Fundamentals of Design Thinking

Discover customers’ hidden needs to purposefully turn moments of customer friction into opportunities for disruptive growth.


Assurity Certified


Online: 4 half-days
In-person: 2 days


$1,800.00 excl. GST

Course overview

This course takes you through customer-centric activities and frameworks that help discover customers’ hidden and latent needs to define the problem to solve. We take you on a journey through our proprietary tools designed to purposefully turn moments of customer friction into opportunities for disruptive growth.

This course would equip you to envision new possibilities, making concepts tangible and experiential for their intended audiences. This helps replace assumptions with facts and accelerate project delivery.

Who is this for?

  • Product owners/managers
  • Business Analysts
  • CX teams
  • Product development teams
  • Marketing teams

What’s covered?

  • Demystifying innovation to set up the project for success
  • Empathising to discover the uncomfortable truth
  • Building creative confidence to design a better future
  • Validating to build confidence in future opportunities
  • Converting opportunities into actionable initiatives
View full course description
Lesson 1: Demystifying innovation to set up the project for success
Get introduced to design thinking for innovation as a powerful problem-solving approach. Learn effective research planning techniques to choose the proper project challenge and set up the project for success.

Key takeaways:
  • Fundamentals of design thinking and customer-centricity
  • Key attributes of a design mindset
  • How to approach complex challenges, define your audience, prepare research questions and embrace ambiguity to set up the project for success

Lesson 2: Empathising to discover the uncomfortable truth
Go beyond your assumptions and gain insights into your customer's life. Empathy is the foundation of the design thinking process. It develops a deeper understanding of your customers and clarifies their needs to inform where to explore next and identify opportunities to evolve your business.

Key takeaways:
  • Interviewing tips and an overview of different ways of qualitative research
  • Practical techniques to uncover customer insights through empathy
  • Effective ways to unpack the customer interactions to define the problem to solve

Lesson 3: Building creative confidence to design a better future
Unleash the creativity in you & build creative confidence. Generating ideas and building prototypes is a numbers game. Using the insights from our investigative work as inspiration, we want to think laterally and design innovative solutions.

Key takeaways:
  • How to convert insights into opportunities
  • Ideation techniques to unleash the creativity within you
  • How to design a better future through rapid prototyping

Lesson 4: Validating to build confidence in future opportunities
To sustain the objectivity and ensure we're solving problems that matter, it's essential to put the prototypes back in front of the users they've been designed for. We want to fail fast and discover the minimum desirable solution for the end-user.

Key takeaways:
  • Having the right mindset to validate the solutions
  • Building plans to run efficient testing sessions with customers
  • Retrospective and refinement techniques to build confidence in future opportunities

Lesson 5: Converting opportunities into actionable initiatives
For a concept to be successful, it needs to be desirable to customers, viable to the business and feasible to achieve technically. We need to convert them into an actionable backlog to bring about sustainable change within the organisation.

Key takeaways:
  • Prioritisation techniques to align teams and get projects on track
  • Desirability, Viability and Feasibility Analysis
  • How to bring all the learnings and insights to create a compelling change in the organisation

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, attendees will understand:

  • Fundamentals of innovation and how to approach complex challenges and embrace ambiguity to set up the project for success
  • How to create a compelling business case
  • Practical techniques to uncover customer insights through empathy
  • How to design a better future through rapid prototyping
  • How to validate to build confidence in future opportunities


On completion of the course, you’ll receive an Assurity certificate which confirms your attendance.

Find out more

“This was a great course! Awesome insights, and I came away with lots of practical advice to apply.”

Teresa Weatherall
Software Tester / Business Analyst, Givealittle

Great info, very informative and well-presented course. Definitely learnt a lot and challenged my views on ways of thinking and working too, which is awesome.

Course Attendee

Course Schedule

Online learning guarantee

Our online courses have been designed to offer a rich and engaging learning experience.

If you’re not 100% satisfied with the online format, you have the option to join the next available in-person class at no extra cost.

Private classes

This course can be run privately at your organisation allowing us to tailor the training to your needs and create a more rewarding team experience.

Contact our Education Team for details.

Experts in business and training

Our courses are developed and taught only by people who are in practice at Assurity. Every single day of the week…except when they’re in the classroom teaching you!

Akshay Rao

Principal Innovation Consultant

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Angela Roper

Client Solution Manager

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Akshay Rao

Principal Innovation Consultant

Akshay is fascinated by how things work and perpetually curious about designing better experiences for people. Naturally gifted in maths, physics and science, Akshay’s career began studying medical electronics engineering in India before completing a masters in engineering management at The University of Auckland.

With extensive global experience in the technology and software industries, Akshay is not content with the boundaries of traditional engineering disciplines. His curiosity has led him to focus on user experience and understand the impact of design on people’s lives. This has included extensive study in behavioural psychology and the nature of human decision making to drive the development of our customer-centric service offering.

Akshay has worked across various industries and organisations in New Zealand and likes to combine left and right brain perceptual thinking to form a unique bridge between customer insight and technology delivery.

Akshay can help you rapidly find clarity from ambiguity and is comfortable working at both speed and scale.

Angela Roper

Client Solution Manager

As an established senior leader with a proven track record, I bring a sense of purpose and infectious energy, rallying all parts of the organisation around designing and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

With over twenty years of experience in design, innovation & digital delivery, I have a deep understanding of agile and human-centred design methodologies with a curious, growth mindset. I use experience data and operational data to inform decision making that supports the organisation’s vision, values and strategic goals. Working on the client-side in senior roles I have first-hand experience developing and implementing strategies and as a consultant, I have worked with C-Suite and senior stakeholders in complex environments to create value for both customers and the organisation. I'm also experienced in stakeholder engagement, and as a qualified facilitator, coach and change management practitioner, I'm able to draw the best out of people and teams.

Specialist experience in consultancy, transport, ways of working, education, finance, product design, retail & wholesale.

Watch Design Thinking in action

Sky TV partnered with Assurity Consulting to reimagine and redesign with a focus on the end customer to usher in a new dawn for the brand.

Read case study

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if, during an in-person course, the COVID traffic light system changes to Red?

The class will move online and be run over four half days.

How many people are there in a course?

Most courses have 6 to 15 people.

What are my takeaways?
  • You’ll receive a certification from Assurity after completing the course.
  • All the tools and templates used during the course
  • If it is an online course, you’ll have lifetime access to the Mural board

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About Assurity

We believe that our clients’ future depends on better meeting their customers’ needs. At Assurity, we use our skills and extensive experience to help our clients develop their business and make their future in a fast-changing digital world.

We partner with the country’s largest organisations and government agencies, collaborating with them and guiding them on their digital transformation journeys, delivering proven capabilities to innovate, deliver complex projects with quality and speed, and improve their operations’ efficiency and effectiveness.

We take a human-centred approach to everything we do and co-design the right outcomes with our clients. We achieve this by forming unique solutions teams from our analysis, testing, DevOps, design thinking, intelligent process automation, agile, customer experience and education service lines.

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