Design Thinking Resources For Practitioners
We get questions on books, papers, and other ‘how-to-get-started-with-design-thinking (DT)’ resources over and over. Thus we decided to compile this little page with the most influential and helpful practitioner material we currently know. For that we asked our circle of colleagues within the HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program, long-term DT practitioners from the DTX, as well as some colleagues from other universities. There can be no claim of completeness and we left out many works of authors and colleagues, which we love and often recommend on other occasions. You have feedback? There is a great resource we have overlooked? Feel free, to drop us a line.
Essential Readings — A Collection
|ResourceThe title of the paper, study or book||AuthorsJust click on the author to jump to the reference and source of the reference||Reading TimeHow long will it approx. take you to read this text?||Type of Publication||BFor Design Thinking Beginners||AFor Advanced Design Thinkers||EFor Design Thinking Experts|
|Design Thinking||< 1 day||Business Press Article||★For Design Thinking Beginners||☆Less For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|Innovation as a Learning Process: Embedding Design Thinking||< 1 day||Journal Paper||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Design Thinking: What It Is, Why It Is Different, Where It Has New Value.||< 1 day||Paper||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|Design Thinking: Notes on its Nature and Use.||< 1 day||Journal Paper||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|Framing Design Thinking: The Concept in Idea and Enactment.||< 1 day||Journal Paper||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|The Innovation Catalysts||< 1 day||Business Press Article||★For Design Thinking Beginners||☆Less For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Design Thinking: Past, Present and Possible Futures||< 1 day||Journal Paper||☆Not For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Design Thinking and How It Will Change Management Education: An Interview and Discussion||< 1 day||Journal Paper||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation||> 1 day||Book||★For Design Thinking Beginners||☆Less For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|The Design of Business – Roger Martin||> 1 day||Book||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis.||> 1 day||Book||☆Not For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Creative Confidence||> 1 day||Book||★For Design Thinking Beginners||☆Less For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|Parts Without a Whole? – The Current State of Design Thinking Practice in Organizations||> 1 day||Study Report||☆Not For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life||> 1 day||Book||★For Design Thinking Beginners||☆Less For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
|The Nature of Design Thinking||< 1 day||Conference Article||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Wicked Problems in Design Thinking||< 1 day||Journal Article||☆Less For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Design-Thinking-Diskurse: Bestimmung, Themen, Entwicklungen.||> 1 day||Doctoral Thesis (German Only)||☆Not For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Manifesto: Design Thinking Becomes Foundational.||< 1 day||Book Chapter||★For Design Thinking Beginners||★For Advanced Design Thinkers||★For Advanced Design Thinkers|
|Design Thinking Live||> 1 day||Book||★For Design Thinking Beginners||☆Less For Advanced Design Thinkers||☆Less For Design Thinking Experts|
Legend: B = Beginner / A = Advanced / E = Expert
Within the Design Thinking Research Program (DTRP), researchers from Stanford University and HPI strive to apply rigorous academic methods to understand how and why design thinking innovation works and fails. The research results from the different DTRP projects are annually published in the Springer volume “Understanding Innovation”. The reader gains insights into the latest scientific findings about factors of success, tools and methods of design thinking. If you want to dig deeper, this series is for you.
The Rotman Magazine is the official publication of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. They publish three themed issues per year. Content includes input from Rotman faculty; leading academics at top-tier schools, and thought leaders across a range of fields, including Design Thinking, Psychology, Consulting, Behavioural Economics, and Neuroscience. The magazine is hard to categorize as it appeals to novices and advanced innovation practitioners and learners of Design Thinking alike.
The Electronic Colloquium on Design Thinking Research (ECDTR) is a forum for the rapid and widespread interchange of ideas, methods, and results in Design Thinking Research. The purpose of the forum is to use electronic media for scientific communication and discussions in the Design Thinking Research community. It encompasses papers, short notes and surveys with relevance to Design Thinking Research and innovative solutions to Design Thinking research challenges with an interdisciplinary focus.
What Other DT-Experts Recommend
Here are some additional and handy lists with literature and tool kit recommendations from other design thinking experts. Enjoy!
