Design your thinking!

Innovative agencies are committed to continuously upskilling their workforce, enhancing its expertise and empowering it with higher capabilities. And opening the mind to new ways of thinking to find solutions should be a key focus area for capacity-building.      

With a long tradition of conducting internal trainings of its people and sponsoring the participation of its executives in external physical and online courses and trainings, APR recently arranged for 16 of its executives (including some flown into Karachi from its Lahore and Islamabad offices for the purpose) to participate in a design thinking workshop. And what a great experience it was!

At first glance, you might think a design thinking workshop is all about visuals and graphics. But in reality, it’s a structured approach to problem-solving. Or you can say, a method for coming up with new ideas and solving problems. Design thinking enables people to use human-centred methods and tools to solve a particular problem. So, whether you’re a leader looking to boost creativity or someone seeking to solve problems in a fresh way, design thinking can be your go-to strategy.

The highly interactive workshop, with back-to-back individual and group exercises covered 10 topics:

  1. Introduction to design thinking
  2. Methodology and principles of deign thinking
  3. Identify user needs, value, motivations, behaviours through observations and interviews
  4. Creating user personas and stories to introduce content to research findings
  5. How to prepare journey maps and plots insights
  6. Learning how to synthesise data and prepare for problems framing
  7. How to frame statement based on user insights
  8. Brainstorming techniques
  9. Idea generations and prioritisation
  10. How to create low fidelity prototypes

To understand how design thinking works practically, a case study about an app’s functionality along with user journey was given to the participants divided into groups. Let’s take a quick look at it step by step.

Step one? Dive into the app users’ shoes, crafting detailed personas and exploring their perceptions of the brand. Understanding the audience is the key, paving the way for tailored solutions. Then came the fun part—observing users in action, by meticulously mapping their step-by-step journey using the app, noting every hiccup and moment of frustration. Discussion followed, delving into pain points and emotional responses.

Then, targeted questions were crafted to spark innovative solutions. Ideas flowed freely, with each team member pitching in unique solutions. No idea was too wild; creativity reigned supreme! After a round of voting, the winning idea emerged, ready to be fleshed out through prototypes.

At every step of the workshop, valuable learning emerged. First up was crafting user persona, revealing the importance of understanding our audience deeply and tailoring solutions for specific situations.  Breaking down the user journey into steps proved crucial, leaving minimal room for overlooking any pain points. Emphasizing user emotions was a game-changer, acknowledging frustrations and agitation often overlooked in problem-solving was a revelation. Design thinking allowed every idea to be heard, encouraging a judgment-free environment for idea sharing and fostering team alignment and cohesion. The resulting solutions addressed multiple facets: user fit, issue resolution, and user satisfaction. Each prototype/solution reflected a specific user concern, paving the way for seamless experiences.

In essence, design thinking offers a structured approach to problem-solving, enhancing user satisfaction, and ultimately, resolving significant issues with precision and empathy.

We found this workshop a great learning. If your organization is interested in exploring this further, APR can discuss with you and organize a customized workshop for your executives too, in association with the expert trainer.

You can email your interest to us at

About Author

Mashal Qazi, Manager Client Services at APR, has previously worked in various digital agencies and publications. She specializes in social media strategy, content strategy, public relations, and analytics.She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and is also an artist at heart, with a passion for painting that allows her to explore her creative side.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *