1.3 The Design Thinking Process

A design process is a way of putting design thinking into action.1 A design process for youth librarians might include the following three phases: Imagination, Ideation, and Iteration.

Design Process Example

Here’s how a design process might work as a framework for your projects and activities:

Chris is a youth librarian who wants to make his library a more welcoming environment for young people. He informally asks his youth community how they would reimagine the space (Imagination). Using observations and information from teens, he begins to refine their ideas and map out a new space configuration on a whiteboard (Ideation). After receiving additional feedback from patrons and administration on his plans for the space (Iteration), he implements the new changes, including the addition of more movable seating that allows teens to work on individual activities.

You can start with this design process and adapt it to meet the needs of your library. During the different phases, you can make use of methods for discovering solutions, including observing, brainstorming, and designing prototypes. You can learn more about these methods in our section on Core Research Methods.


1: Design Thinking for Educators