From Ideas to Action
“Have the mindset of testing to learn, not testing to validate. This is where many people get tripped up; they try to perfect the idea rather than use a low-fidelity prototype to learn from people.”
—Brendan Boyle, Founder of IDEO Toy Lab
From Ideas to Action
From Ideas to Action is a deep dive into the design thinking skills of ideation, prototyping, and iteration. This 5-week course will teach you how to frame your ideas as experiments and bring others in on your vision of the future. Use experimentation to learn from failure and move from incremental to radical innovation.
Join the course and collaborate with a global community of learners from diverse industries to push your learning, share and receive feedback and resources, and develop long-term connections.
FOUNDATIONS IN DESIGN THINKING CERTIFICATE
Complete Insights for Innovation and From Ideas to Action to earn the Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate.
Introduction Review how insights help spark ideas that lead to action and choose your project challenge.
- An introduction to three approaches that will get you from ideas to action: ideation, prototyping, and iteration.
- Discussion: What prevents us from sharing our ideas with the world?
- Activity: Choose your project challenge and apply what you learn in this course to a "real life" scenario.
Video: Design Thinking & Insights—Understanding the role of insights
Assignment: Choose Your Challenge
Join a Learning Circle
The Art of Ideating Go beyond brainstorming—learn techniques for coming up with innovative ideas.
- Quickly generate, develop, and test ideas. Get comfortable with generating an abundance of ideas, even ones that might seem ridiculous at first.
- Discussion: If you land on a solid idea, why should you keep generating more possible solutions? Shouldn't you just stop when you've come up with something good?
- Activity: Plan an ideation session, ideate with two to four people, and choose your top ideas.
Video: From Ideas to Action—Ideate, Prototype, and Iterate your way forward
Video: What is Ideation?—Getting comfortable with divergent thinking
Activity: Creative Muscle Warm Up—30 Circles Activity
Video: Ideation Methods—Ways to generate ideas
Video: Brainstorm Rules—Leading your own brainstorm
Activity: Zoo Ideation Activity
Video: Observe Experts Brainstorming—See an IDEO team in action
Video: Converging After Idea Generation—How to make choices and move forward
Reflect + Discuss
Rapid Prototyping De-risk your new ideas by gaining feedback with early prototypes.
- Learn how to make your ideas tangible so you can share, get feedback, and push them even further.
- Discussion: How do you invite others to experience something that exists only in your brain? How do you start making your idea tangible?
- Activity: Plan for your prototype, build a prototype, and share it with others.
Video: Why Prototype?—Make your ideas tangible and shareable
Video: Types of Prototypes—Anything can be prototyped
Video: Show Me Your Prototype—Predict what became of early prototypes
Video: 3 Steps for Prototyping—Build, share, and reflect
Activity: Tinfoil Hat Activity
Video: Tinfoil Hats in Action—IDEOers tackle the challenge
Reflect + Discuss
Iterate Your Way Forward Get results faster by evolving your ideas to be more desirable, feasible, and viable.
- Learn how to move your idea forward through multiple rounds of ideation and prototyping.
- Discussion: Why is trial and error so important?
- Activity: List questions that will help you iterate, prioritize those questions, ideate again (and again), and plan for the future.
Video: Why We Iterate—Fail early to succeed sooner
Video: 4 Steps to Iterate—Managing risk and refining your ideas
Video: SFUSD School Lunch Project
Reflect + Discuss
Video: Conversations with Brendan
About the Course Community
Learn from Brendan Boyle, IDEO Partner & Toy Lab Founder
Brendan Boyle believes that play is the key to innovation. This philosophy guides his work as a toy inventor, consulting associate, professor at Stanford University’s d.School, and Partner at IDEO. He founded the Toy Lab to explore kid-centered solutions to the challenge of boredom. Under his leadership, the Toy Lab has invented and licensed hundreds of toys and archetypes, including the best-selling app Elmo Calls with Sesame Street.
Brendan also consults with companies about redesigning their organizational behavior to include space for play, wrote the course From Play to Innovation offered at Stanford’s d.School, and co-authored the award-winning encyclopedia of never-before-seen inventions, The Klutz Book of Inventions.
“I got a lot out of the course. I feel that I have a good foundation of some basic principles of Design Thinking and I had fun applying them. I was actually surprised with my final project and the progress that I made”
Siemens PLM Software, Director of Presentation & Multimedia Services
“This is an excellent course with great, experienced professionals. The content is good and the videos and exercises really take you through a learning experience, which is good for adult learning. Finally, the time and pace fit reasonably in an executive work schedule.”
Head of Innovation Management, Large Brazilian Company, 10,000+ Employees
“This course rocks!!!! You guys nailed it. Kudos to the telling and showing of real cases. Genius. And the activities are great.”
Business Professor, Cornell University
Why Take From Ideas to Action
From Ideas to Action teaches the design thinking methods of generating ideas, making them tangible, and refining them through the process of experimentation. Learn the IDEO skills and mindsets of building to think and experimenting your way forward. As IDEO Founder David Kelley says, “The trick is building a culture of experimentation. Then, by definition, if you’re not failing some of the time, you’re not doing an experiment."
This Course Will Help You
- Turn your ideas into small experiments where failure becomes learning.
- Build rough and rapid prototypes so others can help you get from outrageous to brilliant ideas.
- Create a culture of experimentation on your team and move from incremental to radical innovation.
- Move from ideas to real innovations in the marketplace through the process of ideation, prototyping, and iteration.
- Bring others in on your version of the future.
Sneak Peek of the Course
At IDEO, we’re all about learning by doing. We use prototypes to make our ideas tangible and gather feedback from others. This peek inside the course will show you one way a past IDEO startup in residence, PillPack, used prototyping to learn how to talk about and price their new business offering.