Skip to content
O'Reilly home
Design Thinking

Design Thinking for Non-Designers

How to become user-centered at rapid speed

This event has ended.

What you’ll learn and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, online course, you’ll understand:

  • The definition of design thinking in clear terms
  • How to leverage design thinking as a tool to drive user-centered product development

And you’ll be able to:

  • Use design thinking activities to align your team
  • Build and develop a deeper understanding of your users
  • Employ the design thinking framework to solve complex problems and recognize gaps in your products

This course is for you because…

  • You are a developer working on a legacy or technically challenging product who needs to come up with new ideas of what the product could be.
  • You are a product manager who wants to take your product’s UX to the next level, and you need to understand what you’re building and how to deliver it.
  • You are an innovator who wants to understand your user and deliver an amazing product experience.



  • A basic understanding of the design thinking approach and general practical experience
  • Familiarity with team dynamics (ideally from a leadership perspective)

Recommended preparation:


Scoping a workshop for non-designers

Design thinking: A manual for innovation

Design thinking in the corporate DNA

IBM Design Thinking (website)

Kaiser Permanente’s innovation on the front lines


Create a high-level list of what you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. The focus here is to try and understand what your job function is and how you can collaborate with other disciplines by using design thinking on your team.

Materials and downloads needed:

  • A minimum of two Post-it notepads and three standard Sharpie markers
  • Download these worksheets, which we will use during the course


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing.

Session 1: Introduction to Design Thinking

  • Design thinking basics in a modern context (10 minutes)
  • Q&A (10 minutes)
  • Understanding your users (20 minutes)
  • Exercise: Persona sketch—Identify how much or how little you know about your users (20 minutes)
  • Break (10 minutes)
  • Exercise: Stakeholder map—Better understand your user’s realm of influence (20 minutes)
  • Reflection and Q&A (30 minutes)

Homework: Discuss the stakeholder map or persona sketch with your team and identify any problems or comments

Session 2: Finding opportunities

  • Finding opportunities (20 minutes)
  • Exercise: Journey map—Map a user’s journey to learn what areas of the journey can be improved using design thinking (20 minutes)
  • Q&A (10 minutes)
  • Break (10 minutes)
  • Pain points and opportunities (15 minutes)
  • Exercise: Journey map—Identify the parts of the experience that could be improved (15 minutes)
  • Reflection and Q&A (30 minutes)

Homework: With your team, identify one scenario to analyze with a journey map

Session 3: Delivering disruption

  • Delivering disruption (20 minutes)
  • Exercise: Ideate big ideas for your users and learn how to prioritize and group ideas into actionable steps for you and your team (25 minutes)
  • Q&A (15 minutes)
  • Break (10 minutes)
  • Road mapping—Scoping and delivering a big idea to market (15 minutes)
  • Q&A (15 minutes)
  • Wrap up and Q&A (30 minutes)

Next steps: Work with your team to ideate big ideas and little wins around the pain points discovered and synthesize and prioritize the ideas that have the most impact on your users

Your Instructor

  • Naveen Raja

    Naveen Raja is a design thinking & strategy facilitator. His passion for design has allowed him to vision, scope and scale design facilitation programs for companies both large and small. Through helping various teams at Consensys, The World Bank, SAP, IBM, Fidelity Investments, Citibank, Marriott Hotels and more he is perfecting his recipe for how to help people to achieve more by using design. He is passionate about how people, places and cultures intermix and the significance it can play on creating an experience.

Start your free 10-day trial

Get started

Want to learn more at events like these?

Get full access to O'Reilly online learning for 10 days—free.

  • checkmark50k+ videos, live online training, learning paths, books, and more.
  • checkmarkBuild playlists of content to share with friends and colleagues.
  • checkmarkLearn anywhere with our iOS and Android apps.
Start Free TrialNo credit card required.