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IATEFL 2023 Conference - Ben's Thoughts on Daniela Sora's Talk on Design Thinking

Daniela Sora's talk gave us a wonderfully-concise 30-minute introduction to the subject of Design Thinking - ostensibly a way of producing products and services using empathy and problem-solving to improve the experience of users or customers.

This was a subject I had only briefly come across before in passing so gained my interest in the conference programme. A glance in the room where Daniela would be speaking showed sticky notes set out on the seats so audience members knew there would be creative and meaningful activities.

Design thinking, as Daniela explained, has five stages and I have provided a very conciser summary below:

1. Empathise: place yourself in the position of your end users, consider their needs and wants, think about why they want something.

2. Define: have a clear idea of the challenge and what you aim to achieve.

3. Ideate: brainstorm, mind map and using sticky notes to generate creative ideas.

4. Prototype: create draft and models as first versions of your idea.

5. Test: gather feedback from users and make improvements.

Audience members responded well to these new ideas.

This was a nice introduction to a deep and complex yet highly useful area that I look forward to learning about. This would easily justify a longer workshop.

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