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All Time Favourite Design Thinking Books To Read


Design thinking is a critical skill when it comes to problem-solving. People working in just about any industry can utilise it to better their work. An article on CNBC in early 2019 mentioned that Microsoft, in their latest research, counted Design thinking as one of the highly-demanded skill of the future which also included analytical abilities, digital skills, and continuous learning capabilities.

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There are programs, including our own, from where one can learn design thinking, I would like to list some of the all-time favourite design thinking books to read for my readers to expand their knowledge base.

These design thinking books will help you to get a better understanding of design thinking: its meaning, its methods, and how it is applied. With these design thinking books, you can grasp design thinking, hone your skills and start using them in your upcoming projects.

Let us get started, shall we?

All-time Favourites Design Thinking Books

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

Sprint Design books

Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz co-authored Sprint. It is one of those design thinking books that will help you, deep-dive into design thinking. With Sprint, you can get familiar with design thinking notions in a smart, yet in-depth way. The book describes a detailed five-day method you can use to solve problems or test new ideas. The methods that the book describes can help you learn about user research, gathering insights and prototyping — in five short days.

Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills

Creative Workshop

David Sherwin authored Creative Workshop. Although many believe that it is not a book on design thinking, I somewhat disagree. It is one of those design thinking books that can teach you many creative design thinking exercises and activities. I prefer the practical nature of this book as it reflects numerous ways to spark creativity. The book also includes the thoughts and suggestions from top designers.

Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organisations and Inspires Innovation

change by Design books

Change by Design was authored by Tim Brown, who is currently the Executive Chair at IDEO: one of the leading design consultancies in design thinking and human-centred design. It is also the organisation that coined the term Design Thinking and its practices. This book is about the basics of design thinking by its originators. It is one of those design thinking books that can teach you how design thinking can impact various organisations. As per a 2019 post on IDEO, “Change by Design is a book for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking into every level of an organisation, product, or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.”

The book also has an updated introduction to design thinking and the collaborative design process to fulfil the user’s needs, new case studies and additional materials.

The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design

The Field Guide books

The members wrote this book at IDEO.org, the non-profit arm of the organisation with the same name. It is one of those design thinking books that can help you apply design thinking to social innovation. The Field Guide allows you to learn design thinking methods and applications specifically to projects in the social sector. It is another practical walkthrough about the step-by-step process of design thinking. It mentions various design thinking methods and activities that anyone can use, irrespective of the focus, challenge, or industry.

The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage

The Design of Business

The Design of Business was authored by Roger Martin, who is a professor in strategic management and ex-dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. It is one of those design thinking books that tell you how design thinking applies to business and why organisations need design thinking to be ahead. The book provides a compelling case of why innovation and design thinking should matter at any organisation. It also covers how prominent; leading organisations worldwide have used design thinking to produce breakthrough variations and develop a contentious advantage in their respective industries. It has been over a decade since its release and, the concepts are still fresh. This book has become a relevant classic, as design thinking is always evolving and adopted by many organisations.

Honourable Mentions

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

Creative Confidence was authored by Tom Kelley, who is a Partner at IDEO. It is one of those design thinking books that provide the essential strategies to tap into our productive potential. This book is considered as an inspiring guide to help you be more productive and successful.

Designing for Growth – A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers

Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie co-authored Designing for Growth. It is one of those design thinking books that uncover the mindset and technique of design thinking. It also teaches managers on how the potential of a design can be used to grow the organisation. If you are interested in this book, you should also check out the Designing for Growth Fieldbook.

Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses and Ecosystems

The trio: Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, and Larry Leifer co-authored The Design Thinking Playbook. It is one of those design thinking books that outline design thinking as applied across multiple industries. This book also provides an outlook on the future of business, and the tools industry leaders use to grow their organisations.

The Design Thinking Toolbox: A Guide to Mastering the Most Popular and Valuable Innovation Methods

Michael Lewrick, Patrick Link, and Larry Leifer co-authored The Design Thinking Toolbox as a follow up on The Design Thinking Playbook. It is one of those design thinking books that provides a toolkit full of design thinking activities that can be used as a part of a project. It also details how to conduct these design thinking activities. The subtitle of the book makes it another guide to master the most popular and valuable innovation methods.


These top design thinking books can help you expand your knowledge base regarding the design thinking method. These design thinking books can also help you gain insights and resources to innovate using valuable tools to deliver delightful products and reflect remarkable growth and revenues for your organisation.

ImaginXP is leading the HigherEd revolution offering some of the best future skills certification courses and full time degree programs in Business, design and Technology. We are pioneering the higher educational space with top-notch faculties and industry-led curriculum.

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