Design Studio Method

A visual and collaborative method for generating new design ideas and solutions by drawing, discussing, and iterating on various concepts within a team.


Design Studio is a collaborative sketching workshop where team members generate and share design ideas through rapid iterations. By encouraging everyone to sketch and provide feedback, it fosters creativity and inclusion. Design Studio sessions are valuable in the early stages of design, where exploring diverse concepts can lead to innovative solutions. They promote team alignment, user-centered thinking, and visual communication, making them essential in product design, user interface development, and creative collaboration.

Suitable for

  • Sharing ideas among designers and stakeholders,
  • Creating designs for new websites or application interfaces,
  • Prioritizing possible views and solutions.


Problem Statement

A clearly defined problem statement that highlights the design challenge and guides the design studio process.

Participants List

A list of participants, including stakeholders, designers, and researchers, who will actively engage in the design studio method.

Individual Sketches

Each participant produces a set of rough, rapid sketches that illustrate their proposed design solutions.

Group Critique Session Notes

Notes and feedback on the individual sketches gathered during the group critique session, where each participant presents their ideas and receives input from others.

Voting Results

The outcome of the group voting process on the best ideas or design elements to incorporate into the final solution.

Revised Sketches

Updated individual or collaborative sketches based on the group critique and voting results, combining the best ideas from different participants.


A sequential visual narrative of the proposed user experience, incorporating the key design elements and ideas identified through the design studio process.

Consensus Design Solution

A final, agreed-upon design concept that addresses the initial problem statement and incorporates the best ideas generated throughout the design studio method.

Action Plan

A practical plan or roadmap detailing the next steps in the design, prototyping, and testing process, informed by the consensus design solution.

Reflection and Lessons Learned

A summary of insights and lessons learned throughout the design studio method, to be applied in future projects and to iterate the process.



1. Assemble the team and prepare materials

Gather a diverse group of team members, including designers, developers, product managers, and stakeholders. Prepare materials like whiteboards or large sheets of paper, sticky notes, and markers for each participant.


2. Present the problem and set objectives

Clearly state the design problem and define the objectives of the session. Discuss the target audience, set goals, and outline any background information or user research data relevant to the problem.


3. Individual brainstorming

Each participant works individually to brainstorm potential solutions to the design problem. They should sketch their ideas on paper or whiteboards, focusing on generating a quantity of ideas rather than perfecting a single solution.


4. Three-minute critiques

Participants present their sketches to the group one at a time. The team takes three minutes to discuss each sketch, focusing on providing constructive critiques and identifying the strengths and areas for improvement in each design.


5. Iterate and refine

Based on the feedback provided during the critiques, participants iterate on their sketches and refine their ideas. Team members can combine the best aspects of multiple designs to create a stronger solution. This process can be repeated as needed.


6. Vote on the best ideas

Once the team has completed the necessary iterations, participants vote on the best design solutions using a dot voting system. Each participant places a certain number of stickers or dots on the sketches they feel are the strongest.


7. Discuss and decide

The team discusses the top-voted concepts and comes to a consensus on the most effective design solution(s) to move forward with. They also identify any additional research or testing that may be needed.


8. Create a prototype and gather feedback

Develop a prototype based on the chosen design solution(s) and collect feedback from users during usability testing. Use these findings to iterate on the design and improve the overall user experience before finalizing the product.

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