Design Thinking

Design Thinking is book that covers all you need to know about human centred design, how it can benefit your work, and how to run your own workshops with clients.

What is it?

Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for the end users of the product. Whilst many businesses are now seeing the value of using Design Thinking, this methodology has been developing since the 1960s under a multitude of names. But the base principles have seen little change.

It all began at IBM.

Through interning at IBM, I was heavily exposed to Design Thinking during the twelve months I worked there. In the iX Studio we used it heavily in the products we created, and strived to teach our clients the benefits of using this practice. Before this I was not too familiar with the process. In recent times its popularity has continued to grow, but many designers and companies still fail to utilise these methods of thinking. I hoped this book could be a great reference for designers. In particular students who have had little experience in this area.


During my initial sketches for the physical book, I came up with ideas for pushing construction boundaries to further support the aim of the book. The book would include die-cuts to house a set of post-its, and a sharpie. The publication was originally planned to be B5, however later this to a square layout to create a stronger connection to post-its—a design thinking staple. The illustrations were all drawn by hand to continue the aesthetic and messiness that comes with workshopping. From the outset this was going to be a heavily research based book. I read numerous websites and articles, and referred back to documentation I relied on at IBM. I also interviewed designers that use these practices heavily in their own work. Interviews with the Managing Director of TANK, Jim Antonopoulos, and Director of EY Sydney studio, Jennifer Martin were included in the final publication. I also set out to run my own design thinking workshop with participants, but ran out of time to do this.


Nightmare Production

From the initial concept to the final output die-cuts were an essential element. Initially I had hoped to house a set of post-its, and a sharpie; but I decided on leaving out the sharpie as I was losing too much space and flexibility in the layout. There were plans to use a mix of butchers paper alongside stock paper. Due to print and time limitations the final publication did not include butchers paper. With the ambitiousness of the project, at the time I had no choice but to take a cheaper route for printing and binding, and opted to do it DIY. This involved making my very own book press, and sacrificing scale and quality of output in order to make the tight deadline.

One of these major changes was scaling down the publication so my A3 printer could print the spreads. Unfortunately my printer did not have a double sided option for A3 paper. I got around this by manually flipping the paper so it could print on both sides. Whilst this solved one problem, the printer was unable to align the pages properly every time. When trimming the pages, they did not line up as anticipated, and this issue was further exacerbated when hand cutting the die-cut for the post-it pad. I had basically zero experience in booking binding, but felt more confident after watching many YouTube videos, and successfully completing multiple miniature versions of the publication.

On the one that counted; time pressure, sleep deprivation, and wonky pages sought out to rattle me. Through the binding and drying process, a couple of the spreads managed to get switched out of place. The glue warped a few of the body pages despite the use of barriers, a book press, and fans to help with drying. This project was a perfect example of where ambition didn’t quite align with time and budget measures. Whilst I am still disappointed with the physical publication, I am so incredibly proud of the research and effort that was put into it. I hope to reprint it professionally in the future to do it justice.


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