A space for change makers.

5 Tools Every Design Thinker should be Using


“The main tenet of design thinking is empathy for the people you’re trying to design for. Leadership is exactly the same thing – building empathy for the people that you’re entrusted to help.” – David Kelley, Founder of IDEO

When you’re leading a team of Design Thinkers, making sure that everyone’s ideas are heard and recorded is a big part of design thinking philosophy. Design thinking is about creating products and services based on empathy, and listening to the problems from your community. But you need the right design thinking tools to make sure that all these ideas can be recorded, expanded on, and tested. You don’t want to spend your time worrying about the logistics of your project instead of leading your team to create something exceptional. We recommend using the following design thinking tools to keep your team, and your project, on track.

Design Thinking Tools:

1. Mind mapping software.

We recommend MindMeister though there are a lot of other mind mapping tools out there as well. This is a great design thinking tool to help your team sort through and pitch ideas in the brainstorming phase of your project. You can use mind maps on your own, with a group, or both. This is especially helpful for visual thinkers.

2 A project management tool.

A project management tool like Asana or Teamwork will help guide your team through your project from start to finish. You can share and store documents, track time, have group conversations and manage your progress. This is a great way to keep your whole team in the loop, even if they are only involved in certain stages of the project.

3. Github.

Most of you will probably have a technical aspect to your project. Github is a great way to work with a group of developers who can help build your product or website.

4 A design thinking tool.

Using an ideation, or design thinking tool, like WE THINQ helps move your ideas from just ideas, to projects that can be tested, executed, and re-thought. Using a design thinking tool that is designed to take you through the design thinking process helps keep you, your team, and your ideas on track.

5. A good team.

This one goes without saying, but gathering the best people around you is the best way to make your project a success. Before building your team, visualise the whole process in your head and think about what kind of people you will need to recruit. Design thinking is about finding diversity in ideas, backgrounds, and cultures. By seeking team members in the communities you are trying to help and in pockets you wouldn’t normally work with, you help expand the scope of your project.

An interesting tool is Milanote in this respect. Milanote is a tool for organizing creative projects into beautiful visual boards. By design, it feels a lot like working on the wall in a creative studio - visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy - Milanote is a great fit for designers who work in teams remotely.

Key Features:

  • Write notes & to-do lists, upload images & files and save things you find on the web
  • Organize visually using the flexible drag and drop interface.
  • Boards by default are a private place to think, but with a single click you can create a shared workspace for collaboration with your team
  • Milanote is filled with hundreds of built-in templates to help you get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood board to writing that perfect creative brief.

Free version available with no time limit.