pages.  https://www.revolvermaps.com.



Please tell us who you are, where you're from, and what you feel is your experience level with design thinking. You may also wish to share other information such as what industry you work in if you plan to do with Design Thinking principles, or what you are most interested in learning. Get to know your fellow students through their experiences.



Discuss the methods you usually use to solve problems or create new solutions in your workplace, education institution or home. What personally works or does not work, and why?









Students will be required to sign up for a WordPress blog (see resources). You will engage in discussions and create blog posts from your conversations. As a group, you should establish a social media presence like a Facebook group page and converse with other design thinkers on Twitter.

Design Thinking can empower people to utilise these techniques to solve complex problems that may seem impossible. It can be adapted for collaborative use or as an individual process.


Welcome to Week 1, Introduction to Design Thinking. In this week's module, we are going to talk about design thinking at a high level so you can gain a basic understanding of the terminology, stages, and benefits of design thinking.

After this week's learning you will be able to:

  • Define key terms in design thinking (The 5-stage process)
  • The Who, Why and What of Design Thinking
  • Describe the value of design thinking as a way to solve problems
  • Identify how the 3-circle diagram is used in the design thinking process
  • Identify critical traits associated with the design thinking methodology
  • Identify the type of thinking that is done in design thinking
  • Identify characteristics for a well-designed solution



Fig.1 The Non-Linear Process of Design Thinking (Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.school) https://dschool.stanford.edu/


Design thinking is a user-centred, creative, and collaborative problem-solving methodology. Design thinking also describes a set of attitudes and a way of thinking about one's participation in the problem-solving process. This course will help you learn and practice both aspects.


While individuals can perform design thinking, it is best done in cross-functional teams that represent core areas of expertise, as illustrated by the 3-circle Venn diagram shown below. The key areas of expertise could look like this;

  • Technology - Knowing what is feasible. The systems, mechanisms, or science that makes something work.
  • Business - Knowing what is viable. The goals of the organisation, or alignment to organisation mission or strategic direction. The financial and human resource requirements.
  • User - Knowing the particular needs and wants of a population of users. It also knows about their context and how that context affects any potential solution.

Venn diagram; Circle 1 (blue) is ‘Business Viability’ or the requirements; ask yourself, does it fit the goals of the organisation? Circle 2 (pink) is ‘Desirability’ (Human Values) or the needs and desires; ask yourself, does it align to the user and the context? Circle 3 (yellow) is ‘Technology Feasibility’ or the possibilities; ask yourself, Can it be done? In the overlap of the three circles, is the location the best innovation opportunities?

The link below is an excellent infographic on the design thinking process when considering a project, it focuses on student project but is transferable to any discipline;


If you are working within a team, you will want to have at least one person from each area represented. If you are working on your own, as some design thinkers do, you may find that you need to play different roles throughout the process. You will still need to gather pertinent information at the beginning of the process, visualise ideas to evaluate them suitably, and develop a solution that fits the problem or need.



A problem might require many different types of expertise to solve, and many iterations to target the best solution. The teams that practice design thinking are more powerful when members have a diverse set of perspectives and areas of expertise. Design thinking requires that all members of the team understand user research to uncover the real needs and desires of the target market. More than merely understanding user research, design thinking requires that you place the needs of the user and your understanding of their problem at the epicentre of your work. Then, grounded in research and fueled by creativity, teams come up with ideas, create models of those ideas, and critique those ideas in a cycle of iteration that moves toward a solution.


Design thinking produces solutions with the user and their context always in mind, increasing the likelihood that your user will be happy with your ideas. Design thinking is a proven and repeatable problem-solving methodology that anyone can employ to achieve successful results.



The different stages (5 Stages of Design Thinking LINK) in the design thinking process require different ways of thinking. During one step you may be open to all ideas. In the next phase, you will think more critically about the ideas you generated, grouping them, refining them, and selecting ideas that seem to best address the problem. Design thinkers approach issues with a flexible, confident, and critical thought process that helps them synthesise information from a variety of sources. This ability to apply many ways of thinking to solve a problem is what helps design thinkers identify new ideas, innovations, or improvements from the insights they gather during this stage.

