Digital Making Class Learns Design Thinking

Guest Post by : Olzhas Ayazbayev, a student in the #DigitalMaking Course On the February 3rd.we had two guest speakers from the Design for America team. They showed us an interesting way of solving problems through the human-centered design process. We hope to use this approach in several other projects during this class. The specific topic of our discussion that week was distracted driving.  The framework that we used in class helped us understand the problem first and then create a suitable solution for that problem.




In this stage we tried to identify the problem by brainstorming different ideas why people get destructed while driving. The several reasons for destructive driving were texting to friends, talking on the phone, switching the radio and etc.



Here we surveyed each member of our group to better understand why each of us gets destructed while driving. This helped each student to put himself in the position of the destructive driver and think about the reasons why he or she does that. This was also useful for the interviewers to collect some data and feedback from others before framing the problem.



This was a very important stage of the whole process, because here we had to reframe all our thoughts and ideas to one single problem. We used the  “How can we?” prompt to help us phrase the problem so it would be specific and clear.




Before building a prototype we ideated how the reframed problem could be solved. We then shared our thoughts with team members and combined our ideas to come up with one single solution.



This was the most exciting stage. Here we actually got to use given resources to build a prototype. Every team had different prototypes depending on the problem they identified and corresponding solution that they created.



Due to time and other constraints, the testing stage was not executed. But someone tried.....


Overall the process was very interesting and fun, especially because it involved several icebreaker games that helped us think more creatively and outside of our comfort zone.


Huge thanks to the DFA team that made this class so exciting!!!

Stay up to date with the reflections from students on our class blog at or follow our hasgtag #DigitalMaking on twitter.