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Posted: May 2, 2017

By: Megan Weekley


Why Organizations Need Design Thinking


Let’s face it, there are many things in our business organizations and markets that we cannot control.  It is a reality of work life that will never change.  However, what we can control is our mindset and the way we approach challenges.  This is the crux of design thinking.  Design thinking is a different way of approaching the big challenges we face.  It looks at people’s needs and allows us to view problems with fresh eyes to stimulate innovation and generate new possibilities. 

Recently, Western Continuing Studies launched its first ever two-day Design Thinking Workshop.  We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with the esteemed Dr. Sidneyeve Matrix on the development and facilitation of this workshop.  Sidneyeve is an Associate Professor and Queen's University National Scholar.  She is a digital culture guru, frequently speaking and consulting in the areas of design thinking, digital communication, & creative entrepreneurship. 

To shed light on the fascinating world of design thinking, I asked Sidneyeve to share some insight on the topic:


What is design thinking in a nutshell?

Design thinking is an innovation method for arriving at human-centred creative solutions. At its core, the process is powered by empathy, so design thinkers develop a deep understanding of the needs, desires, motivations and frustrations their users experience. In the process, design thinking guides innovation teams to envision, build, and deliver more intuitive, frictionless, delightful, and effective user experiences.


Why is design thinking getting a lot of buzz these days?

Design thinking helps organizations to innovate, and therefore stay competitive, by offering products, services, and experiences that solve real user problems.  


Who could benefit most from design thinking training?

From education to health care, in the performing arts, engineering, social services and human relations, from manufacturing to retail -- and everything in-between, design thinking is being used across cultural, academic, and business sectors. As a collaborative and creative problem-solving method that delivers rapid results, the design thinking approach resonates widely with those seeking to drive corporate, technical, and social innovation. 



photos from an in class prototyping exercise using post it notes

Prototyping is an integral part of design thinking because it allows us to test our assumptions, learn about users, and improve on our ideas without taking on the large investments of time and resources.


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