Learn Design Thinking Principles

A Core Skill that helps you design new ideas, learn how i GET IT and Tata Technologies are teaching others innovative design thinking skills. This article includes an overview of our new Design Thinking Principles Certification Program that is delivered through our i GET IT Learning Solution. Learn more about how we can change your approach to developing new techniques to solve problems for designing your new product idea.

Question the Problem

Our first step in our design thinking process; define our problem we want to create a solution for. Ask the question…

How Might We…

Tips for Observing

In our next step, we will observe the behaviors of people working in the environment our problem resides. This helps find behaviors to generate ideas for solving our problem.

  1. Behavioral prompts
  2. Adaption (their workarounds, hacks)
  3. What people care about (to better understand their value)
  4. Body language (tap into persons needs)
  5. Look for patterns (routines, recurring tasks)
  6. Look for unexpected (explore more deeply needs)

Generating Ideas

Now that we have observed the problem in a working environment, we are ready to start generating our ideas to solve our problem. What products can we build from these ideas? Let’s find out how we generate ideas by using the following three techniques.

  • Brainstorming
  • Mind Map
  • Mash-Up

1. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is “openly thinking of ideas as a group to solve your problem”. We have identified the following steps to brainstorming.

  1. Define a Clear Objective
  2. Find Space! (large spaces spur idea thinking; colors generate different thinking: green color = productivity, blue colors = creativity, visual attention = conceptual attention)
  3. Have All the Tools Needed (sticky notes, computer, whiteboards, etc…)
  4. Move – Keep moving around – create a new vantage point.
  5. Avoid Group Think (ask “what could we do” – avoid parallel thoughts – meet individually to create ideas first before huddling to share them)
  6. End with Action – Make sure everyone’s ideas are accounted for. Assign actions to work on them.

2. Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping is a creative and logical way of thinking that has you map out your ideas. Start with a central idea and branch out other ideas that are related.  Mind Mapping also most closely mirrors our thought process and drives Divergent Thinking that we are trying to achieve.

Rules to Help Guide Your Mind Map

  1. Start with a Main Idea
  2. Branch out and Diverge (map)
  3. Communicate visually (color-text with big letters for more important ideas : black, small-text for lesser ideas)

3. Mash-Up

Mash-Ups help generate creative ideas by bringing unexpected things together. The helps generate creative and sometimes ridiculous ideas by bringing odd or unexpected things together.

Rules to Help Guide Your Mash-Up

  1. Create two broad, un-related categories.
  2. Write down your ideas in each category on pieces of cut-out paper.
  3. Combine the ideas in a bowl.
  4. Pick favorite matches to act on.


Now it’s time to prototype your idea; sketching is a great visual way to show your solution. Using simple drawings and sketches with a tablet, phone or even paper can help visualize your idea, even with interactions with people.

Ideas to Help You Sketch

  1. Start with simple lines and shapes.
  2. Show how people might interact with your product in your sketches (draw people)
  3. Use your mash-up ideas to sketch 
    1. Easy – choose ones that are easy to make and takes less time and effort. 
    2. Innovative – create sketch off ideas that are innovative solutions.

Getting People Interested

We are now ready to tell people about your solution before developing it, get people interested could help increase success. We have identified the following rules to guide you through developing a blue print to present your ideas.

Rules to Help Present Your Idea

  1. What’s the concept? Write down a description of your idea and why it matters to people.
  2. Pick an approach:
    1. Make it Personal – help frame idea in comfortable and familiar way.
    2. Use anecdote or reflection – tell in relation to past story.
    3. Get emotional – audience will emphasize with you and become more involved.
    4. Include call to action – prompts person to get involve and act. Sets urgency.
  3. Write a rough draft – bullet points, small descriptive sentences
  4. Tell Your Story

Want to learn this topic in more detail and practice along? Join our Design Thinking Principles Certification Program in I GET IT for the full learning experience. Our program will provide interactive video lessons, downloadable workshop templates and projects, and assessments to make you a design thinking master! To view our complete learning library, visit https://myigetit.com.

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