Design Thinking is the commonly used umbrella name for the collection of cognitive, strategic and practical processes that innovative design teams use to create concepts and solutions to complex, or what design theorist Horst Rittel referred to as 'wicked problems'. Many aspects of design thinking have been identified and established through studies, across different design domains, of design cognition and design activity in both laboratory and natural contexts.

Design thinking has also been effective in driving the innovation of products and services within business and social contexts. Design Thinking simplifies the design process to allow for better collaboration across different skill sets and knowledge level, while maintaining a structure that is absolute and well defined - making it an ideal tool for businesses wanting to rise to the challenges of a changing business landscape.

Attributes of design thinking as a process include:

  • Problem framing
  • Solution-focused thinking
  • Abductive reasoning
  • Co-evolution of problem and solution
  • Representations and modelling


There are no specific pre-requisites for this course. This course is for intended for anyone who has responsibility for the design of products and services and require a framework to help them build innovation and value into those products and services.



Day 1 begins with a step by step walk-through introduction to design thinking, covering the key aspects of the methodology, as well as the design principles that is promotes. Learners will be walked through each of the 5 steps and be engaged with thought-provoking case studies, web/video content, plus a variety of discussion topics and learning exercises.

  • Introduction & Welcome
  • Lean Coffee Backlog – understanding learner expectations
  • Importance of Play – icebreaker
  • Design Thinking Mindset – defining the mental requirement
  • What is Design Thinking? – overview of design thinking
  • Awareness Exercise – energiser
  • Case Study/Brief – analysis/reflection on ‘what good looks like’
  • Empathy – empathy stage breakdown and reflection
  • Define – define stage breakdown and reflection
  • Ideate – ideation stage breakdown and reflection
  • Prototype – prototyping stage breakdown and reflection
  • Test – testing stage breakdown and reflection
  • Wrap-up and Close – next steps


Day 2 puts the previous day’s learnings into action by giving learners more of an insight into how to facilitate design thinking effectively in the real world. Learners will understand how to create effective design thinking briefs as well as the techniques, tools, and technologies used in practice. Learners will form into teams, and set work-related briefs for one another whereby the Design Thinking steps will be used to solve the given brief.

  • Welcome & Introduction
  • Recap & Agenda – review Day 1 and preview Day 2
  • Design Thinking Tools – explore the tools required
  • Lean UX – minimising wasted effort
  • Uncovering Challenges – incorporating feedback loops
  • Brief Setting – understand how to create an effective brief
  • Design Thinking in Practice – learners use DT against the brief(s)
  • Idea Pitching – expressing ideas effectively
  • Lean Coffee Backlog Check – ensuring learner expectations were met
  • Wrap Up and Conclusion

All ideas are then to be presented back to the wider group for feedback. Learners can continue to build upon this idea after the course.