Once you have a problem description completed, design thinking in the early stages of the process can feel very vague, especially when first considering design problems or opportunities. During this early stage, you will brainstorm, create mind maps, and use other strategies to identify issues that lead to your problem. This first stage takes time. In later stages of the design process, thinking can be much quicker. The reasoning you do during prototyping can be very linear as you consider issues associated with evaluating and implementing your solution.

Through the entire process, the most important question you can ask is Why? When you are asking "why" it keeps your thinking fresh and prevents you and your team members from settling for a solution that is not as good as it could be. "Why" helps you tease out the problem description in the early stages and evaluate new ideas that emerge. The essential skill in design thinking is to be aware of your thinking throughout the design process, making sure that your misconceptions are not limiting you.



Look at this short video THE VALUE OF DESIGN THINKING.

Write down a list of values that design thinking may help you create value for your organisation or an issue you wish to solve.



Look at this from the Design Council (UK) to learn of the benefits of design thinking to your organisation and the benefits to your customer/end-user,




Let's talk about the word design. A "design" is a plan or drawing that reveals how something works. Design can also be the series of choices one makes when deciding on the look or function of an object or space, but the purpose of design thinking is not merely to make something attractive. In design thinking, we pay attention to how something looks, but we are just as concerned with other aspects—the materials, whether it accomplishes the desired task, how it works within the user's personal or work life, how much it costs to create, and so on.

While you do not need to be an artist or a designer to do design thinking, design thinking can benefit from visual techniques such as sketching and storyboarding. Visualisation techniques like these are used to communicate and explore ideas. We will talk about this more in Week 4.

Let's keep dissecting this phrase "design thinking." Design thinking is not just design. Also, design thinking is not just thinking. While you can perform some aspects of design thinking on your own, design thinking is best done with a group of people, each one bringing unique talents and areas of expertise. To activate the best thinking from your group, you need to get active. You need to get something to write on and take notes and sketch and diagram. You need to hear from experts who can tell you more about the problem you're investigating. You should be able to see the problem in context and meet with your stakeholders.




The research stage begins with a problem. This problem can come directly from the user; it can be in a newspaper story that you read, it can come from your manager, etc. The research that you conduct helps you to understand more about the problem and more about the people affected by this problem.

  • User and target market research: provides an understanding of user environments (where the end products or services are intended to be used), practical and aesthetic aspects of potential solutions, and can even predict marketplace trends
  • Business research: consists of data and statistics related to the organisation's interests or focus area such as a product portfolio plan, revenue/profit requirements, establishing geographic benefits for product distributions, etc.
  • Technology research: focuses on assessment to determine strengths, weaknesses, and availability of particular materials or what resources might be relevant for a specific problem area


When people talk about design thinking, it's usually the activities associated with ideation that come to mind. At this stage in which all ideas, no matter how wild, are welcome. All ideas are evaluated against the research done in the preceding stage. Some common tasks are:

  • Visualization / storytelling
  • Strategic mapping of solution ideas by themes, such as product categories or timelines




Prototypes are an opportunity to make your ideas tangible, or at least in the model form. Prototypes are a useful way of testing out strong ideas or products with users. Do your solutions work like you thought they might? What do your users think of them? Prototypes can be used during any stage of the design thinking process and can help with:

  • Iterative development, user validation, and refinement
  • Demonstration to stakeholders

Ongoing Iteration

While we talk about design thinking as a series of stages, it's important to know that there are many cycles of design thinking within a single project. As you proceed through the phases, you should always want to check back with your understanding of the problem description, the research you've done, the ideas you came up with, and so on. You may find when you're ideating that you have a gap in your understanding of your users or the definition of the problem, and that's precisely why design thinking is so powerful. Design thinking is constructed on iteration, or successive cycles of a process.



