Design Thinking for Captivating Content

This learning content will explore how to identify interesting content using Design Thinking principles. Design Thinking is a human-centered approach that emphasizes empathy, creativity, and problem-solving. It encourages multidisciplinary collaboration and focuses on understanding user needs, generating ideas, prototyping, iterating to arrive at effective solutions, and find the root cause of the problem.

Competences addressed/ learning outcomes expand_more

After completing this Learning resource participants will be able to:  
Understanding the process and methods of Design Thinking.
- Applying user-centered research methods to identify target audience preferences and needs.
- Generating creative ideas through collaborative ideation sessions.
- Utilizing prototyping techniques create concepts and prototypes
- Utilising different testing methods to test and evaluate content concepts.
- Applying iterative processes to refine and improve content identification frameworks.


The objectives of this learning resource can be summarised as below:
- Facilitate understanding of Design Thinking process and their application in identifying engaging content
- Ability to apply user-centered methods, create concepts and prototypes, and test and evaluate concepts and prototypes.
- Enhance creativity, critical thinking, and empathy in curating and presenting content that resonates with the target audience. 
- Understand the merits of using Design Thinking principles and tools within social entrepreneurship 

Theoretical background expand_more

This learning content will explore how to identify interesting content using Design Thinking principles. Design Thinking is a human-centered approach that emphasizes empathy, creativity, and problem-solving. It encourages multidisciplinary collaboration and focuses on understanding user needs, generating ideas, prototyping, iterating to arrive at effective solutions, and find the root cause of the problem.

Design Thinking is a human-centered problem-solving approach that combines empathy, creativity, and rationality to develop innovative solutions. In the context of content creation, these principles guide the identification of engaging and relevant material that suits the unique needs and preferences of foreign-born women. 

Besides a method, Design Thinking is a way of thinking that applied open-mindedness and creativity with objective evaluation, tolerance of insecurity, playfulness-rational combination, tenacity, iteration and a high motivation for reaching an optimal solution. It also invites other people to the process.

Step-by-step implementation expand_more

Design thinking provide frameworks for effective problem-solving. Design thinking complements this process by emphasizing empathy and creativity, helping you generate innovative solutions and prototype and test them iteratively.
Design thinking adds a human-centered dimension to decision-making by considering the needs and desires of people affected by those decisions. It encourages you to think about the impact of your choices on individuals and society.
Design thinking enhances communication by emphasizing the importance of understanding the perspectives and needs of different stakeholders. It encourages collaboration and effective communication throughout the problem-solving process.
Design thinking promotes an iterative, exploratory mindset that encourages experimentation and embracing failure as an opportunity for learning.
Design thinking can assist in visualizing complex data or information and presenting it in a way that is accessible and meaningful to others.

It is suggested to use the downloadable PowerPoint presentation Design Thinking PPT to support the session and present the topic.

1. Introduce Social Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking 
· The Concept of Social Entrepreneurship with real-life examples of successful social enterprises
· DT: Five stages of Design Thinking (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test)
2. Empathize and Define:
· Discussion: Challenges faced by foreign-born women
· Quick activity: Interview simulations to practice empathy and problem-definition exercise
Hold a discussion on the unique needs and preferences of foreign-born women. Use user-centered research methods such as interviews and surveys to understand what content would be interesting to them.
Define the challenges to work on and their nature, elements, and target group, but also what impacts them, based on this phase. The outcome of this should be a deeper and multifaceted understanding of the issue that takes the human into consideration, which one can start generating ideas at the next step.

