Frequently Asked Questions

Custom Programs

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

Why should I work with Designing Insights?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

We offer large-firm experience with small-firm agility, and our engagements are highly customized, meticulously executed, and fun! We take an interdisciplinary approach, grounding our work in design thinking as it’s practiced at the Stanford and design sprints as practiced in the Sprint framework, while blending methods and tools from improvisation, systems thinking, and user experience design. Learn more about us and meet our team.


Why shouldn’t we just facilitate our own workshop or sprint?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

We strongly recommend hiring an outside professional to plan, manage, and facilitate your design thinking workshop or design sprint, especially if it is your first. A successful workshop or sprint requires a strong leader who can do the following:

  • Remain unbiased and objective when organizational and content-specific decisions arise
  • Manage and maintain the energy by keeping an eye on the big picture and knowing when to pivot or persevere
  • Draw on a vast toolkit of expertise honed over years of running dozens of sprints in all types of organizations and with diverse groups

What is design thinking?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

Design thinking is framework for problem-solving, creativity, and innovation that leverages the principles of design for solving complex challenges. Also referred to as human-centered design, design thinking helps teams solve problems by understanding human needs and motivations, discovering opportunities, generating user-centered solutions, building and testing  prototypes, and iterating on solutions. Read more about design thinking here.

What happens in a design thinking workshop or sprint?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

In our workshops and design sprints, we take you through a full design cycle, from understanding and defining the problem to testing solutions with users. Our workshops and sprints 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! Contact us for more information.

What are the learning outcomes of a workshop or sprint?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

Upon completion of a typical design thinking workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Leverage empathy for the needs of audience members, customers, and stakeholders in order to develop better programs, products, services, and experiences
    • Conduct interviews with users to successfully uncover needs and motivations
    • Synthesize user research into actionable insights
    • Build rapid, lo-fidelity prototypes and test them with real users
    • Foster team collaboration and build creative confidence
    • Identify specific and actionable solutions for new programs, products, and services

What’s the difference between an introductory workshop and a design sprint?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

In an introductory workshop, we focus on a generic problem, while in a design sprint, we solve a real-world problem relevant to your organization. An introductory workshop is designed to ground your team in the fundamentals of design thinking and the key mindsets and methods, while custom design sprints focus on timely challenges your organization is facing.

Do you offer public design thinking workshops?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

We occasionally offer public workshops. The majority of our engagements are private engagements for clients who hire us. If you’re looking for public 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 and design sprints?

Frequently Asked Questions about 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 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, sprints, and design research engagements.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about 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 workshops and sprints,  and we’ve written articles and blog posts about the topic.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

Yes! We regularly work with organizations that are siloed and averse to change, especially among our large, nonprofit and arts 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.