-Design Thinking Process Overview

-Process Flow Framework

-The Value of Design Thinking

-Benefits of Design Thinking


Now that you are familiar with design thinking let's talk about how you might apply design thinking to your work. What type of work do you do? What sort of problems do you need to solve at work? Where do you see opportunities to use design thinking in your context? Also, think of one question/problem you would like to try to solve while you are taking this course. You can post it in a forum dicussion, but also record it somewhere so you can quickly get back to it. We will be revisiting this problem you have identified in discussions throughout the course so you can apply your learning at each stage to a real problem.


Before you begin any process, it is helpful to know what your goals are. In design thinking, these characteristics of a good solution apply, no matter what your particular situation or set of users. A good answer:

  • Has a purpose:You always start with a problem that needs solving, and you arrive at the solution using the design thinking process. You are not using design thinking to figure out who may benefit from the resolution you already have. In other words, design thinking isn't meant to work backwards from the solution to the problem.
  • Is useful:The solution fulfils its intended purpose.
  • Is understandable:A good solution should be easy to understand or learn. Or, the work to determine the answer should be worth the effort.
  • Is honest:A good solution does not promise more than it provides.
  • Is sustainable:A good solution does not adversely affect the environment, nor does it require resources (whether material or personnel) in a way that cannot be maintained over time.
  • Is long-lasting:Make sure the work you put into the design thinking process is worth it. Provide a solution that does not break often or deteriorate quickly.
  • Fits the context:A good solution makes sense for the location it is used in, the people who use it, and the function it was meant to perform.
  • Is compelling:It should resonate with the user by making them feel confident when they use it. They should want to use your solution.
  • Is simple:The solution should include only those elements necessary for fulfilling the rest of the criteria in this list.

A good solution must take into account the complexity of humans and their practical and emotional responses (their needs and their wants). Both aspects must be considered during all stages of the design thinking process.





Learn about the process of design thinking and the five stages thereof;


-Defining Your Problem




“Design thinking tears down barriers and existing ways of working that prevent businesses from arriving at their best solutions” Pete Sena (see link below) an advocate of design thinking talk about the value or ‘workshops’, and if design thinking is correctly executed, it could be a valuable process for any business.

 The Five Pillars of Design Thinking (link)

So what makes design thinking so valuable when used correctly? (link)


Give instances where you may use the process of design thinking and discuss with the class community on your views of the examples given by other students. Please use constructive critique.



Read the articles by Andrea Alessandro Gasparini’s “The Value of Empathy in Design Thinking” and “Perspective and Use of Empathy in Design Thinking.”

The Value of Empathy in Design Thinking



Look at the ideas of emotional and cognitive empathy. In the course, discussion page discusses the pros and cons of including empathy in the design process. Give examples of instances you have researched or from your own experience.




Read the concepts of “Perceiving, Sensemaking and Choreography” by Alaina Burden https://www.strategyex.co.uk/blog/pmoperspectives/design-thinking-for-project-improvement/

A study by Elsback and Stigliani published in 2018,

(https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0149206317744252) suggests that there is a complex relationship between design thinking and organisational culture that is reflexive. The attitudes that foster design thinking are also strengthened by design thinking. Design thinking and innovation are known to thrive in an organisational environment that is top-down in its support for design. When the CEO and senior management support design thinking, this sets an expectation within the organisation that design thinking is worthwhile. When design thinking tools are used well, these can influence the values and norms of the broader organisational culture.

  • A rigorous approach to gathering, interpreting, and valuing user research promotes a culture that is more user or customer centred.
  • When ideation is done well, this can promote a culture in which risk-taking and collaboration are prized.
  • A robust approach to the prototyping stage can promote a culture that is more open to failure and experimentation.

In short, when design thinking is done well, it can promote an atmosphere of innovation in an organisation. But if you have a culture in your organisation that doesn't support design thinking, you've got some work to do to try to shift the perception.

We learn here about how to implement design thinking within your organisation and how to structure a culture change See this article; https://quarterly.insigniam.com/corporate-culture/culture-change-aint-easy/



Resources on Design Thinking in Different Industries

Since we know you come from many industries, we wanted to provide some industry-specific optional readings for you. Here are some resources for design thinking in a variety of industries you may want to explore. Just click on the hyperlinks below.





