Create Digital Design Thinking Workshops

Create Digital Design Thinking Workshops

What if you can improve design thinking by doing everything digitally?

Imagine you could do a desing thinking workshop digitally as easy as with analogue tools.

In this post I am talking about exact steps to set up a digital workshop environment for design thinking workshops.

Click on the section below to be taken right to one of the practical steps:

1.Connect everybody to the same digital workspace

2.Define the problem

3.Analyze the problem


5.Group ideas

6.Prototype and test

1.Connect everybody to the same digital workspace

…Start a project in CollaBoard

…Share the key & code (or alternatively the QR-Code)

People just need to enter the key & code or scan the QR code with CollaBoard.

That’s how easily all attendees can join the same digital workspace.

All connecetd users are displayed at the top of the board. Use Skype 4 Business or other video conferencing tools share audio and video, if you have remote attendees.

2.Define the problem

…Visualize the problem

…Import relevant content (screenshots, survey results, pictures etc.)

…Gather the required data

3.Analyze the problem

…Use the 5 why technique on digital sticky notes


…Based on what you’ve learnt, start generating ideas to solve the problem

…All participants can write his ideas on digital sticky notes

…When the idea is ready, the sticky note can be saved and shared with the whole team

5.Group ideas

…Identify criteria for grouping ideas

…Define an area for each criterion in the digital workspace

…Move the sticky notes into the corresponding area (or other objects like images, videos, pdf’s)

6.Prototyping and testing

Time to make your ideas concrete. Create a prototype.

…Ink and highlight to review your prototpye

Tip: Use a large touchscreen / interactive display for groupwork on the same device.

Create your own digital workshop with CollaBoard. Try it out for 30day for free!

Design Thinking Workshop at IBV – A practical example

At IBV we have been doing design thinking workshops from time to time. Our last workshop has been performed with the development and support team of our ERP/CRM solution myCompany in the „IBV Collaboration Space“ on the ground floor of our office. The goal was to figure out how to improve the software to increase user satisfaction.

To conduct the workshop, we used our software CollaBoard, several laptops, tablets and 3 large interactive displays (DELL conferencing monitor 55“, Surface Hub 55“ and a large BenQ screen). For the best experience, personal devices with a touchscreen are highly recommended. However, it works with every Windows 10 computer.

Connect everybody to the same digital workspace

After an introduction to the workshop and to CollaBoard by the presenter, all attendees logged themselves in to the same CollaBoard project. To make this process as easy as possible, people can scan a QR code or just enter the „Project Code“ and „Project Key“.

In total, we had 11 devices connected to one CollaBoard project. Each user or device (for example Surface Hub) is displayed at the upper right corner of the app. The color indicates whether a user is active in the project or not. It is not necessary that all people are in the same room for a digital workshop. The key and code can be shared easily via Skype for Business to connect with other people as well.

Create Personas

To create the personas, we discussed their appearance and characteristics within the group as an introduction. The results of the discussion have simply been written on the canvas of CollaBoard. Also, we searched two images online to give the personas a face, which was truly simple thanks to the “Search” function in CollaBoard. This step helps the attendees to imagine a real customer and adapt brainstorming ideas to their description.

Gathering ideas in groups – Adding digital sticky notes

We then divided all attendees into three smaller groups to enhance their participation and let them brainstorm. Each group added sticky notes to the CollaBoard canvas with their ideas and thoughts. People can walk up to the large interactive display, write in the project from there and also interact with each other in real-time. Standing and walking sessions within brainstorming improves the creativity and our brain’s capacity. This exercise has been performed until no more ideas were added.

Grouping the ideas

After the brainstorming phase, we came back to plenum and started to discuss the sticky notes. Therefore, we categorized the sticky notes and created groups on the canvas. At first, we just inked grid patterns in different colors on the canvas.

Then, we created a library, entered the category title and drag and dropped all of the sticky notes for one topic into this certain library. There were a lot of ideas for the topic „usability“, that’s why we created a library for usability and saved some space on the canvas. There are two different types of libraries to use, both to sort the canvas and create some structure within a meeting or workshop.

Decide and plan next steps

After 90 minutes of group work we created a lot of ideas and identified 5 main topics we need to work on to improve our software. Each attendee got an export of the whole canvas (with all the ideas) as an image at the end. As the project is stored in the cloud, it can be accessed again via project key and code, and people can continue working on the workshop if needed. No more photo-based protocols of analogue sticky note walls are necessary anymore.



The people liked the digital version of the design thinking workshop. Having three large interactive display in one single room helped a lot. We are looking forward to share our experience of holding this digital workshop with others. If you are interested to discuss this with me just write me an E-Mail: