Design Thinking Masterclass: Art of Gaining Customer Empathy

Recommend course:


Having a deep level of empathy, and knowing what your customers truly value, is essential in creating products, services and experiences that connect and create long-term meaningful relationships. This course is a two-day immersive ‘how to' into the world of design research. You will examine how to dig below what people tell you they do, into what they actually do, and then how to make sense of this information in a meaningful way.

Over the two days we will debunk myths about design research and teach you how to integrate this way of thinking and working into your current practise and processes.

Who should attend:

Ideal for those who have completed the 1-day or 2-day design thinking bootcamps, or those who have prior design thinking or qualitative research experience.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify the key moment where design research takes place
  • Understand the process, methods and mindset of good design research practise
  • Understand the importance of, and how to embody, good design research methods
  • Discuss common methods used by designer researchers and learn how to apply them to your organisation
  • Experience design research - how to gather information from people and make sense of that information in a way that is useful and meaningful to your organisation
  • Link design research back to your role and organisation

Course outline:

The days are split into a number of key learning moments:

Day 1: How to immerse yourself in the lives of your customers, specifically observation and conversation techniques.

  • Introduction to gaining customer empathy and design research
  • The art of observation and why it is important
  • The art of conversation and why it is important
  • Bringing observation and conversation together

Day 2: Making sense of the information gathered.

  • Preparing field notes for sharing
  • Sharing stories and information in a meaningful way
  • How to theme/pattern and map
  • Drawing inferences, insights and needs
  • How to create and storytell a customer point of view
  • Take-aways and follow up pledges

Course format:

This course is hands-on and fully immersive. Expect a mix of activities to enable you to learn-by-doing that are complemented with academic rigor and grounded in business reality.

The course is capped at 16 participants and will consist of individual, pair, and small group work, interspersed with presentations and large group discussions guided by lecturers/facilitators.

Full catering (lunch and breaks) is provided to allow for continued discussion and networking among participants.


Matthew Ellingsen and Tina Shirmohammadi

Further details: 
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on: 
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email:

Customised workshops: 
Victoria Professional and Executive Development are able to customise many of our workshops to meet specific individual or organisational requirements. Please contact us for further information.

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