LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally.
Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.
Tess is a director of LAS. She has worked in a learning environment for over twenty years. First, as a senior manager in universities, moving into digital learning ten years ago.
By Tess Robinson
Posted 13 August 2021
We have been using Design Thinking, or rather our version of it, for many years now. It works! You can use it to design literally anything -products, services, environments, and, importantly, digital experiences. With increased interest in digital learning, it’s worth revisiting how a Design Thinking approach can add value to learning design.
Here are our top 10 takeaways from Design Thinking methodology:
1. Start with human need – get into your learner’s space, put yourself in their shoes. Don’t just look at what they say and think but also what they do and feel, as these things can be quite different.
2. Look outside – find analogous situations to inspire solutions. If you’re looking to get learners to share, think of situations where sharing happens well. These can be as diverse as a nursery or an AA meeting. Lessons for these do not have to be applied faithfully but you may find that there is something there in the way they facilitate sharing that can be translated to your project.
3. Hook into what people are already doing – there may not always be a need to reinvent the wheel, it may be that small adaptations are needed to produce the desired behaviours.
4. Prototype – this one is really important. Prototype early and at low cost to mitigate risk and to build your business case.
5. Talk to your people as humans. Give people permission to be themselves, rather than corporate robots. You will be rewarded for it.
6. Design not for people but with them. Engage your learners in innovation and they will become supporters.
7. Look for patterns in behaviour or actions that will help you gain insights and spot opportunities.
8. Brainstorming is a great tool but certain rules must apply – defer judgement, encourage wild ideas, build on the ideas of others but always stay focussed on the topic.
9. Celebrate failure. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong as that is how we progress. Failure should be allowed and even encouraged.
10. Evolution becomes inevitable when you use a design thinking approach.