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Foundations of Design Thinking

Tea & Trails, a quaint little café in a bustling city is struggling for survival. Can Design Thinking help the owners find a way to overcome this challenge? Join Olive and Joy in this storified experience, where you will learn when, where and how to apply Design Thinking to find solutions to the knotty problems in business that don’t have straight answers.

What you’ll learn

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When & where

When to use Design Thinking as an approach to solving knotty problems. Where to start and what mindset to commit to before getting started.

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Who, what and how

Pick up the techniques of mapping your customer’s journey and understanding the user persona.

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In your user’s shoes

Empathize with your user persona in as much depth as you can. What do they need, want, expect, aspire for, like, dislike, and so forth.

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Defining the problem

Use your insights to frame the problem statement. Set up your challenge for ideation.

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Listing candidate solutions

Use brainstorming techniques and ideation strategies like S.C.A.M.P.E.R to create possible solutions to solve the problem.

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Prototyping and iterating

Create early prototypes for your suggested solution to gather feedback. Test your idea and capture feedback before reiterating.




This course includes:

Training for 5 or more people?

Get your team access to FocusU Academy courses anytime, anywhere.

Who will benefit from this course?

This course is ideal for:
  • Management students and professionals
  • Engineering students and professionals
  • Entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Marketing professionals
  • Product managers
  • Project managers

Detailed Course Syllabus

  • When can you use Design Thinking as a problem solving approach?
  • What is the mindset that is required to use Design Thinking?
  • What are the basic elements that constitute the Design Thinking process?

Reflection Exercise
  • Identify products/services around you that are designed keeping in mind the pain points of its customers.
  • What are ‘knotty’ problems?
  • When should you NOT use Design Thinking?
  • What are Personas and how do you build them?
  • How do you map the consumer’s journey with your product or service?
  • How can you identify high points, pain points and opportunities for value addition?

Reflection Exercise
  • Identify scenarios where you would or would not use Design Thinking.

Application Exercises
  • Identify the high points, pain points and opportunities for value addition. 
  • Detail out a consumer persona.
  • Sequence the consumer’s journey correctly.
  • How can we gather insights about consumers through empathy?  
  • How to observe consumers in their natural environment?
  • How to conduct an interview with a consumer effectively?
  • What can we learn from extreme users?
  • How can immersive empathy help us gain consumer insights?

Reflection Exercise
  • What can you learn from extreme consumers of a domestic airlines company?

Application Exercises
  • Record your observation using the What – How – Why tool.
  • Evaluate an interview with a consumer.
  • Exercise to practice immersive empathy in your work or life.
  •  How to use an empathy map to organize all the observations and insights that you have gathered about consumers?
  • How to frame the problem statement?
  • How to set up your problem statement for ideation?

Application Exercises
  • Organize your observations about your consumer using the Empathy Map and draw insights.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of ‘How might we’ questions.
  • Run an experiment with ‘How might we’ questions in your own meeting or brainstorming session.
  • Why does Design Thinking follow a diverging and converging path? 
  • When it comes to ideation, why is having more ideas better?
  • How to do a brainstorming session well?
  • How to use a framework like S.C.A.M.P.E.R to generate more ideas?

Application Exercises
  • Evaluate a brainstorming session. 
  • Identify how S.C.A.M.P.E.R has been used in the given list of products or services. 
  • Share your ideas for the given problem statement using the principles in the module. 
  • How to evaluate an idea and a prototype using the DFV framework?  
  • What is the importance of developing a quick and early prototype? 
  • How to develop a quick and early-stage/preliminary prototype?
  • How to capture feedback for your early prototype?

Application Exercises
  • Evaluate the ideas at a supermarket using the DFV framework. 
  • Suggest an early prototype for one of the given ideas. 
  • Capture your feedback for one of the early prototypes. 
  • Design an early prototype for an idea at work or in your life.

