How to apply Design Thinking at University

On 13 Aug., 2020

The importance of Design Thinking in education Design Thinking is a very common tool in graphic design departments and among those in charge of innovating business and product strategies The novelty has been to discover the potential of this method in its use for education, especially at university, both to promote the birth of new research projects, as a method of global study for optimal student learning.

How to apply Design Thinking at University

Gathering information and giving free rein to creativity are essential factors in this method of working.

This method was theoretically developed by research paper help online writer during the 1970s and changed the way innovation processes are conceived in companies and design departments. Not only the way to generate ideas, but also how to test their effectiveness.

To carry out this process it is necessary to consider these characteristics:

  • Working as a team to create an environment of motivation and creativity.
  • Exchange ideas and generate a space where expansive thinking is encouraged and nothing is discarded.
  • Enhance the visual to understand ideas and develop them effectively.
  • Balance between analysis and intuition, giving weight to the analytical and empirical.

In the university life it is required to form entrepreneurs who combine the analytical thought with the creative thought. Similarly, teachers who apply new teaching methods based on experiences and collective participation.

The process of Design Thinking

This process is based on 6 phases:

1. Defining the challenge

It is important to start by knowing what the goal is that we want to achieve. The clearer the goal to be achieved, the easier it will be to plan the route to achieve it.

2. See

Fieldwork, information search and data collection is the most reliable and professional way to start a project or set up the study of a subject. It is important to gather sources and documentation that ratify and give meaning to the idea and its development.

3. Understand

Once we have analysed all the data, we should have obtained an overview of the issue at hand and, according to our approach, be able to:

  • See what the need is to cover or problem to solve
  • Defining the state of affairs
  • Be aware of all the concepts needed to master the subject and apply them.

4. Devise

It's time to put your mind at work and give top priority to creativity. In this phase of the process we must generate hypotheses, questions, ideas and all kinds of resources that, at first, we believe are valid to respond to what has been defined in the understanding phase.

5. Create a prototype

Here we have the opportunity to create something tangible; be it a product, a formula or a thesis.

There are many tools that we can use in this part of the development to create a more visual prototype. Above all, with the idea of correcting it and working on it to perfect it.

This is the moment to validate what has been created and prepare it to be exhibited and presented to people outside the process.

6. Test

It's time to put into practice what we've devised and for others to interact with what we've created or who know the idea we've worked on. 

It is important to receive feedback in order to make corrections or to see if we have been able to make mistakes during the process. The information gathered in this phase is vital and very valuable for the success of the whole development.

Examples of Design Thinking 

In the educational field, this method requires putting oneself in the other's place to understand and solve some problem or situation. Several companies and institutions have obtained successful results by applying and adopting it as part of their DNA.

For example, the company AirBnb turned its employees into clients so that they could experience all the company's services and thus get a little closer to the user's needs and improve their hosting processes.

Another example is Toyota, where they applied the method to identify and understand some red lights they had in their customer service.

Now it is only necessary to corroborate this method at the university level. But there is no doubt that Design Thinking allows for an agile and complete way of working, in which one evolves towards obtaining defined results for the student and the professor.