Discussion Forums & Communities
You have urgent questions? You’re looking for like-minded peers? Or you just want to follow the latest buzz on the topic? Then you might like these forums ans discussion groups:
Collections of Tool and Method Kits
A Compendium of Design Process Models
Dubberly Office: “How do you design – A compendium of models” gives a great overview on the most common models of design, innovation and creativity.
Stanford Bootcamp Bootleg
A handy collection of basic tools and methods that are taught at the d.schools in Stanford and Potsdam.
Creative Confidence Tool Collection
A handy collection of basic tools and methods as recommended by the founder of IDEO, David Kelley.
A collection of best practices on team work,design research, the organization of design sprints and many topics more. All with a focus on start-ups.
Intuit is a company, which has undergone a massive cultural change guided by design thinking and lean start-up principles. Here they share some of their stories and methods.
The design thinking and Ux community at SAP also regularly publishes resources on their user experience community site.
The IDEO HCD Method Kit is a classic and invaluable resource for any ‘design thinker’. It encompasses a basic set of design tools, rules and methods one can use in everyday (business) life.
The FROG Collective Action Tool Kit is geared towards local change agents who want to transform communities. Nevertheless the methods can be used in many other contexts, too.
The Prototyping Card Set from the HPI Potsdam guides design thinking novices in building the ‘right prototype’ in every situation. The cards can be downloaded or ordered at Amazon.
The IDEO Design Thinking For Educators Kit is geared towards the needs of those K12 schools and teachers, who believe that a design thinking mindset should be developed from very early days on.
This book is one of those rare gems, where you might say: It’s the only one I’ll ever need. Decades of IIT’s experience with design and strategy (modeling) methods crammed into 336 pages. Presented by Vijay Kumar, professor in Strategic Design Planning and the Design Methods programs of IIT.ID.
How can we as leaders, designers, and strategists factor in the limits of growth into our work? This guide and tool-set helps you incorporate a Circular Economy perspective when developing your ‘next’ truly sustainable product-service system or business model. Brought to you by Ellen McArthur Foundation and IDEO.
Not only useful to people in the UK government. The toolkit from the GDS brings together all the things that are available to help teams building government services. So, administrations of the world: Take note!
Another great collection of design methods. Especially recommended to beginners, to gain a quick overview.
A toolkit, derived from research into behavioural economics. It helps you to make use of peoples typical thinking and behaviour pattern biases and nudge them into certain desired behaviours accordingly.
The public version of the IBM Design Thinking Field Guide introduces its readers to IBM’s take on design thinking and how they adapted and merged the approach with agile practices.
The category system of the LUMA method cards is simple yet clever. Great for planning and organizing project work with first time clients or teams, who are not savvy yet in using HCD methods.
Scenes is a storyboard creation set. You can build products and service scenarios fast, collaboratively and iteratively — without the need of refined drawing skills.
Design Thinking-related Podcasts
If you are more the listener kind of person you might like this little collection of design (thinking) podcasts.
In this podcast, innovation scholar and design thinking adaption expert Ingo Rauth interviews innovations leaders and program managers about the challenges of scaling design thinking in big corporates.
Latest Episodes of the Innovate by Design Podcast
January 18, 2017, 2:55 pm – I was especially curious to talk to Christi Zuber, as Kaiser Permanente (KP) has been one of the first organisations to experiment using design thinking outside of product design. I met Christi first in 2011 when she was working as in th... [ Listen to the episode ]
July 11, 2016, 12:45 pm – In this episode, I’m talking to Diana Joseph, former Director, Innovation Enablement at Citrix (San Francisco, USA). At Citrix Diana and her team developed an intense, hands-on curriculum that focuses on desirability, viability and fea... [ Listen to the episode ]
May 6, 2016, 8:10 am – Welcome to episode two of season one where we focus on how to bring design and innovation to large organizations. In this episode I’ve talked to Tobias Haug. Tobias is a Head of Design & Co-Innovation Center, EMEA at SAP. As we all know,... [ Listen to the episode ]
April 29, 2016, 9:41 am – More and more banks are jumping on the design thinking and service design band wagon, often as a means to conform to the latest hype “digital transformation”. Given the number of bank cases that pop-up on the topic, the movement towards ... [ Listen to the episode ]
April 20, 2016, 6:43 pm – The first season of Innovate by Design is exploring how design and innovation can be fostered inside large organizations. My first guest this season and on the show is Ben Grossman-Kahn, who is the former director of Nordstrom’s People I... [ Listen to the episode ]
Jessica Helfand and Michael Bierut are the instructors of the Yale School of Management’s first design course. In their podcast „The Design of Business/The Business of Design“, they explore the intersection of design and business with the help of guest lecturers from their classes.
Latest Episodes of the The Design of Business — The Business of Design Podcast
The O’Reilly Design Podcast explores how experience design — and experience designers — are shaping business, the Internet of Things, and other domains. Thus, design thinking is of course a topic often touched here.
Latest Episodes of the O'Reilly Design Podcast
August 17, 2017, 12:20 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Quickly test ideas like a design thinker.[ Listen to the episode ]
July 27, 2017, 11:00 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Designing for the “six minds,” the importance of talking like a human, and the future of predictive AI.[ Listen to the episode ]
July 13, 2017, 2:00 pm –
The O'Reilly Design Podcast: Designing in secret, designing for voice, and why improv is an essential design skill.[ Listen to the episode ]
June 8, 2017, 11:25 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: The sombrero-shaped designer, leading design teams, and designing for retail.[ Listen to the episode ]
May 25, 2017, 10:50 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: What makes healthy teams healthy, being customer obsessed, and design and research at Microsoft.[ Listen to the episode ]
May 11, 2017, 11:00 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: The connective nature of product management, “no work above, no work below,” and the importance of talking to people who aren’t your customers.
This week, I sit down with Matt LeMay, product coach, consultant...[ Listen to the episode ]
April 27, 2017, 11:05 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Leadership, the design of product teams, and hiring optimists.[ Listen to the episode ]
April 13, 2017, 11:00 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Asking the right questions, conducting research in an agile environment, and conscious confidence.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with David Farkas, associate director of user experience at EPAM and...[ Listen to the episode ]
March 30, 2017, 11:05 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Design ethics and value systems, and what the Ford Pinto can teach us about the importance of human-centered design.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Jonathan Shariat, senior interaction designer...[ Listen to the episode ]
March 16, 2017, 11:55 am –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: The importance of intentional thinking, user-centered data visualizations, and separating functionality from implementation.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Noah Iliinsky, senior UX architect at...[ Listen to the episode ]
March 2, 2017, 2:55 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Build measure learn, the One Metric That Matters, and balancing hubris and humility.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Ben Yoskovitz, investor, entrepreneur, and former VP of product at VarageSale...[ Listen to the episode ]
February 16, 2017, 12:00 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: The guiding light of strategy, designing Allbirds, and what makes the magic of a brand identity.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Simon Endres, creative director and partner at Red Antler. We tal...[ Listen to the episode ]
February 2, 2017, 12:00 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Building bridges across disciplines, universal vs. inclusive design, and what playground design can teach us about inclusion.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Kat Holmes, principal design directo...[ Listen to the episode ]
January 19, 2017, 12:25 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Collaborating with engineering, hiring for humility, and the code debate.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Randy Hunt, VP of design at Etsy. We talk about the culture at Etsy, why it’s important ...[ Listen to the episode ]
January 5, 2017, 12:30 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Identifying use cases for robots, the five laws of robots, and the ethics and philosophy of robotics.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Andra Keay, managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics. We...[ Listen to the episode ]
December 22, 2016, 12:00 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Solving problems, user-centered design, and culture at NASA.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Jay Trimble, mission operations and ground data system manager, for the Resource Prospector Lunar Rov...[ Listen to the episode ]
December 8, 2016, 12:40 pm –
The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Pricing design, charting your learning path, and working with friends.
In this week’s Design Podcast, I sit down with Dan Mall, founder and director of Superfriendly. We talk about what skills designers should...[ Listen to the episode ]
Yes, you read right. McKinsey now also practices and believes in design thinking. In their episode “The power of design Thinking”, their Podcast team explores the topic and its application in organizations.Listen to the episode “The Power of Design Thinking”
The IDEO Futures podcasts started out as a prototype. By now, the team has released more than forty episodes of interviews with guests from the creative industry and the business sphere.
