hands on exercise for design thinking workshop

Design Thinking Workshop with MIT Undergrads

On Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, GVio hosted MIT Innovation Engineering undergrads at CIC Cambridge. The course is a requirement for the Undergraduate Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Throughout the semester, students learn about the process of taking an idea or concept and delivering it in the form of an impactful solution.

We held a design thinking workshop where we covered user experience and design thinking concepts, followed by a hands-on exercise.

In the hands-on exercise, we challenged the students to put themselves in the shoes of their user—to ask the questions a user might have when they interact with a website or application.

The students used printouts of real world apps and websites, overlaid with tracing paper where they would draft a “reverse question board“.

Question boards are a design artifact we use early in our process. They help us build the foundation for a design.

Reverse question boards help us reveal some of the design decisions behind an existing product. From this exercise, we can gain an understanding of who the product aims to serve, and what is truly important to that user.

hands on exercise for design thinking workshop
hands on exercise for design thinking workshop
MIT students present work from design thinking workshop

At the end of the workshop, some of the breakout groups presented their work. They explained the thought process behind each of the question boards they created. Some groups brought some additional insights to their presentation, explaining what they might do to improve the application they were assigned to analyze.

hands on exercise for design thinking workshop

The fun part about hosting this group was the different perspectives that came together in one room. Most of the students are studying various disciplines of engineering. The driving message behind the workshop is that design thinking is applicable in some form to each of these fields of study. Our goal was to provide a foundation in user-centric design as these students pursue academic work in various fields and eventually transition to future careers.