Libraries and Museums


Human Resources



Service Design


Show how you would implement design thinking.



Curiosity and creativity in design thinking.




Brainstorming Ideas, Mind mapping

Before starting the ideation process, you will need to establish;

  • A clear understanding of the problem to be solved, also known as a problem definition or problem statement
  • User research; understand the human values of your target customer/stakeholder
  • Your team members; selecting the best members for the ideation process
  • Select a team leader/facilitator
  • Team cohesion built and team dynamics established
  • Good communication between the team
  • Ground rules set for your ideation session
  • A plan for ethically handling intellectual property
  • A physical space, note taker etc.


Take a look at this excellent resource;



Divergent thinking

Think of many solutions as possible of the same problem.


Convergent thinking

Opposite of divergent thinking, come up with a correct solution.


Note: You may also need to understand egocentric thinking especially if working with young children.


Visualisations. https://www.coursera.org/lecture/uva-darden-design-thinking-innovation/visualization-tool-xju53

Importance of visualisations. https://sidlaurea.com/2015/10/02/importance-of-visualization-in-design-thinking/


You can decide on visualisation to communicate your idea, and how this can assist in the design thinking process across a team of multidisciplinary people.



A good look at design tools for each stage of the Design Thinking process.



Discuss the digital tools you may use when design thinking and how they will assist you during the prototyping process.






Welcome to Week 11, Prototyping and Testing. In this week's contents, you'll learn about why it is necessary to prototype and how the cycles of iteration can help you refine your idea into a good solution. We will cover this content at a high level so that you can gain a basic understanding of what happens.

After you have completed with this week's module, you will be able to:

  • Identify the value/purpose of prototypes
  • Identify the different fidelity levels of prototypes and the purpose of each
  • Identify prototype methods for each fidelity level
  • Identify the strategies (methods) for testing prototypes with users
  • Identify the signs and signals that tell you to move to the next level of prototyping or that you are done with prototyping
  • Identify the process for moving from prototyping to a finished solution


In science, a hypothesis is a proposed explanation of a phenomenon. Even more important, for a suggested question to be a hypothesis, it must be testable. A prototype is a proposed solution and is based on your research and your understanding of the users' problem. You must test a prototype to discover whether it is useful. In user testing, users interact with prototypes and provide feedback, which you incorporate into additional prototypes.

Don't get too attached to ideas at this stage before you test them thoroughly with users. Even though prototype production can be expensive, the ROI (Return On Investment) in prototyping is high. It is valuable for your organisation's reputation and often less expensive to catch and fix a problem before your product or service is released to the public. The investment in producing prototypes should also be based on how they help you better understand the user and the market. Also, note that prototypes are not just for the end of the process right before launch. Prototypes can be done any stage of the design thinking process, anytime you have an idea or want to explore something with a user.


As with the research and ideation stages, iteration is important in prototyping. You will want to prototype quickly, and you should plan on creating many prototypes, incorporating user feedback along the way.




Describe a product or service you have used where it seemed that it was not thoroughly tested in the environment in which it was meant to be used. How did it affect or impact you or your organisation?



Since we know you come from many industries, we wanted to provide some optional readings for you that pertain to the different solution categories. Here are some resources on prototyping you may want to explore.

On Prototyping a Service or Process


On Prototyping a Digital Product


On Prototyping a Physical Product


Any Industry



Some prototypes are made quickly by printing versions in a machine, mocked up in software for a look and feel of the intended interaction, or just put together with foam board and tape for a 'quick and dirty' idea of the shape and scale. Others take more time and expertise to create so the full experience of the solution can be evaluated. You will need to choose the right prototype to fit your process and to visualise what you are testing. The type of prototype you create will depend on some factors, including what information you need from users, how close you may be to completion, whether you are exploring a hypothesis or testing a conclusion, and in what environment the user will be interacting with the prototype.

Some common ways to talk about the type of prototype you need are the fidelity level of the prototype, the method you use to create it, and the criteria you plan to test. We will talk about all three of these in this section.

