Design Thinking Action Lab Summary

I participated in the Design Thinking Action Lab MOOC provided by Stanford University’s d. school. This course provided a lot of great information on how to work through each step of the Design Thinking process.

First, we thought about how we solve problems and illustrated it.

It quickly became obvious that most people were coming up with solutions that were very similar to the steps of the Design Thinking process, which include:

  1. Empathize and define the problem
  2. Ideate
  3. Prototype and Test

The problem we tackled had to be related to school to work transitions.

I started by evaluating a lifelong learner who was interested in gaining new skills so that she could start her own business.  From this, I developed an empathy map and defined a problem statement that would guide the rest of the design process.

My problem statement: An intelligent, highly motivated non-traditional student and life-long learner needs a way to effectively learn new skills because she is unhappy with her current job and wants to start a business doing what she loves.

Empathy Map:

Next, was the ideate phase, which was a lot of fun.  Here we were supposed to generate many ideas on how to address issues that came up in the interview phase. A few questions were provided to get the creative ideas flowing.

Ideation fun:

Next, I designed two prototypes that came out of my ideation for web apps that could address my problem statement.

Prototype 1:Prototype 1

Prototype 2:
Prototype 2

Finally, I tested the prototypes with people to get their feedback about each one.

I really enjoyed this class. It was a very well organized MOOC and encouraged a lot of participation. It forced me to find other people who were taking the course to talk to, rather than taking it alone. Because of this, I discovered someone else in my city who was taking the course and we were able to encourage each other. This helped me stay focused and motivated for the class, rather than just treating it as a news feed I could skim without putting much work into.

For more information about this MOOC and to check for future offerings, visit: