Ten Tools for Design Thinking

27 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017 Last revised: 10 Nov 2021

See all articles by Jeanne Liedtka

Jeanne Liedtka

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Timothy Ogilvie

Peer Insight


This technical note is part of a course module that focuses on teaching design-thinking skills and 10 tools to identify and implement innovation and growth opportunities. It can be taught to MBA, undergraduate, or executive groups. The note and its accompanying teaching note includes an explanation of why design thinking is a useful addition to a business curriculum, an outline for a 15-session course, a description of the 10 design tools taught, and a set of student exercises to practice them. It also summarizes a series of 10 video interviews with leading designers and teachers that are available for free on the Designing at Darden website.For those interested in adding self or peer assessment to students' design thinking learning journey, Professor Jeanne Liedtka, working with coauthors Karen Hold, Jessica Eldridge, and Treehouse Design, has synthesized more than a decade of research at Darden to create the Innovation Impact Assessment. This tool will help students identify personal development opportunities and provide them with practical guidance (in the form of detailed individual feedback reports) to accelerate skill development. The instrument identifies a set of five core competencies based on 44 behaviors that successful design thinkers have in common. It is available for individual use and bulk purchase via Darden Business Publishing at this link: https://store.darden.virginia.edu/innovation_impact_assessment.



Rev. Mar. 25, 2011

Ten Tools for Design Thinking

This technical note profiles 10 design tools managers can use to identify and execute opportunities for growth and innovation. They include the following:

1. Visualization is about using images. It's not about drawing; it's about visual thinking. It pushes us beyond using words or language alone. It is a way of unlocking a different part of our brains that allows us to think nonverbally and that managers might not normally use.

2. Journey mapping (or experience mapping) is an ethnographic research method that focuses on tracing the customer's “journey” as he or she interacts with an organization while in the process of receiving a service, with special attention to emotional highs and lows. Experience mapping is used with the objective of identifying needs that customers are often unable to articulate.

. . .

Keywords: design thinking

Suggested Citation

Liedtka, Jeanne and Ogilvie, Timothy, Ten Tools for Design Thinking. Darden Case No. UVA-BP-0550, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2973941

Jeanne Liedtka (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
804-924-1404 (Phone)
804-924-6378 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/liedtka.htm

Timothy Ogilvie

Peer Insight

717 D St, NW, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20004
United States

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