Overlap works with people and organizations that want to make things better. We use tools of design to understand problems, draw out insights, generate ideas, and arrive at practical, actionable solutions.

Exploring Complex Problems

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In this course, you will learn how to describe the problem as it is currently understood. You’ll explore how to do the homework around the problem space in a human-centred way to better understand context and develop launch points for solution generation. 

Defining your problem isn’t the end of your research. It’s the beginning. Metaphorically, you’ve put a few stakes in the ground to identify where you plan to excavate. Now it’s time to start digging. Your next step is to identify and test the assumptions you have made around the problem space.

Great design is always based on research. Research is how we ground our solutions in the real needs of stakeholders, minimize misleading assumptions, and avoid over-simplifying and over-complicating things.

In this course, you’ll dive deep into the Define and Research phases of the human-centred design cycle, learning how staying in the problem space and iterating between these two phases can produce a strong foundation for ideation. 

What's Included:

  • 6 hrs of live online teaching from expert design coaches
  • Practical exercises to practice skills
  • An introduction to Miro, a digital whiteboard & design tool
  • Downloadable Process Card deck of design exercises to help design workshops and plan your work (for use in Miro)

Two Modules

1. A deep dive into problem definition and research

Learn about the importance of problem framing and ways for testing your assumptions. Uncover some of the fundamental principles of doing research in a human-centred way.

2. Define and research in action

A hands-on session where you will try tools, techniques, and a repeatable process that will help you create new value for customers when exploring complex problems. Some of the tools and processes include getting to the root of the problem with Five Whys, mapping people impacted by your work with Stakeholder Analysis, and synthesizing your research through the use of Personas.

One Assignment

In your assignment you will plan a stakeholder analysis for an upcoming project. The assignment will encourage you to think about stakeholders across a spectrum and develop a logic model for how you will engage with them.

Join a Peer Learning Group

Joining a peer-led learning group will provide an opportunity to share your assignment and get feedback from others in the group.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to more confidently jump into the Define or Research stages of the design cycle with deeper knowledge of foundational strategies as well as concrete tools for success.

You will learn:

  • The power of defining your problem: explore strategies and tips for testing your assumptions about the problem early on
  • Processes to ensure your research is human-centred: explore specific tools and mindsets that always bring us back to the humans who are impacted by the solution
  • Tools to help you explore your problem frame and for engaging your stakeholders along the way: practical tools and processes that you can start using right away to make an impact

How you'll learn

Live Online Instruction
The course is delivered virtually via Zoom with other learners from all over the world and led by Overlap instructors.

Throughout the modules there are opportunities to practice skills and apply concepts.

You’ll be able to join peers to share and discuss what you’re learning to gain greater understanding and deepen the impact.

Learning design is more than technical skills—it’s about the way your worldview is changing and your approach to problem solving. Multiple moments of reflection are designed into the course.

What happens when you buy a course?

After your purchase, you will be enrolled into the course and receive an email confirming your course date, time, and zoom link.

You will also be sent information to login to our learning site and community. Access to any downloads and course content will be found there.

I'd like to book for my team

If you'd like to book this course for you team select 'Team Booking', confirm the number of seats during the checkout process and we'll connect with you to book a date that works for your team!

Rather speak to someone first? You can reach out to hello@overlap.school with your request and we'll get you sorted!

For teams smaller than 5 people, we'd recommend joining one of our open courses. Your team will join others learning the same material and will get the added benefit of connecting with individuals in other organizations.

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I joined Overlap’s Introduction to HCD Training—WOW!! The learning facilitator was incredible at keeping the energy and interest of the group up the entire day! Somehow she not only gave us oodles of incredible tools and learning, but she also stitched us together in a way that some of us left giving hugs instead of handshakes!

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