Design Thinking Essentials for Business

Design thinking offers a proven method of consistently generating innovative solutions by focusing on the needs and experiences of the customers, partners or coworkers you're creating solutions for.

Sessions Print this Page


Traditional approaches to customer research, product development and problem solving are simply not effective enough in the face of disruptive market changes. Design thinking offers a proven method of consistently generating valuable solutions by focusing on the needs and experiences of customers, partners or coworkers you're creating solutions for.

This course will teach you the essential components of a design thinking process and will let you practice with real-world business scenarios in a small group setting. You'll learn to design basic empathy research, properly frame a problem, generate a wide range of creative solution ideas and work towards an optimal solution. This is a great course for teams to experience together.

This class is available for university credit. Please contact Lynn Slattery at or 512.471.5893 for more information.

Design Thinking

Not just for product designers, design thinking is a human-centered approach to solving any kind of business problems. Great for teams!

Two-day Concentrated Program

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and class runs 8:30 – 4:30 both days with a one-hour networking lunch included.

Austin, Texas

Enjoy proximity to the vibrancy of the campus and downtown Austin, and the innovative, business-friendly environment of the city.


  • Learn the design thinking mindset and practice the process with small group case studies
  • Understand how to leverage divergent and convergent thinking
  • Discover ways to elicit user stories that can lead to new insights
  • Practice the art of creating and using "challenge statements"
  • Learn to use design thinking tools to analyze and prioritize solution options


  • Introduction to Innovation & Design Thinking
  • Gathering & Analyzing Insights
  • Ideation & Prototyping
  • Storytelling for Understanding & Impact

Who Attends

Design thinking is just as powerful for solving internal business challenges as it is for designing products and services for customers.

  • Executives looking to accelerate innovation within their organization
  • Directors and managers who want to help their teams be more productive
  • Entrepreneurs who want to tackle complex customer problems
  • Teams that need to work together more effectively to solve challenging problems

Design thinking has generated high-profile successes in technology and consumer products, but its value has also been proven across industries and functional areas. Regardless of your industry, design thinking can help your teams be more innovative and productive.

Additional Information

CEUs: Participants earn 1.4 CEUs and/or 14 CPEs for this course. A certificate of completion will be presented from Texas Executive Education.
Course Credits: 1.0
Hotel Information: Texas Executive Education classes qualify for discounted hotel room rates at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on a limited basis. Discount code will be provided on the course materials page after class registration is complete.


Stephen Walls

Stephen Walls is a Senior Lecturer in the Marketing Department at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches courses on Marketing Principles, Brand Management, Digital/Social/Mobile Marketing, and Design Thinking within the BBA and MBA programs, along with the Masters in Engineering Management program. He has received a number of teaching awards since joining the McCombs faculty in 2002. Stephen also works on several initiatives across the college, including the design of new graduate business education center, Robert B. Rowling Hall, and the development of McCombs’ first online foundation courses.

Continue Reading
Jeff Mulhausen

Jeff has 15 years of experience managing product innovation initiatives. With a hybrid background as a product designer and ethnographer, Jeff has been listed in over 10 patents. His work has been exhibited at the Austin Museum of Art and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in New York.

Continue Reading

Upcoming Sessions

There are no sessions scheduled at this time. For more information about the next class date, please contact us at or 512-471-5893.