What are the best Design Thinking CPD courses?

What are the best Design Thinking CPD courses?

21 Mar 2024

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As a problem-solving approach, design thinking prioritises empathy, creativity and collaboration with the aim of generating innovative solutions. It usually involves developing a deep understanding of user’s needs, the brainstorming of ideas, prototyping, and iterating to create practical and user-centric designs. This article will outline the main goals and key pillars, along with some practical examples and where to find the best design thinking CPD courses.

What is the main goal of design thinking?

The primary goal of design thinking is to create new innovative and lasting solutions to complex problems. It seeks to cultivate a more human-centric approach to further the aim of generating results that not only address immediate challenges but also consider the user experience and the broader context. Achieving this involves placing a strong emphasis on understanding the needs and perspectives of the “end-users”. The process encourages an in-depth comprehension of the problem, leading to more effective and creative solutions, resulting in a more impactful, long-term, and ultimately user-friendly, customer-focused outcome.

What are the 5 key pillars of design thinking?

Although seeming at times a complicated subject, design thinking is often characterised by five key pillars. These can be built upon but provide a helpful way to understand some of the essentials of a design thinking approach.

1. Empathise: Understand the needs and perspectives of the end-users by actively listening and observing. This involves developing a deep sense of empathy to grasp the user's experience and challenges.

2. Define: Clearly articulate the problem you are trying to solve based on the insights gained through empathy. This step involves synthesising information and forming a specific and actionable problem statement.

3. Innovate: Generate a wide range of creative and innovative solutions to address the defined problem. Encourage brainstorming and open-minded exploration of possibilities without judgment.

4. Prototype: Develop tangible representations of your ideas, allowing for quick and inexpensive testing of concepts. Prototypes can take various forms, from sketches and models to digital simulations, providing a hands-on way to evaluate potential solutions.

5. Test: Gather feedback by testing prototypes with end-users. This step involves iteration and refinement based on user responses, allowing for continuous improvement and ensuring that the final solution meets user needs effectively. 

These pillars serve as a solid foundation for developing expertise in design thinking and also offer a useful starting point for understanding why design thinking is an effective method of problem-solving, applicable across professions and industries.

Benefits of a design thinking approach

What are some practical examples of design thinking?

Design thinking has a huge range of practical uses across a wide variety of sectors, as it's informal and detailed process makes it valuable in shaping innovative solutions. Below we have outlined a few simple examples that demonstrate the benefits of design thinking and how these can be applied in order to create user-centric outcomes with deeper understanding and testing.

Redesigning Healthcare Experience:

Designers immerse themselves in the healthcare environment, interviewing patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to understand their experiences, frustrations, and needs. Based on findings, they define a specific problem, such as the lack of clear communication between healthcare providers and patients during the discharge process. Brainstorming sessions lead to ideas for improving communication, such as a mobile app that provides personalised post-discharge instructions and allows patients to ask questions directly to healthcare professionals. 

Enhancing Educational Tools:

Professionals engage with students, teachers, and parents to understand challenges in the current education system, focusing on remote learning. They identify a common problem, such as the difficulty students face in staying engaged during online classes. Brainstorming generates ideas, including interactive content and virtual collaboration tools. A prototype of a gamified learning platform is developed, allowing students to interact with educational content in a more engaging way. The prototype is tested with students and educators to gather feedback, leading to further refinements.

Redesigning Public Spaces:

City planners might utilise design thinking to revamp public spaces. Through detailed observation of how individuals interact within parks or plazas, brainstorming innovative improvements, and testing prototypes, they can develop solutions that not only enhance user experience but also promote community engagement. The iterative nature of this process ensures that the final designs reflect the diverse needs and preferences of the local population, resulting in more vibrant and inviting urban environments.

Developing Inclusive Technology:

Design thinking can be employed in creating technology that is inclusive for all users, encompassing a wide range of abilities and needs. For instance, when designing apps or websites with features for people with disabilities, it involves empathising deeply with diverse user needs, generating inclusive ideas, and rigorously testing prototypes to ensure usability and accessibility.

Advantages of the best design thinking CPD courses

Participating in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses focused on design thinking can bring significant benefits across industries. Whether you're new to the subject or already experienced, there are courses available that offer personalised guidance and can be tailored to individuals of all skill levels, helping you gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively apply design thinking principles in your professional field.

The collaborative and hands-on nature of CPD encourages experiential learning and exposure to diverse perspectives, creating a dynamic environment where professionals from different industries can share insights and learn from one another. Exchange of insights and best practices with peers reinforces the practical application of design thinking methodologies. Investing in CPD training courses equips professionals with the latest knowledge to stay updated, drive innovation, and develop a problem-solving mindset. Incorporating user-focused approaches learned through CPD courses can offer practical advantages across various sectors and areas of specialisation.

Where to find design thinking CPD courses?

If you are interested in undertaking CPD to develop your design thinking skills and knowledge, please visit the CPD Courses Catalogue. Here you will find thousands of accredited courses and events from across all industries and learning types, which would be beneficial for any further learning requirements. All the certified training has been reviewed and recognised as meeting the required industry standards and benchmarks. To find out more about a particular CPD course listed on our website, you can complete an enquiry form and the details will be sent directly to the relevant CPD provider.

How to become an accredited CPD training provider

We hope this article was helpful. Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. If you offer training courses, conferences, workshops, eLearning or events that may be suitable for Continuing Professional Development, please visit the Become a CPD Provider page or contact our team to discuss in more detail. 

Alternatively, if you are looking for a free online CPD record tool to help manage, track and log your ongoing learning, as well as store your professional training records and attendance certificates in one simple place, go to the myCPD Portal page.

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