Design Exercises

Critical Thinking & Ideation Design Exercise

Goal: Capture deep thinking and decision making, knowledge of patterns, velocity of ability.

Participants: Hiring Manager, Candidate, & another panel member


Problems for Exercise


  1. Individually define the problem and opportunity space to provide context for exploring how to solve it [5 minutes]
  2. Discuss each’s definition [5 minutes]
  3. Crazy 8s [8 minutes]
  4. Discuss 2 ideas [5 minutes]
  5. Storyboard [10 minutes]
  6. Silent Critique [10 minutes]
  7. Discussion [10 minutes]
Remote Variation

How Might We

Candidate works through a problem with member representative of a typical team.

Participants: PM, Designer, & Engineer

Problem Statements How might we improve the effectiveness of teeth cleaning? How might we help blind consumers find spices more effectively? How might we improve transportation without the need for fossil fuel? How might we improve the effectiveness of digital communication?

Design Process Exercise

A conversational and informal session, with open/out loud brainstorming The goal is to create an environment in which a design candidate can demonstrate his or her approach to user-driven discovery and design, research standards and the scientific method.

  1. Provide a scenario that contains a problem and a high-level hypothesis to solving this problem.
  2. Give them a few minutes to read the scenario.
  3. Time for questions.
  4. “With the solution hypothesis at the forefront of your mind, using the rest of the information as background, can you explain:”
    1. Without actually creating prototypes, explain what steps would you take to begin discovery:
    2. With whom would you conduct this discovery?
    3. For what would you be measuring?
    4. What are the outcomes of this round of discovery? How would you define success?
    5. What is the next round of discovery? How do you build on round one? Describe round two.

Brand/Marketing Exercise

This is a great judge of not only their creativity, but also their selling skills and their ability to think on their feet.


  1. Have the candidate chooses one item from each list below
  2. Then have them pitch you that product as if you’re an executive
  3. Give them 1 minute to think about their pitch
  4. Give them 5 minutes to pitch their ideas to me to sell me on the idea

Famous Brands

Everyday Product


Brand Designer: New Product Thought Exercise

You’re promoting a brand for a new product. Where do you begin? Demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge of brand development and marketing models.