Short Course

Design Method Toolkit (3 days)

Set your goals, choose your methods, work your magic!

The Design Method Toolkit enables you to get started and enrich your design process. Plan and execute your design research, ideation, experimentation and creation within short iterations.

A collection of design and research methods: categorised to help you select, time based to help you plan. Detailed task descriptions help teams divide and assign tasks between team members. This makes the Design Method Toolkit perfect for lean, agile environments and multidisciplinary teams.

The widely used Design Method Toolkit has been developed and refined over the course of 6 years and has since been distributed across the globe to thousands of designers, researchers, digital professionals and just about anyone who cares about human centered design.

This course will make you and/or your team effective and creative for complex challenges in a digital era. In an ideal design process there is a constant flow between researching and creating. The Design Method Toolkit facilitates this flow with a structured ‘common language’ for multidisciplinary teams and innovative organisations.

What you will learn:

  • How a basic design (thinking) process works;
  • How to choose the right methods for your challenge(s);
  • Set goals, choose methods and work in iterations while making sure each choice is evidence-informed;
  • Use the design methods as a standard for executing and documenting your process;
  • Take away a common language that will enable other teams and individuals within the organisation to use and build
  • on the insights from your design process and hence prevent ‘waste’;
  • Think big, start small and act fast!

Covered DSS competencies:

  1. Applied Human Centered Design
  2. Interdisciplinary System Thinking
  3. Collaboration and Co-creation
  4. Create solutions for social impact

What you will do:


Problems & People
This first day you will dive into the human-centered part of design thinking and designerly ways of working. What are people’s real problems, challenges and concerns and how can you best design for those? We will work on real-life cases that relate to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.

Methods used
The Break-up Letter
Actors Map
Empathy in Action
Concern Mapping
User Experience Map


Concept & Create
The second day you will use to make the challenge more tangible by exploring solutions.

Methods used
The KJ Method
Dot Voting
Concept Sketch
Paper Prototyping


Validate & Implement
The last day you will use to check what impact your solution(s) will have on people, planet and profit and how it will best benefit your target group.

Methods used
3P Check
Through Other Eyes

Whom is this course for?


  • Are a professional who works in an innovative environment or you are someone who wishes to structure your own design process.
  • Want to reach a maximum impact on the more complex challenges your organization and our world in general faces.

Questions you may have

Q: What if I am not “creative”, or a maker, or a designer?
A: Perfect, then this is for you. We’ll show you that anyone can make things tangible with easy-to-implement tools and steps

Q: Design methods? What do you mean?
A: Don’t be scared! Design methods are never only used by designers. Design is naturally good in glueing disciplines together, sensing what people need and building empathy with target users. Therefore we use design methodology to make working across disciplines or within multidisciplinary teams more effective and more natural.

About us

Digital Society School is a learning community connecting design, technology and social innovation. At Digital Society School we invite you to direct your interests, knowledge and effort towards building a digital society. Because we believe that it can -and should- be inclusive, intelligent, and involve us all.

To this end, we have founded the Digital Society School. Through the school, we seek to research the impact of technology on society, develop the skills necessary to guide the transformation and pass on this knowledge and these skills to a new generation of professionals. They are ready to begin work on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. They will be the architects of transformation, across the world as well as in your organisation

We have been working with the UN Sustainable Development Goals since 2016, when we started directly collaborating with UNDP on designing for ánd with the SDGs. Learning from our international projects such as the Global Goals Jam (, we have developed a tailored methodology on how to approach global challenges from a local perspective, combining methods from the design and co-creation with the context of sustainable development.

Meet your instructors

Marco van Hout
Experienced trainer and design lead with over 15 years of experience. Co-founder of DSS and Global Goals Jam, community liaison for World Design Organization. I make sure that all DSS programmes result in engaging, meaningful and impactful (lifelong) learning experiences, for students and professionals. I integrate the Sustainable Development Goals, design methodology and the latest technology in our work.