3. Ideate
Brief workshop: Brainstorming solutions using ideation techniques. You can gather your ideas to a poster, on sticky notes and a whiteboard, or use online tools (e.g. Slack, Canva).
Peer feedback: Share ideas and provide constructive feedback.
During the ideation phase, groups can use various activities and techniques to spark creativity and generate ideas for instance: 
1) brainstorming: This technique involves participants sharing their ideas freely and without criticism. The focus is on quantity rather than quality, encouraging participants to build upon each other's ideas and think creatively. 
2) mind Mapping: Mind mapping is a visual technique that helps to organize their thoughts around a central topic. It allows for the exploration of different branches and connections, helping to uncover new ideas and perspectives.
3) SCAMPER: SCAMPER is an acronym that stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. This technique prompts participants to explore different ways of modifying existing ideas or products to generate new possibilities.
4) role-playing: Role-playing involves participants assuming different perspectives or personas related to the problem at hand. By immersing themselves in different roles, they can generate unique ideas and solutions based on different viewpoints.
5) provocation: This technique encourages participants to challenge assumptions and provoke unconventional ideas. By deliberately asking provocative questions or making outrageous statements, participants can break free from traditional thinking and explore radical solutions.
6) Analogies: Drawing analogies between unrelated concepts or domains can stimulate fresh thinking. By exploring how similar problems were solved in different contexts, participants can transfer those solutions to the current problem.
During the ideation phase, it is essential to create an open and inclusive environment where all participants feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Encouraging wild ideas, deferring judgment, and promoting active participation are key principles for successful ideation sessions.

Once there are enough ideas, one should evaluate the ideas and select the ones to be developed into concepts and prototypes. Usually ideas are grouped into similar ideas before evaluation. This is why often ideas are written on sticky notes which are easy to move around. For evaluating the ideas, such Design Thinking methods like mapping of resources, feasibility and impact analysis and reality check can be used.

4. Prototype and test                                                                                                  
Prototype: Create simple prototypes of the proposed content (these could be simple lesson outlines, short video clip/reel or infographic ideas etc.). Simple prototypes are more often called rough prototypes. These are simple, quick and cheap to create. For example, a prototype of a radio can be made of a cardboard box, or a prototype of an app can be made of different drawings for different stages of its use. A service or another human action related situation can be prototypes through roleplay.  Rough prototypes are like the toys children create for their plays. At this stage you can use low-fidelity prototype (lo-fi). This allows a quick and easy way to translate high-level design concepts into tangible and testable artifacts focusing on functionality rather than the visual appearance of the product. With the lo-fi prototype your group will focus on presenting just some of the visual attributes of the product (like shapes of elements, basic visual hierarchy), only the key elements of the content and interactivity (during the testing session a particular person who is familiar with design acts as a computer and manually changes the design’s state in real-time).

Test the prototypes within the group. For instance, you can hold a blind auction where others can guess what the prototype is and what it is for or ask open-ended questions: Instead of asking yes/no questions, encourage participants to share their thoughts and experiences by asking open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking, "Did you like this feature?" you can ask, "What are your thoughts on this feature? How does it align with your needs?"


Collect feedback from others and use it to refine and improve the content. Repeat the process (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test) as necessary until the content meets the needs and preferences identified earlier.
5. Reflection: Hold a group discussion to reflect on the process, focusing on how empathy, critical thinking, and creativity played a role in the learning process.
You can use basic Design Thinking questions like:
· Why that choice in particular?
· What didn't work and why in the protype?
· What needs to be changed and how?

Time needed and group sizeexpand_more

TIME: 2 hours
GROUP SIZE: 15-20 learners

Materials needed for implementationexpand_more

· Design Thinking PPT
· Paper/posters/flipchart/whiteboard
· Sticky notes
· Markers and pens of different colours
For the lo-fi prototype use cardboard boxes, old newspapers, clay, blue-tac, masking tape, legos and any other such materials.

Further resources: Videos and/or useful linksexpand_more

Infographic on Design Thinking ( ) 
ServiceDigiCulture’s low-fidelity-prototype (
Video: Introduction to Design Thinking ( )
Video: Design Thinking Process (


Adobe Blogs.” Prototyping 101: The difference between low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototypes and when to use each”. Written by Nick Babich. Published 29.11.2017. (
IDEO. “What’s the difference between human-centered design and design thinking?”. Cited 20th of March 2023. Source: 
Luchs, M. G., Griffin, A., Swan, S., Swan, K. S., & Luchs, M. I. (2015). Design Thinking. Wiley-Blackwell
Vianna, M., Adler, I. K., Lucena, B., Russo, B., & Vianna, Y. (2014). Design Thinking. Logos Verlag Berlin.
cookieCookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.