Design Reader

Design Reader 2017
Design Reader 2017
A digital publication highlighting design thinking in higher education, health care, finance and more

Illustration for Design Reader by Misa Yamamoto

Introduction to the Design Reader

Welcome to the first edition of the Design Reader, presented by the School of Design and Creative Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Illustration for Design Thinking in K-12 Education by Misa Yamamoto

Designers are Educators. Educators are Designers. What Happens When the Best of Both Worlds Collide?

From radically redesigning the syllabus, to reimagining the role of facilitators inside and outside of class, to considering student-directed learning as a human-centered design challenge, designers are leading the way in transforming the collegiate classroom.


Illustration from student loan tool created by Fidelity

Easy is Hard: Building the Student Loan Picture

When Fidelity Labs, the innovation arm of Fidelity Investments, decided to help borrowers gain a greater sense of control over their student loans, it became apparent that it was extremely hard for borrowers to obtain a clear picture of their total debt. The Fidelity Labs team used human-centered design techniques to distill the complexity of student loans and give borrowers the agency to take control of their financial futures.

Illustration of design thinking in government by Misa Yamamoto

Building a Design Culture Inside Government

The New York Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity used design thinking, empathy, and journey mapping to understand the experience of a homeless person engaging in the complicated process of obtaining housing. These insights helped the city use existing resources to their full potential and provide a better experience for all of its citizens.


Illustration of design thinking for business growth by Misa Yamamoto

Human-Centered Opportunity: How the Expert Practice of Design Strategy Can Lead to Business Growth

Fidelity Labs has had a growing Design Thinking team since 2005, helping people in all parts of the company adopt a design-forward approach to their work. More recently, the practice has evolved to focus on design strategy in the firm’s incubators, or small startups run by Fidelity tasked with exploring adjacent spaces to its core business. Fidelity’s design strategists apply a human-centered lens to uncover unmet needs and hidden opportunities.

Illustration of design thinking in education by Misa Yamamoto

How Design Can Improve Outcomes in Higher Ed

Institutions of higher education are looking for new approaches to retain students, ensure timely progression and graduation, and maximize learning. University culture, structure, and incentives can often paralyze institutions, making it challenging to focus the work of faculty and administrators in a meaningful and timely way. Research conducted at Boise State University shows that design thinking has the potential to increase the creative capacity of university staff at all levels to rapidly improve the student experience.


Illustration for design thinking in product design and UX by Alex Kim.

Product Design and UXD: Setting Up a Successful Collaboration

Fidelity Labs has created a process called ADEPT to create and evaluate the future of new product offerings. In this process, user experience (UX) designers are brought in at the pilot phase of a project, bringing their expertise to the table at a key juncture to ensure its success.

Illustration of design thinking in health care by Misa Yamammoto

Design Thinking in Health Care: How a Virtual Nurse Helps Keep People Out of the Hospital

Sensely’s app uses an avatar-based nurse to have a daily check-in “conversation” with patients to help them manage their health as they deal with chronic congestive heart failure. Human-centered design is key to building a smart artificial intelligence platform that improves health outcomes for patients on a daily basis.


Illustration of design thinking toolkit by Misa Yamamoto

Behold and Beware, Design Toolkits

The tools of design thinking are intellectual and conceptual, and while design thinking toolkits can be incredibly useful, they don’t guarantee “mastery” of design or design thinking. It’s a nuanced process that takes time and instruction to build design cognition, a sharp eye, and skilled hands.