Latest Episodes of the IDEO Futures Podcast
August 18, 2017, 5:27 pm – Steve Vassallo is a General Partner at Foundation Capital and works at the intersection of business, technology, and design—all things close to our hearts. Steve joins Diego on episode 49 to talk about his new book, The Way to Design. ... [ Listen to the episode ]
August 3, 2017, 8:32 pm – Joe Gerber is BACK for a full episode of VDTBOM. Diego and Joe get nerdy pretty fast, but hang in there — mind blowing venture design awaits. They catch up on what's happening in the IDEO CoLab (www.ideocolab.com), learn about ICOs and t... [ Listen to the episode ]
June 20, 2017, 9:05 pm – If you don't already follow Michael Dearing on Twitter (twitter.com/mcgd), you'll want to after hearing this conversation with Diego (twitter.com/metacool). Michael is the founder of Harrison Metal and joins Diego to talk about venture m... [ Listen to the episode ]
May 25, 2017, 7:39 pm – As we approach the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend, three of our favorite (and renowned) automotive design geeks join Diego to discuss the lost art of hand painted racing numbers. Graphic designers, car enthusiasts, an... [ Listen to the episode ]
April 26, 2017, 8:40 pm – Our guest on episode 45 is a truly remarkable individual. Bonny Simi, president of JetBlue Technology Ventures, joins Diego to discuss everything from corporate venture capital and making changes within a large organization, to how she e... [ Listen to the episode ]
April 10, 2017, 6:17 pm – Bob Sutton is a Professor of Management Science and Engineering, and a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University. He's also quite a prolific author, and his books have a prominent place on our bookshelves. Bob and Diego... [ Listen to the episode ]
March 10, 2017, 8:07 pm – Episode 43 is all about asking questions to learn your way to a better place. Ace IDEO business designers David Aycan and Katherine Londergan join Diego to talk about the importance of questions, whether you're just getting started or fi... [ Listen to the episode ]
January 27, 2017, 6:23 pm – "What will you do Monday that's different?" Zach First, executive director of the Drucker Institute, joins Diego + guest host Susan O'Malley for a packed extended episode. Whether you're new to Peter Drucker or a versed student, this is... [ Listen to the episode ]
December 16, 2016, 11:10 pm – Nick Edwards is the founder and CEO of GradientOne, Inc. He also spent five years as a Submarine Officer on Los Angeles Class fast attack submarines. His insights around leadership are sharp and invaluable. He graduated with a BS in Cont... [ Listen to the episode ]
September 29, 2016, 6:27 pm – Rob Pardo is on a mission to create game experiences that build and deepen friendships. Formerly the Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard Entertainment—where he led the design of World of Warcraft—Rob and a small team of game designers rec... [ Listen to the episode ]
August 31, 2016, 12:45 am – Jane Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Embrace Innovations, a social enterprise startup creating technologically innovative products for a global community of mothers and babies. Embrace Innovations recently launched Little Lotus Baby, a... [ Listen to the episode ]
August 9, 2016, 9:11 pm – Brittany Ammerman founded the Nikumbuke Women's Soccer League in Kenya while she was a student and star hockey player at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Whether you are a soccer fan or not, her journey and her passion are an inspi... [ Listen to the episode ]
July 26, 2016, 6:03 pm – Kevin Kelly talks with Diego and Joe about his juicy new book, "The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future". From AI and VR, to the idea that Kevin's next book probably won't be a book, the conve... [ Listen to the episode ]
July 12, 2016, 8:44 pm – You're in for a treat this week: a full episode of Venture Design that Blows our Minds. VDTBOM XL. We talk Indy car racing, the DAO, simulations, electric cars in Spain, ridesharing in Austin, and much more. Plus, a few surprise guests t... [ Listen to the episode ]
June 10, 2016, 10:12 pm – Earlier this year, Diego hosted a fascinating conversation with drivers Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Long as part of the Open Garage Talk series at the Revs Program at Stanford. Titled "Mindset of a Champion", the conversation focused o... [ Listen to the episode ]
May 25, 2016, 10:37 pm – Suzanne Gibbs Howard and Coe Leta Stafford join us to talk about the process of bringing IDEO U (ideou.com) to life. Both Suzanne and Coe are design researchers and have incredibly sharp insights about the entrepreneurial journey. To b... [ Listen to the episode ]
April 29, 2016, 11:37 pm – John Lilly is back on the pod, this time to talk about Blitzscaling (a course he co-taught last fall at Stanford with Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue and Chris Yeh), what's catching his eye these days, productivity tools, our transition from we... [ Listen to the episode ]
A great video podcast by Bobby Ghoshal and Jared Erondu on product design and design thinking. They interview design (thinking) leaders in the industry on their take of practicing design and innovation.
