Design is a word that gets used in a lot of different ways:

Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like — design is how it works. –Steve Jobs

That “how-it-works” kind of design can actually be seen as a systematic process of going from the big cloud of hunches and possibilities, clarifying your understanding of the problem space, generating and testing concepts (possible solutions), and refining those into a solution that balances all the different factors. It requires balancing “left-brain” and “right-brain” thinking, opening up to creativity when coming up with ideas or trying to overcome challenges, but also turning to measurement and experiment to validate your ideas.

For the “how it looks” kind of design, see Learn about graphic design; for more on how these approaches are applied in journalism, see Learn about news product development

One facet of design thinking in software development is user experience design, which overlaps considerably with user interface design. See

User Experience (UX) / User Interface (UI) Design

Design classes


“Founded at Northwestern University by Professor Liz Gerber and a group of socially motivated students, Design for America (DFA) is a network of innovators using design thinking skills for local social impact.” I have had trouble finding clearly current info about the NU DFA chapter, but they posted fliers at the beginning of the school year so I think they’re still at it.