Know your Course Advisors


Dr. Rajshri Jobanputra

Head – FocusU Academy

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Shõan Shinde

Design Thinking Practitioner and Marketing Director at TurboHire


Dyti Dawn

Lead – Learning Experience Design,
FocusU Academy


Namitha Vijaykumar

Co- Founder Learning Ethos & Design Thinking Evangelist


We have been in the space of learning and engagement for more than a decade. Hop by and have a look at the testimonials that our workshops have gathered. Our endeavour at FocusU Academy is to bring the same joy to our learners who love to learn anytime, anywhere.

Experiential learning with exercises, reflection and social sharing ensures you have an engaging learner experience. We strive to combine deep learning principles with simple storytelling.

Not at all! Remember Aesop’s Fables, Panchatantra and the likes? And all the lessons you learnt as a kid? The human mind is naturally hooked to stories. Learning about different concepts through stories can improve your retention seven-fold.

Our course is structured into 6 modules. Each of these comprises animated video lessons, flashcards, application and reflection exercises which will make it engaging for you.

The total duration of the course is 6 hours. You have the choice to either take it up in one burst or to engage with it in bite sized sessions. You can access the course on your mobile or the web browser, anytime, anywhere. This course will be accessible to you for a period of 90 days from the time of enrolment. 

While learning can be done alone, it can sometimes be a boring experience. When the experience is boring, we tend to remember very little of it, let alone applying it. Our courses are designed such that you get the opportunity to learn from reading the views and responses of other learners like yourself. You will also have the choice of sharing your thoughts and views with your fellow explorers. 

Yes, you will receive a socially shareable certificate for this course if you fulfil the course grading criteria. To receive your certificate, you would be required to fulfil the proficiency criteria of the course. We strongly encourage you to complete all the exercises in the course, participate with the learning community and practice what you learn in the course. And while you do so, keep an eye out for the badges that you can unlock for yourself. More on that as you move along in the course!

You will be consuming our course on the Gametize platform. You will have 2 options to take up this course. 

Option 1 : Learn on the web without downloading the application. Click here to start. 

Option 2 : On your phone, you can learn either on your browser or by downloading the Gametize App. Follow the instructions on this page and get started. 

Gametize is a mobile-first learning and gamification platform where we host our courses. 

When you are doing the course, you will have an option to share it directly with your friends and colleagues. 

You learn when you analyse, share and engage in a topic. So, we would absolutely recommend that you share your key takeaways and reflections from this course. And while you do that, don’t forget to tag us using the hashtag #FUAstories.

 The content and story of this course is protected by copyright. If you are not sure, you can read our terms and conditions here. If you are not sure, reach out to us at

Of course, you can! Just write to us here. Choose ‘Question Regarding the Content’ and leave us a message. We will respond to you at the earliest opportunity! This option will be available to you within the course too.
Just write to us here. Choose “Technical Issue” and leave us a message. We will respond to you at the earliest opportunity! This option will be available to you within the course too. 

The course will be accessible to you for 90 days from the time of paid enrolment. 

While the best part of self-paced learning is that you can learn anytime and anywhere, it helps to plan your study. We would recommend the following for effective completion: 

  • Target the completion of 2 modules every week. This amounts to 60 minutes of estimated study time. This includes any assignments and exercises included in the course. 
  • Set aside specific time slots during the week to learn. Based on your convenience, choose either 1 or 2 sittings in a week. 
  • Calendarize and stick to it! Treat your learning as a critical part of your personal and professional growth. Give it the importance that you would give to an important client. In this case, the client is yourself. 
  • Reach out to our course advisors. We have a stake in your growth and we would be happy to help you with absolutely anything. 

You can choose to complete your assignments or exercises any time during your access. We would recommend that you complete them as part of your regular study plan. Please note that completion of exercises is important for you to fulfil the proficiency criteria to receive your certificate. 

Yes – if you have at least 3 friends to tag along with you, you’ve got a deal. Reach out to us. Choose the option ‘Learn with my friends’ and drop us a message. 

 If you are an HR or L&D person evaluating this for your employees, choose the option ‘I want this course for my employees’ and drop us a message.  

You can click on the ‘Enroll’ button on the course to pay for the course. You can pay through credit or debit cards, netbanking, wallet or UPI.