After going through the on-site observations at Canberra Primary, we decided to take the exploration a step further by conducting a workshop to explore opportunities for priming in the classroom with the aim of improving teaching and learning experiences.

The Design Incubation Centre held a 2-day workshop where participants from various disciplines were invited. A total of 50 participants attended, including design students, educational researchers, educational psychologists, and teachers (of which some were from Canberra Primary). A complete toolkit, consisting of big collaborative worksheets and priming strategy cards, was developed by the Centre and used during the workshop to facilitate design-thinking for the participants.

Workshop Poster


Workshop Design Process




Workshop Insights

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Workshop Toolkit

This toolkit was developed to be used in conjunction with the Priming Strategy Cards.
This design thinking methodology is adapted to pin-cushion boards and bold markers.
The toolkit is simple; one merely has to work through the following exercises in order to reach a desired outcome.

1) Wishlist

The wish list activity helps to kickstart the entire design thinking process by allowing participants to contribute in a spontaneous and off-the-cuff manner.
It is meant to be a preliminary means of familiarizing the participants with the design context while also doubling up as a warm-up activity.


2) Interview

The Interview activity helps to draw out deep and rich insights about the designated persona.
It allows participants to understand the design context through the eyes of the persona.


3) Persona Board

The persona board is to be filled in simultaneously as the interview activity is being conducted.
Persona boards are profile boards that contain comprehensive information and insights about the persona.
By reading through the completed persona board you should be able to get a clear understanding of the persona’s experience in the design context.


4) Empathy Map

Empathy maps are great tools to organize previously obtained persona data for further analysis.
Apart from providing a framework for us to derive deeper insights about the persona, they also help us better understand their sensory and everyday experiences.

5) Problem Statements

Problem statements highlight prominent concerns from the empathy map.
You can use them to identify key areas that possess potentially interesting opportunities for design.
Ultimately we can make sense of the voluminous amount of information gathered by framing it into problem statements.


6) How Might We

“How might we…”statements are design opportunities desconstructed from a single problem statement.
They demonstrate how a single problem can be interpreted and tackled in various angles or perspectives.
In addition they also help to expand the subsequent ideation process by providing a more varied design scope.


7) Priming Strategies


A design tool for inducing the Priming Effect in real-world scenarios.

Based on the identification and classification of priming strategies, we developed a deck of priming strategy cards that can be used to inspire design solutions for any given scenario.

The front face of every card presents an actionable strategy that users can try to adopt to their own needs, while the back provides questions to provoke deeper thought, as well as real-life examples of that particular priming method.

Links to journals and articles are provided in small text at the bottom of the card, to provide legitimate references to the research work done around each strategy.

Download them HERE



The priming strategy cards are meant to be used in conjunction with the “How might we…”worksheets.
They are useful tools for the ideation process as they contain practical tips and suggestions related to priming, and are colour-coded according to the type of priming involved.

Magenta: Physiological Priming
Blue: Cognitive Priming
Yellow: Environmental Priming


Example of use:


8) Ideation

Idea generation is the time to let loose and engage in lateral thinking.
Go for quantity over quality; the purpose of brainstorming is to churn out as many ideas no matter how good or bad they might seem at first glance.
The best tools for ideation include a big empty wall, sharpies, and lots and lots of Post-Its.
Give yourselves a set time limit to churn out ideas, with a short break time in between to rest your braincells and to inspect what your groupmates have come up with for inspiration.

e.g. 4 x 10min sessions with 5 mins break in-between


9) Evaluation

Evaluation can be done in several ways, but in this method we use a matrix to visually sort out the ideas relative to each other, based on“feasibilty vs appeal”.
Using the Post-Its from the ideation round, sort the ideas out on this chart as a group, discussing why each idea belongs where it is.
Be sure to get the input of everyone to ensure an honest assessment of the ideas.
Once sorted, use a voting system to decide on your final idea, or narrow down the focus to a couple of favourite ideas, and figure out as a group what can be done to possibly synthesize them.


10) Communication/Prototyping

Communicating a design can be done in the form of quick and dirty prototyping, where groups make use of materials like cardboard and tape to make quick and dirty models of what they imagine their outcome to be.
The objective is not to make something exact, but rather a physical, low-fidelity object that can be communicated with easily.
Storyboarding is another effective way of communicating ideas and designs, through a visual step-by-step explanation.
Using frames to compose the story, go through the use-case of the product/service and explain thoroughly how it works. An audience will be better able to grasp the idea this way.