FIDELITY LEVELS OF PROTOTYPES (see resources section)

Your first instinct may be to make a prototype closest to the complete product or solution so to test immediately. However, starting with a high-fidelity prototype can be problematic for a few reasons: Higher fidelity prototypes generally take more time and cost more money than other levels of the prototype, so you can invest a lot in making a prototype only to find out that this solution does not work with your users. In the beginning, it is best to start with low-fidelity to medium-fidelity prototypes as these will be quicker and easier to make, while still conveying enough about an idea for a user to react to it.

Higher fidelity prototypes also feel more "finished" to both you and your users, which means they are harder to discard or change. In contrast, when you give a user a low-fidelity or a medium-fidelity prototype, it feels unfinished and can spark users to want to provide you with more feedback to finish it. You generally only move to higher fidelity prototypes once you need to validate the full solution you are planning to release to the public.


Level of FidelityAttributesPurpose/Used For





Crude, unrefined, inexpensive.Initial concept creation
Early exploration of parts relationship and location
Focus on speed of iteration and quantity.Early aesthetics and emotive appeal evaluation
Provides a focus for team discussions
Determining whether an initial idea has value
Verifying strategic direction






Tests one or more elements of a solution in a close-to-final way while other elements are left "unfinished."Validation of size, scale, ergonomics, usability, CFM (color, finish, material), branding
Elements of a solution may include colour, materials, sequence, layout, engineering process, usability, branding, etc.Does the solution idea to solve the problem?
Showing how it would address user needs/desires, and whether the solution is feasible and viable
Does this solution idea resonate with the user?


A full-scale working solution.How well does the high-fidelity prototype work in the user's context?
Does the solution function as intended?
As close to finalised function, appearance, organisation, etc. as possible.All medium-fidelity prototype purposes apply here but are assessed at a more granular and close-to-finalised level



There are many different methods for creating prototypes based on the fidelity level needed and the type of solution you are considering. Some methods are easy to make by people of all skill levels. Other ways may require a skilled person in doing that type of work. Therefore having a diverse team can help you to create the necessary prototypes.

The following three tables list some suggested methods for each of the primary solution categories.

Low Fidelity Prototyping (LINK) High Fidelity Prototyping (LINK)

Physical Product Prototypes
Level of FidelityMethodsDescription/Notes
Low fidelitySketches, storyboardsRough representations of the proposed product shape and proportions. May include how and where the object is intended to be used.
Low fidelityColour swatches and material samplesRough representations of the colour, finish, and material that may be used to narrow down choices.
Medium fidelityHand or machine fabricated (foam core, paper, wood, 3D printed)Representation of basic shape and proportion. Could be full scale or reduced scale. Encourages user interaction with the object. Identifying potential problems with functionality, usability, and ergonomics.
Medium fidelityComputer-generated renderingsRepresents what the object would look like without having a physical object to react to. Can investigate aesthetic reaction or explore colour, finish, and material options. Static.
High fidelityComplete manufactured version with all or most elements finished and using simulated or intended materialsVerifies all systems and subsystems work as intended, adjusting as needed. Can be used to plan for packaging, distribution, and marketing.
Digital Product Prototypes
Level of FidelityMethodsDescription/Notes
Low fidelityStoryboards, sketchesRough representations of the proposed solution and how the user would use it. May include the context.
Low fidelityWireframesPaper representations of the rough layout and information organisation of a proposed solution.
Medium fidelityWorkflows, screen mock-upsMethods of getting user feedback on proposed information organisation, task sequence, and visual design. Often created using drawing software. Static.
Medium fidelityPaper interfaces, "Wizard of Oz" technique (link)The user may feel like they are going through the full use of the digital product without coding the experience. Interactive.
High fidelityInteractive and fully functionalAllows users to test information organisation, task sequence, visual design, and ease of use. Often used to ensure the product meets all user requirements.
Service or Process Prototypes
Level of FidelityMethodsDescription/Notes
Low fidelityStoryboards, scenarios, customer journey maps, service blueprintsPaper representations of a process, human interactions, or other service elements that users can discover..
Medium fidelityRoleplay, videos, miniature/desktop walkthroughs (link)Enactments of services or processes using props and settings that resemble the intended implementation context. Often used to refine sequencing, interaction points, and overall customer experience.
High fidelitySoft openingUser validation of service at a lower volume of users, permitting tweaks before opening to the full anticipated volume of users.


