Analysis + Synthesis in Design

This course is an introduction to the typical process and tools designers use to understand fuzzy problems and develop insightful directions to pursue.

The techniques of the field of design are becoming an integral part of many innovative efforts within and across organizations. Understanding the underlying nature of this distinct approach to problem solving will help those in practically any industry be stronger at finding insights that lead to new products, services, interactions, and communications.

Learning Objectives
Students enrolled in this course will learn the modes and tools of analysis and synthesis that generate deep insights and innovative solutions. Typical heuristics along with more elaborate and structured approaches will be covered including:

  • Problem framing
  • Creating and using existing frameworks for analysis
  • Generating insights
  • Establishing a point of view
  • Exploring and evaluating solutions


Learning Outcomes
When completed with this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe basic design processes and how they leverage inductive / abductive / deductive thinking
  • Distinguish between initial framing and reframing of problems
  • Use pre-existing frameworks to aid in problem solving activities
  • Know what makes for good design principles and how they are used
  • Facilitate and contribute to productive ideation sessions
  • Cluster and combine concepts to develop platforms, concepts systems, and higher-level strategies
  • Understand the basics of sketching and storytelling to help communicate new ideas
Managing Interdisciplinary Teams Design Connoisseurship Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation Special Topics Faculty Research Design Process and Knowledge Making the User Centered Case
Modeling Complexity Theories of Communication Fundamentals of Visual Communication Advanced Diagramming Metaphor and Analogy in Design Diagram Development Communication Strategies Communication Design Workshop
Extensions of Media and Technology Interactive Space Interaction Design for Embedded Systems Interaction Design for Immersive Systems Prototyping Interactions Persuasive Interaction Design History of Interaction Design Interaction Design Methods Digital Development Workshop Interaction Design Workshop
Planning + Strategy
Designing Futures Adaptive Leadership Strategies for Open Innovation Organizational Models for Innovation Social and Economic Context of Design New Venture Design Innovation Methods Planning Implementation Business Models and Value Webs Business Frameworks and Strategy Design Planning Workshop Introduction to Portfolio Planning
Design Development & Implementation Product Architecture and Platforms Form and Materials New Product Definition Product Design Workshop
Systems and Systems Theory in Design Networked Objects Networked Cities Human System Integration Systems Modeling and Prototyping Platform-based Design Strategy Systems Approach to Design Information Structuring and Management Structured Planning Workshop Service Systems Workshop
User Research
Stimulus in Design Research Behavioral Economics Online Research Methods Principles and Methods of User Research Coding and Analysis Co-Design and Participatory Research Methods Survey Methods Cultural Probes Experience Modeling Interview Methods Research Photography Research Planning & Execution