Essential tools in Design Thinking

There are many tools, canvases and templates out there to support your workshops and decision making sessions. However in user-centered design there are three essential tools:

  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Persona
  • Customer journey mapping.

Stakeholder Mapping Template

After you have transformed your problem or challenge into a design challenge you are ready to map the field of the different players that are in the game. The stakeholder map is a good start to visualize this.
  • Tip: put your design challenge in the middle of the template.
  • Nota bene: a stakeholder is a person and not a department.

Persona Core Poster

If you have mapped out your stakeholders you can have a closer look and zoom in to one or more stakeholders. After you have chosen a stakeholder you can use the stakeholder template again, but now in a different way. You can now map the stakeholders with the persona in the center to visualize the influence of the different stakeholders of this persona. Then you will work out some findings and patterns that you have derived from your research. If you don’t have done your research properly your personas will be shallow and will not work in the next step.
  • Tip: Start with behaviour, then translate this to attitude and goals, at the end you will do your data storytelling and enrich the patterns with some educated guess and give the persona a name and some more attributes to make them feel like real personas.
  • Tip: Remember a persona is not a persona but the collection an cluster of findings, insights and patterns.

Customer Journey Template

If you have chosen and designed your persona you can do some research on what kind of journey the persona is doing, what he or she will encounter during the journey.
  • Tip: start with the steps in the middle and then go further with context.
  • Tip: a customer journey without a persona is useless, someone has to do the journey, it is not a process.

 Download the three templates we use at Design Thinking Center:

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