Concretising Design Thinking: A Content Analysis of Systematic and Extended Literature Reviews on Design Thinking and Human-Centred Design

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The purposes of this study are 1) to explore the concept of design thinking/human-centred design as expressed across the literature, using a systematic content analysis methodology, and 2) to arrive at empirically-based implications and recommendations for the instructional design field drawn from this search and analysis. Since 2000, design thinking has been highly sought after and is increasingly applied to novel challenges. Since then, it has become a force of innovation in business, and a point of contention in design—having created a reductionist perspective of design which has simultaneously become a buzzword for innovation. In the instructional design field, practitioners incorporate the methods used into new design models, and scholars frame new theories within its bounds. Through this process, the meaning and nature of the concept have become complex and clouded. This paper reports results of a systematic content analysis involving examination of 12 databases, analysing 1075 abstracts for fit and identifying 11 core articles. An extended literature review, including more than 70 non-core articles selected from the study data pool, provides a foundation for analysis of the 11 core articles. Results include analysis of the core articles for themes, industry and common citations; recommendations and implications for the instructional design field are drawn from the literature, as well as recommendations for future research.

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