• Sean Keenan

Design Thinking Crash Course

The School of Stamford has provided an intriguing activity to undergo in regards to understanding the process of “Design Thinking”. In this activity, you and a partner run through and complete the tasks presented in this worksheet. These can vary from simple interviews to making physical prototypes. It’s a fun and fast paced course that teaches the process of design thinking in a surprisingly efficient way.

For this course, me and my partner Kim met over zoom, as it allowed us both to view the video on the same screen, as well as it being our only option during the COVID-19 pandemic. As someone who’s previously learned the design thinking process, the course quickly made sense to me. Using these worksheets, we had to fill out each prompt, with each one relating to a step in the design thinking process. For example, we start by interviewing our partner, getting general information on the last gift they gave as well as the emotions behind that process, which helps provide us with empathy for the user.

An example of the first page, with an interview representing the emphasize part of the design thinking process

The worksheet continues on as such for about 90 minutes and hits on each step of the design thinking process. Knowing that I’m already familiar with the process, I was impressed at how well this course was structured and laid out. Each task has a purpose, with a clear matching term in the design thinking process. Beyond that, the fact that they were able to teach the whole process in just over an hour was quite impressive. I had to go through multiple weeks of college classes to learn it originally, but here I learned almost the same content in a much shorter time span.

Despite my general understanding of the video, there’s one thing I'd do a little differently next time. I knew beforehand I’d need “crafting” materials of some kind, though now going through the whole process I do wish I had some better materials. I was limited to whatever I could find around my house, which meant paper, plastic utensils, and aluminum foil. While it’s fun to create something from a bunch of miscellaneous materials, I still would prefer some more refined materials so that the prototype I make can have a bit more life to it.

Final Prototype

Overall, I think this is quite a fun experiment that anybody can gain from. Even for fields that seem like the exact opposite of design may gain something of value here. Some may want a better look into another field, while others may actually gain to learn something about themselves or whoever they're working with.

Full Crash Course

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© 2020 by Sean Keenan.