Types of Physical Product Prototypes

You should research examples.

Types of Digital Product Prototypes

You should research examples.


The following are some things you should do when setting up your testing session:

  • Similar to conducting research, you should test potential solutions with your intended users in the users' context and ensure that you are ethical in your testing.
  • Plan to take notes throughout the entire session. Besides writing down general comments about what you observe, you should record the data specific to the testing criteria and levels/thresholds you previously established. This is necessary to reveal how well the solution performed and what needs to be done to prepare the resolution for the next stage of development.
  • If you can, also capture photographs and record audio and video. This will help when sharing your findings with your stakeholders and team. Before photographing or recording, you must obtain consent from your users. Ask your manager about the preferred method for documenting the users' consent.

The following is a general process for testing prototypes with users:

  1. Begin the testing session by explaining the problem definition you had.
  2. Tell the users this is a rough version of the idea and not all of the functionality/look/etc.
  3. Tell the users that you are seeking honest, open feedback on what works, what doesn't work, how they feel, etc. so that you can improve your idea.
  4. Let the user explore the prototype in their way at their own pace first. Do not explain what the prototype is supposed to be or do at this point. Allowing the user to interact with the prototype without your direction may provide you with surprising user feedback.
  5. Ask the user to complete specific tasks or to answer questions relating to the criteria you developed. Do not interrupt them or help them unless there is no way to continue without your intervention.
  6. Do the same test with multiple users and test different prototypes with the same user.
  7. After each session, identify what you can improve for the next iteration and what you should keep about the current version. After collecting information from multiple sessions, work with your team to decide on and prioritise changes for the next iteration.



Prototyping is attaining information from users, but it is also the work that you do to apply the user feedback to a new and more finely targeted solution. After testing, you should change or refine the prototype to ensure that the next prototype incorporates user findings and advances the development until the right solution is found. Sometimes you will move from a lower-fidelity prototype to a higher-fidelity prototype.

Other times you may need to go back to make a different lower-fidelity prototype to test a different element of your solution idea or a different variation. This iteration is critical in this stage of understanding if your solution is desired by and works for your users.

During iterative prototyping, you may develop an idea or new approach that doesn't work for the current problem but might be applied to future problems. Keep records of all prototypes, and all tests of both "good" and "bad" prototypes, for use in future projects.



Once you've reached the end of your testing, you will need to present the work from the prototype stage to your stakeholders. Be sure to ground your presentation on the research findings and reframed problem definition communicated to stakeholders earlier in this process. Include data collected on the criteria, levels set, whether thresholds for success were met or not met, and any new understandings of the problem. When everything is approved by your stakeholders and ready to move forward, it is time to implement your solution as a real solution in the world. The release cycle associated with your product or service will vary based on industry, organisation, and the problem that you're addressing.

So now your solution is public, your users are happy, and you think you are finished with the design thinking process?. No. Think of the release of your product or service as a very finely tuned prototype. You need to continue to capture user feedback and track the competition to determine when you need to update your product or service. While the work of the current team may be over, in the context of design thinking and prototype development, the cycle of innovation never stops.










Welcome to Week 12, Summary and Final Exam. We will wrap up the instructional portion of this course by describing how you can finish the design thinking process with your team. The rest of Week 12 is meant to help you think about what you've learned over the past eleven weeks. First, we will provide you with a summary of the course and the design thinking process. Then you will take a final exam covering material from all twelve weeks of this course. Roughly half of the exam will ask you questions about design thinking. The other half of the exam will require you to apply what you know about design thinking to questions based on scenarios. In addition to testing your knowledge, we hope that these scenarios will help you think about applications of design thinking in your own life and work. If you would prefer to create a project using the skills and techniques you have learnt, then you can submit a project of about 5,000 words. Your online presence via your blog, twitter etc. and class discussions will also form a percentage of your mark

After this week's you will be able to:

Summarise the design thinking process

Identify tasks associated with the end of the design thinking process.

