How do the strategies fit in the design thinking process as a whole? And how can they be used to create workshops?

Design thinking phases

Here above you see the phases of a design thinking process, where the curly lines stress the importance of iterating. As it is not a linear process, there will be elements of ideating and prototyping early on in the process as well as after the election of the best idea, preliminary definitions of the problem before the point of view, further understandings and observations after building the prototype … It shows that it is above all a continuous learning process

In order to provide structure, we relate the strategies presented on this website to the following phases:

Understand and Observe (together the Empathy phase)

*****Preparing the Brief *****Imagining a day in the life *****Challenging assumptions *****Exploring the Field *****Mapping concepts and themes *****Building a persona

Point of View (Defining)

*****Framing the question *****Finding a point of view


*****Remembering the future *****Saturating your space *****Ideating


*****Prototyping *****Iterating



*Critical thinking should be part of the mindset all the time: when you evaluate your research findings, your point of view, prototype … as well as when you reflect on the whole design process. It is the tool for continuous learning.

The overview shows that in design thinking there is a strong emphasis on the Empathy and Defining phase – that is precisely what distinguishes it from another innovation methodology like Lean Start-up with its aim of building continuous feedback loops with customers during product development cycles. The core of the design work is building a meaningful understanding of what actually is the problem. This was also the focus in the online workshop where the main goal was to develop a meaningful point of view. When that is done, useful ideas will arise and can be build.

agenda online workshop design thinking

The online workshop took place in two sessions (5 and 7 May 2020), where on the day in between teams worked individually. It had 33 participants from 7 countries in Europe.