Use our methods

We have put together a collection of methods for folks new to design thinking.  See these “Get Started” methods on the right, which have proved to be most useful for folks as they’re running through their first few design cycles.  These methods are a subset of the Bootcamp Bootleg (see below).

For all the resources on this page, you’re welcome to share these resources with others… spread the word! We only ask that you respect the Creative Commons license (attribution, non-commercial use). These methods are a curated collection of work created at the and beyond, and we’re grateful to everyone who contributed. We’d also love to hear feedback about how you’re using them. Let us know what you find useful, and what methods you have created yourself — write to:


The Bootcamp Bootleg

The Bootcamp Bootleg is an overview of some of our most-used tools. The guide was originally intended for recent graduates of our Bootcamp: Adventures in Design Thinking class. But we’ve heard from folks who’ve never been to the that have used it to create their own introductory experience to design thinking.  The Bootcamp Bootleg is more of a cook book than a text book, and more of a constant work-in-progress than a polished and permanent piece.  This resource is free for you to use and share—and we hope you do.

You can download the entire Bootcamp Bootleg here.

The Bootcamp Bootleg

Mixtapes: Four-hour design sprints with your team

We’ve created three different “mixtapes” that provide step-by-step instructions on how to use some of our methods in sequence over the course of a half-day working session — these are a great resource if you’re trying to figure out how to fit several design thinking methods together under an overarching objective like getting to new ideas, getting to insights, or getting to a prototype.

Mixtapes: Four-hour design sprints with your team

Design Project Zero: A 90 minute activity

DP0 (Design Project Zero) is a 90-minute (including debrief) fast-paced project though a full design cycle. Students pair up to interview each other, create a point-of-view, ideate, and make a new solution that is “useful and meaningful” to their partner.

Two versions of DP0 are “The Wallet Project” and “The Gift-Giving Project”. They have the similar format, only the topic is different.

The original DP0 The Wallet Project was created for the’s very first course in 2004 and the project starts with students looking at the content of their partner’s wallet or purse (and goes on to ask every student to design something for their partner).

Another DP0 topic is The Gift-Giving Project where students are asked to redesign how their partner gives gifts.

Get the materials to facilitate the activity for a group yourself here.

Or play the Crash Course (video facilitation that leads the group) here.

Design Project Zero: A 90 minute activity

Future of Stuff Challenge

The Future of Stuff Challenge, created in collaboration with Project Breaker and the’s K12 Lab Network, has selected resources to support a learning experience emphasizing design thinking and lean startup methodology.

Whether you’re an educator, a designer, an entrepreneur, or a curious, creative learner of any stripe, you’re welcome to use the resources we’ve put together to run a design challenge. The resources here offer a scaffolded approach to applying design thinking to a challenge area. They   were curated from a wide range of sources to allow anyone a chance to experiment with design thinking and social entrepreneurship practices.

For this project, we chose manufacturing as a challenge area where we applied the methods and mindsets of design thinking and business modeling to design solutions. If this challenge doesn’t work for your context, you can substitute challenges that support your local needs.

Check out these resources and take on the Future of Stuff Challenge!

CC BY-SA 3.0 Kleuske