Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

Have a question about how we work or the design thinking process? Check our Frequently Asked Questions below, or feel free to contact us.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a proven, repeatable process for problem-solving, creativity, and innovation. Also referred to as human-centered design, design thinking is a framework comprised of a series of steps and associated methods, and it is accompanied by core mindsets. Read more about design thinking here.

What happens in a design thinking workshop?

In our design thinking workshops and custom bootcamps, we take you through all five steps of the design thinking process: empathize; define; ideate; prototype; and test. Our workshops are immersive and experiential, and we mix brief lectures with hands-on activities, alternating between solo and team work. We start with building empathy for users, and we emerge with tangible prototypes of new products, services, and experiences. And we always include lots of chocolate, caffeine, and fun! Learn more about our workshops + trainings or contact us for more information.

What’s the difference between an introductory workshop and a custom bootcamp?

In an introductory workshop, we focus on a generic problem, such as “reimagine the weekly meeting” or “redesign the morning commute,” while in a custom bootcamp, we solve your problem through an intensive sprint. An introductory workshop is designed to ground your team in the fundamentals of design thinking and the key mindsets and methods, while custom bootcamps focus on timely and real challenges or problems your organization is facing.

Why should I work with Designing Insights?

We offer large-firm experience with small-firm agility. You will get a high-touch, highly personalized experience with us, minus the overhead and bureaucracy of a large agency. We are a small, woman-owned business based in Berkeley, CA, and we leverage a network of rock star design thinkers and do-ers around the world for our work. Learn more about us and meet our team.

Do you offer public design thinking workshops?

We occasionally offer public workshops. The majority of our engagements are private engagements for clients who hire us. If you’re looking for public design thinking courses, we recommend Cooper, The Design Gym, and LUMA Institute. Feel free to contact us to inquire when our next public workshop will be offered.

What kinds of problems are best suited to design thinking?

Design thinking is best suited for complex, “messy” problems that don’t have clear-cut solutions. For projects that involve making incremental improvements or adjustments to existing processes or solutions, other processes, such as Lean Six Sigma, are often better suited. Please read our case studies for examples of how we have worked with clients through workshops and research engagements.

How do I get my boss/leadership/colleagues on board with design thinking?

We get this question a lot. We have extensive experience working with organizational cultures that are resistant to change. We cover strategies and tactics for bringing along change-resistant colleagues in our Custom Bootcamps and Coaching, and we’ve written articles and blog posts about the topic.

What types of projects have your clients completed using design thinking?

Here are examples of projects our clients have completed using the design thinking process:

  • Developing a welcoming and engaging employee on-boarding process
  • Designing a new website that is more usable, useful, and intuitive
  • Creating a user-focused digital strategy
  • Implementing a streamlined and efficient guest arrival and ticketing experience
  • Building clearer signage and wayfinding in public spaces
  • Launching engaging interactive tools in a gallery learning space

Will design thinking work in a siloed and change-averse organization?

Yes! We regularly work with organizations that are siloed and averse to change, especially among our non-profit and public-sector clients. In fact, this is where design thinking can be most powerful, and we encourage you to include your change-resistant colleagues to participate in your design thinking initiative so that you can begin to break down those organizational silos and experience the “radical collaboration” of design thinking.