Design Thinking 101: Taking Risks with Empathy & Prototyping

Bringing Year 10 Media Studies to Life

Do you want fries with that? 

 Institute of Design at Stanford -
I love that our Media Studies course is constantly evolving to reflect current trends and ever changing social media. Last year, Instagram was new, well for me anyway. Now, I  blog, tweet, access Feedly, whilst pinning interesting, relevant things on Pinterest. 
This term focuses on Advertising. Advertising is about being responsive to a target audience. This requires active listening, empathy and creativity. Making and Creating - sounds fun to me. This year, is about launching into design thinking to enhance and empower our future.
Using the 'Gift Giving Experience' design thinking model (, I launched into this term with the actual making and creating. Here is what I witnessed.
In one hour, I had music blaring and welcomed the class into their new advertising agency. Today was about listening to your client, showing empathy and offering prototypes - to enhance their gift giving experience.
Materials set up - ready to design
Working through the process  
Building prototypes

Collaboration & creativity = engaged students

Our visiting students were actively involved

Apps designed to assist the giver
Future Focused

My Reflection:

Ideally, you need 90 minutes to do this task justice. At first, the students were unsure and reluctant, however, as they worked through the process, at a fast pace, they relaxed into it. For them, they particularly liked the building stage. I decided that they could just share informally with each other, rather than to the whole group. They took the time to reflect, share and obtain feedback. Overall, they were happy and I was relieved - I took a risk, shifted totally out of my comfort zone and in turn, the students were empathetic, engaged and empowered. A huge THANK you to Stanford for the inspiration. Also to Di Cavallo and Steve Mouldey, from HPSS.