Systems thinking

Step Three: Brainstorm design outcomes

Using a collaborative design process with your team and your key stakeholders; discuss, research, and write down possible design outcomes to the identified problem(s). You should add these ideas back on the visual map from Step Two. We suggest that you start with conventional or typical design ideas first (to get them out of the way), then ideate wilder ideas* as the process unfolds.

*We suggest the Think Wrong™ Moonshot Drill and similar exercises from the Think Wrong™ website to help you think differently.

You should follow-up on any to-do, questions/concerns Sticky Notes before moving forward with this step.

Step Three is more like the design process you know. Here you are proposing solutions and exploring how each help or hinder the stakeholders and address  the design problem(s) from Step One. You can start Step Three right after Step Two or give your team a brief or long break to recharge.

To learn more about how to complete Step Three, you’ll need the full Toolkit below.

Design to Renourish


We go into much greater detail on how to use systems thinking in our new book “Design to Renourish: Sustainable Graphic Design in Practice.” The book offers solutions to the real life challenges of working with the client to create sustainable work. Through ten case studies that feature interviews with international design teams who embrace a sustainable systems methodology, the reader will gain valuable insights on how to design to renourish.

Learn more

Print & Packaging Design

More and more, print designers are taking small steps along a new, more sustainable path. We’re discovering that small changes become large when multiplied by thousands of other designers making similar decisions.

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UI/UX Design

Creating for the web or mobile device can provide many opportunities to connect, educate, and mobilize. However, it is important to remember that even though paper is not involved, UI/UX work does still have significant environmental and social impacts.

Learn more