Course Syllabus

Product Design & Development H  SP20

Dr. Vina

Room 136


This course will provide an overview of the process and tools used for design thinking and examine their application in business/organizational situations.  Design thinking is a method of creating novel solutions to challenging problems. Everything from the Swiffer to the Apple Watch are the results of design thinking. In this course, students will research and understand the complexity of systems, explore the psychology behind how people act, apply various design processes, assess the effectiveness of a solution to a problem, and explore different mediums for sharing what was learned and engaging others in the process.

Essentially, class participants will take a journey through and assess the current reality of case-based product development situations (What is?), envision a new future (What if?), develop some concepts to tap new opportunities (What wows?), test out some solutions and report back on the results (What works?), and how these results would inform future steps (What’s next?).

Note: This is an honors-level course. 


Luchs, M., Swan, S., Griffin, A., & Product Development & Management Association. (2015). Design thinking: New product development essentials from the PDMA.

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. London: MIT.


Course Objectives

  • identify how design thinking can be applied in a wide range of contexts, from personal to global applications
  • investigate and think creatively about design problems and opportunities
  • develop visual literacy to explain design decisions


Units of Study

 Introduction to Course

A Brief Introduction to Design Thinking


Part I Design Thinking Tools

The Design Brief


Experience Mapping

Conceptual Design

Design Heuristics

Stories & Prototyping


Part II Design Thinking

Fuzzy Front End of Innovation

Early Stage Ventures

Challenge Teams Face

Culture of Design Thinking

KM and Breakthrough Tools

Embedding Design Thinking


Part III Design Thinking for Specific Contexts

Services that Sign & Dance

Radically New Products

Business Model Design

Human-Centered Disruptive Innovations


Part IV Consumer Responses & Values

How form influences evaluation

Product characteristics and consumer perceptions

Practical Implications

Drivers of Aesthetic Response to Product Design

Designing for and with Future Consumers


Part V Special Topics in Design Thinking

Richer Product Experiences

Intellectual Property Protection

Design for Sustainability


 Final Project Experience



Students will be graded on the basis of their class participation, class work, reflections and unit project work (including the final project experience).


Student Conduct and Honesty

All academic work must meet the standards contained in the WHS Academic Integrity Policy Each student is responsible to inform him/herself about those standards before performing any academic work. Any form of academic dishonesty is unacceptable.


Note:  This syllabus is not a contract and may be changed at any time for any reason by the faculty member. In other words, please note that this syllabus is a general plan for the course.


Course Summary:

Date Details