Starting your Design Thinking journey? Here is a reading list I recommend


  1. Every fresher starts with Stanford/IDEO model of Design Thinking. In my view that model is over-simplified. Real world works slightly differently. People are trying different models. Here is a collection of 10 models:
2. A good curated list of links around process and tools of Design Thinking
3. At Turian Labs we believe and practice Design Thinking a flexible framework that is built on 4 pillars of Empathic Inquiry, Abductive Reasoning, Creative Visualization & Iterative Prototyping. Regardless of their sequence, these interconnected tenets could be applied to any decisioning process.
4.You don’t need our advice on where to hunt for some global advice on the context of Design Thinking + Business. Here are two good links from Harvard Business Review  
5. Another business oriented summary from HBR, of what is Design Thinking process. Slightly different terminology but covers the essentials in business context.
6. An insightful take on Design Thinking process by a practitioner. Provides background story around the process.
7. Service Design is applied version of Design Thinking for building better services to meet the user’s and customer’s needs. If you are into services, you may like to learn the basic principles.
8. Design Research Methods & Pedagogy summary for systemic design
9. For those who want to understand design principles beyond Design Thinking. A visual summary of the visual principles here
 10. A good video on illustrating through story-telling, how Design Thinking shifts the work culture towards innovating with users and reduces rework


  1. A comprehensive collection of case-studies and basics of Design Thinking
  2. Design Thinking case-study of tackling a challenge of American kids to play more to help fight childhood obesity.
  3. IBM has adopted and evolved its Design Thinking process ahead of its several competitors by combining it with Agile methodologies. Their articulation is acute and contextual.
  4. Measurement of success of Design Thinking as a corporate innovation methodology has been a topic of debate. Here is a look by Design Management Institute on this tough topic
  5. A good discussion around India’s massive digital identity program. How Design Thinking could have been applied to Aadhaar?


  1. Several tools used by Design Thinkers and Service-Designers, are listed here with examples. A great collection.
  2. A good set of Business Design tools+templates online (using Design Thinking to craft business models and user-experiences)
  3. Customer-Journey or User-Experience mapping tool (SaaS) and some free resources
  4. An affinity diagram is a tool for analyzing large amounts of data and discovering relationships which allows a design direction to be established based on the associations.
  5. When it comes to age distribution, India has a population pyramid, but China’s is a pillar. Design Thinking is about making things visual. Whole of world of interesting visualization of global data here.


  1. Design in Tech, a summary report on evolving use and opportunities for design in tech industries - prepared annual by a group of authors in Silicon Valley
  2. A Designer is the future leader or a designer is a future Uber driver. A good collection of projections for Design as a profession

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