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?

Frequently Asked Questions about 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?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

In our design thinking workshops and design sprints, we take you through all five steps of the design thinking process: empathize; define; ideate; prototype; and test. 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! Learn more about our workshops + trainings or contact us for more information.

What are the learning outcomes of a workshop?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

Upon completion of a typical workshop, you will be able to:

    • Leverage empathy for the needs of customers and stakeholders in order to develop better 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 customers and users
    • Foster team collaboration and build creative confidence
    • Identify specific tools, methods, and mindsets that can be applied to specific business problems
      (Full-day courses only)

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 tailored design sprint, we solve your problem. 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 and real challenges or problems your organization is facing.

Why should I work with Designing Insights?

Frequently Asked Questions about Design Thinking

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.

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 and pace by looking at the big picture and knowing when to pivot or persevere
  • Draw on a vast toolkit of expertise honed over years of running dozens and dozens of sprints in all types of organizations in different industries

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 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?

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 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?

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 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.