Apply what you've learned about design thinking to different workplace scenarios.

Use the Human-Centred Design by IDEO (free download) available in the resources section, to assist you with your project.


Your team has finished their work. The research and ideation are complete. The final prototype has been selected and released. What happens now?

A Final Meeting

Depending on how long and how intensively you've been working together, you may want to take some time for a formal adjournment of the team. Spend time in a final meeting talking about what the team accomplished, what can be improved, and ensure each team member describes something they are proud of and what they contributed to the problem solving project. It is an excellent opportunity to document what the team learned so that your next design thinking project can be more successful.

The Team

Depending on your organisation and its goals, some team members may be reassigned to other projects while others may remain in an evaluative research capacity, tracking user feedback with the intention of implementing revisions to the product or service.


Along the way, your team has created many artefacts, some of which are discarded, but most should be archived to inform future iterations of your team's work. You should bring together the following into a comprehensive file of the project:

  • The research conducted for the project brief
  • The documentation from ideation, including records of your ideas generated and your selection process
  • Your materials from prototyping, including iterations of your prototypes/testing notes
  • The team adjournment material and lessons learned on this project
  • Anything else that showcases the life cycle of the project and the team's work together

This documentation can be referenced by the organization for future projects, to fuel new ideas, or to help your organisation continue to refine their approach to design thinking.


Discuss together anything you found useful or did not think you would ever use, and why?



Please take a few minutes to complete an optional and anonymous survey to provide us with input on how we can improve the course. Also, describe any difficulties you had and any solutions should you have any.








5 Stages in the Design Thinking Process https://www.interactiondesign.org/literature/article/5-stages-in-the-design-thinking-process

Book Search Link https://www.bookscrolling.com/the-best-books-for-design-thinking/

Brainstorming http://www.brainreactions.net/

Design Thinking for Educators: Design-Inspired Leadership (chapter) http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/books/Design-Thinking-For-School-Leaders-Sample-Chapters.pdf

Empathy Map – Why and How to Use It https://www.interactiondesign.org/literature/article/empathy-map-why-and-how-to-use-it

Fidelity Levels of Prototyping https://theblog.adobe.com/prototyping-difference-low-fidelity-high-fidelity-prototypes-use/

Human-Centred Design (free download) http://www.designkit.org/resources/1

Prototyping https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/10/the-skeptics-guide-to-low-fidelity-prototyping/

"Prototyping in Design Thinking: How to Avoid Six Common Pitfalls" by Rikke Dam and Teo Siang

Prototyping Software https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/06/picking-the-best-prototyping-software-for-your-project/

Prototyping Tools https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/09/choosing-the-right-prototyping-tool/

Rapid Prototyping https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/06/design-better-faster-with-rapid-prototyping/



Telling More Compelling Stories Through Design Thinking https://www.forbes.com/sites/taitran/2018/04/26/three-ways-to-infuse-design-thinking-into-your-marketing-and-storytelling/#28edfb3d6db8

Prototype Feedback Test Your Prototypes: How to Gather Feedback and Maximise Learning by Rikke Dam and Teo Siang


Toolkit to support your Design Thinking practice from ‘d.school bootcamp bootleg’.


WordPress Blog https://wordpress.com/create-blog/



Excellent Talks at High Resolution, start with this one; IDEO's Tom Kelley is Design Thinking's ultimate disciple, and he makes the case as to why.


Human-Centred Design Ted Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_on_human_centered_design?language=en


Analysing Design Thinking: Studies of Cross-Cultural Co-Creation. Authors;  Bo T. Christensen, Linden J. Ball, Kim Halsko.  Analysing Design Thinking

Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector. Author; Jeanne Liedtka. Design Thinking for the Greater Good

Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture, chapter ten (“property”), which is available for free download at http://free-culture.org/freecontent/

The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses and Ecosystems. Authors; Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, Larry Leifer. The Design Thinking Playbook

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