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Design Thinking Tools for Communities

Design thinking is a powerful, 4-phase process that leads communities in designing solutions that are responsive to customers' needs and that are financially viable and operationally feasible.

There are so many great tools and tips out there on design thinking. Below, under descriptions of each of the four phases, we've gathered several from the IDEO.org Design Kit, Peer Insight and the other authors of the Designing for Growth Field Book, the Stanford d.School Use Our Methods web resources, and other sources.

See also our Challenge Resources page for current and evergreen resources related to health care transportation, and the Design Challenge page that tells you more about the Healthcare Access Mobility Design Challenge.

Phase 1: Understanding the Challenge and Framing the Opportunity

The design thinking process begins by exploring a problem from customers’ perspectives and looking at the full experience of customers. Useful research activities include interviewing, observing, developing customer journey maps, and leveraging secondary data. Below are some resources that may be useful for interviewing and observing customers, as well as for collecting data from secondary sources.Jackson_Medical_Mall

Identify Your Audience

Plan Your Research

Sample Tools for Conducting Primary Research

Sample Tools for Framing the Opportunity

Phase 2: Generating Ideas and Developing Solution Concept

Paratransit_Decorah_Iowa
Exploring future possibilities to address your design challenge is the focus of this section. Valuable actions to think broadly and creatively about solutions include a time-limited brainstorming session, and a time-limited concept development session to combine ideas together in new ways. Below are some tools for generating ideas and developing concepts for new services and other offerings.

Phase 3: Assumption Testing and Business planning

  • Free tool for creating a shareable Business Building Block canvas from Canvanizer

Phase 4: Further Testing the Solution Concept and Preparing for Launch

Determining your Budget

Creating a Business Plan

Making your Pitch

Sample Pitches

Other Tools

    • Sample Business Associate Agreement. This type of agreement allows for the disclosure of limited (and only necessary) health information about riders by a health care provider to the entity coordinating transportation for that rider.