Design Innovation Methods
A Language of Design

Here we run through a key subset of DI Methods we practice, guiding learners on how to execute them. They are categorised according to the DI Process (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver).

Please find a concise reference guide in our DI Method Cards here:

DI Method Cards

Please also find a concise reference guide for designing for additive manufacturing here:

AM Cards

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User Interviews

Used to extract information from existing and/or potential users to gain a deeper understanding of their goals, motivations and pain points.


A technique that maps behavior patterns into archetypal profiles, allowing focused study on the user.


Imagined short stories of users carrying out a task to reach a goal while interacting with a product, service or system (PSS).


A technique that maps behavior patterns into archetypical profiles, allowing focused study on the user.

Activity Diagram

A block diagram of sequential and parallel activities that captures user interactions with a product, service or system (PSS).

User Journey Map

Charts out an archetypal journey of a user’s interaction with a product, service or system (PSS) across channels, fleshing out user emotions.

Service Blueprinting

An extension of an activity diagram and journey map, complementing the frontstage with the backstage.

System Functions

An organisation of a set of functions that a product, service or system (PSS) must perform or do.

Hierarchy of Purpose

An approach to scope and frame a design opportunity statement, yielding a range of statements, from broad to specific.

Mind Mapping

An ideation method analogous to the workings of human memory. Ideas are organized in a hierarchy of categories that map back to the design opportunity.

6-3-5 (C Sketch)

A rapid way to generate and build upon the ideas that you and your team members have.

Design by Analogy

A method where inspiration for ideation is drawn from comparing a problem or opportunity to existing solutions or situations in other fields.

Real? Win? Worth It?

A strategy to manage risk and reward, built on a series of questions about the innovation concept, its potential market, and the company’s capabilities and competition.

Prototyping Canvas

A strategic prototyping template that facilitates the development process for the creation of any prototype.


A tool similar to a linear comic strip, that allows communication and visualisation of concepts in a relatable story (whether product, service or system).


A way to emulate the function or form of a design that can be used to communicate an idea and to prototype interaction.

Software tools
Online Whiteboards:,

Wireframing, Prototyping (Digital Products):,

User Testing:


System Mapping:

Systems Architecture (Capella):
the cover of the Design Innovation Methodology Handbook. Arguably one of the best reads ever.
DI Handbook

An in-depth guide for design practitioners and management to apply Design Innovation in their work and inspire a human-centred, systems thinking culture in their teams.

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