Empathy First. Design Later.

Tips for Discover.

Human-centered design means starting with people first. The heart of the Discover phase is about going out and hearing from people to better understand their motivations and desires. The best insights come when we empathize with the people for whom we’re designing.

Get started in Discover by doing these activities:

  1. Empathy Interview

By interviewing, you have a chance to get close to people and hear about their perspectives and challenges directly from them. Interviews are at the heart of the Discover phase! Use this guide to get tips, jumpstart your interview, and record quotes.

2. Shadow a Stakeholder

Shadowing a student, advisor, or someone with insight into college pathways is a powerful tool to gain deep insight into this topic area. Find a stakeholder and explain the project. Then, shadow them for one hour.

Use our guide to capture insights and reflections. And, share your commitment to shadow with our community! Tweet: @teachersguild #reachwayhigher

Blue Engine advisors with students.

3. Analogous Transitions

What can we learn from the world of transition? How do elderly people transition from independent life into senior care homes? How do cities transition to prepare for stormy weather? What about other things that make “transitions” — like food supply chains. Or packages that move from one part of the world to another. What can we learn from these systems outside of education?

Now, get started! Go out into the world and begin observing for insight into how we can create new college-readiness solutions, so that all students can have access to quality postsecondary education.

Want even more? Hear from one of The Teachers Guild Design Thinking Coaches, James Campbell and his colleague TJ Edwards on how they approach the Discover phase: