Thinking with a New Purpose: Lessons Learned from Teaching Design Thinking Skills to Creative Technology Students

  • Marc FabriEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9186)


This paper reports on the insights gained from introducing Design Thinking into the final year of a UK university course where students created positive behavior change interventions. The rationale for course design and teaching process is outlined, with a discussion of design as an engineering process versus an innovation process. The students followed Stanford University’s 5-step approach of Empathize-Define-Ideate-Prototype-Test, and their journey is described in detail. We observed that initially students found the Design Thinking approach counter-intuitive and confusing, yet on further progress they recognized the strengths and opportunities it offers. On the whole, students reflected positively on their learning and the re-evaluation of their role as a designer of digital artefacts. Lessons learned from a teaching point of view are outlined, the most poignant being the realization that it was required to ‘un-teach’ certain design practices students had come to adopt, in particular the view of design as a self-inspired process where users are consulted for feedback but not as a source for innovation.


Design education Situated learning Design thinking Service design Human-Centered design Behavior change Persuasive design 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Art, Environment and TechnologyLeeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

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