Latest Episodes of the Highresolution.Design Podcast
January 2, 2018, 5:57 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
September 17, 2017, 11:27 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 30, 2017, 12:14 am – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 28, 2017, 5:36 am – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 28, 2017, 5:19 am – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 23, 2017, 4:09 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 20, 2017, 4:40 am – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 20, 2017, 4:28 am – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 16, 2017, 9:08 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 12, 2017, 7:48 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 9, 2017, 4:12 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 6, 2017, 7:07 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
July 6, 2017, 5:54 pm – [ Listen to the episode ]
Design is all around us, but much of it could be better. In this episode, TED speakers talk about the essence of good design in buildings, brands, the digital realm and the natural world.Listen to the episode “The Power of Design”
What is Design Thinking?
Embedding Design Thinking In The Organization
If you are new to design thinking, you might enjoy these introduction videos.
If you already deal with design thinking adaption and scaling, you might be interested in these videos.
Design Thinking MOOCs
The list below is not complete. It represents a ‘best-of collection’ of all the design thinking MOOCs a team of HDTRP researchers screened in 2015.
|Course Name||What the MOOC is about||Duration||Provider||Platform||Free?|
|Inspirations for Design: A Course on Human-Centered Research||This course will introduce you to crucial methods in design research, which will help you to discover inspirations for innovative solutions. We take a task-based approach to build your competencies and skills: You will learn to spot workarounds, observe potential users in their context and explore the basic skills of conducting insightful interviews.||5 Weeks||Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam University||openHPI||Yes|
|Design Thinking for Innovation||This course focuses on the application of design thinking in business contexts. It draws on examples from how DT is being applied in different organizations.||5 Weeks||University of Virginia||Coursera||Yes|
|Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design||A great introductory course into human-centered design and its application in social innovation. It requires the participants to form teams and work on local challenges. Useful for instable internet connection since PDF files are the main content delivery medium.||7 Weeks||+Acumen in collaboration with IDEO.org||NovoEd||Yes|
|Basics of Design Research||This course focuses on human-centered design research. It provides an overview of frequently used basic methods for conducting field research and identifying users.||5 Weeks||OpenSAP||OpenSAP||Yes|
|Design Kit: Prototyping||Following the learnings from the human-centered design course, this course focuses on prototyping skills and collecting feedback.||4 Weeks||+Acumen in collaboration with IDEO.org||NovoEd||Yes|
|Design Thinking Part I: Insights to Inspiration||The focus of this course is on conducting design research for need finding.||5 Weeks||Darden School of Business||University of Virginia||No|
|Design Thinking Part II: Ideas to Action||This course follows up on the learnings from its predecessor and focuses on creating innovative solutions based on the user research insights from the first part.||4 Weeks||Darden School of Business||University of Virginia||No|
|IDEO U||Different courses covering aspects of design thinking, the ‘IDEO way’.||4 Weeks||IDEO||IDEO U||No|
|Getting Started: Agile Meets Design Thinking||The course combines methods and tools from agile and design thinking to teach an effective approach to product development.||5 Weeks||University of Virginia||Coursera||Yes|
|Designing the Future||An introductory course into different design approaches, including design thinking, and their application for today’s challenges.||5 Weeks||RMIT University||Future Learn||No|
|Product Design: Delft Design Approach||An introductory online course, which teaches how to design meaningful products and services.||7 Weeks||Delft University||EdX||No|
|Design Thinking for Leading and Learning||This course focuses on the application of design thinking in classrooms and in K-12 education.||6 Weeks||MIT||EdX||Yes|
|Innovation of Products and Services: MIT’s Approach to Design Thinking||This course teaches, how to blend the perspectives of marketing, design and engineering into a systematic approach to delivering innovation.||8 Weeks||EMERITUS Institute of Management in collaboration with MITsloan Executive Education||Emeritus||No|
|Human-Centered Design: An Introduction||As part of a specialization track, this module focuses on different strategies from design thinking and how to create human-centered innovation in different domains.||4 Weeks||UC San Diego||Coursera||Yes|
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