Facilitator's Guide For Introducing Human-Centered Design

Welcome to Facilitator's Guide for Introducing Human-Centered Design

This is an on-demand course from +Acumen and IDEO.org to help you prepare to run your own human-centered design workshop.  It is designed for people who have already completed the Introduction to Human-Centered Design course.


Course Materials

To get started, download the following materials and then follow the suggested timeline below.

Suggested Timeline

If you follow the steps outlined below, you should be able to run your own human-centered design workshop within the next 5 weeks.  You are welcome to work at your own pace to complete these steps as quickly or slowly as your schedule allows.  We suggest that you put a date for your workshop on your calendar now so that you stay motivated to complete these steps and join the 133 people who have already successfully completed the course and spread human-centered design to 1.824 people around the world (and counting!).

Week 1: Complete the Planning Worksheets

  • Complete the Pre-Course Survey
  • Download the Guide (link above) and Read Section 1 (p.1-23)
  • Complete the Planning Timeline Worksheet (p. 16)
  • Complete the Facilitator’s Planning Worksheet (p. 23)
  • Introduce yourself to others taking the course by posting on the Course Community Board.

Week 2: Send Your Invitations and Customize Your Agenda

  • Read pages 24-29 of the Guide (link above)
  • Download the Invitation for Participants template (p. 27), customize it, and send it out to everyone who you want to participate in your workshop
  • Make sure you have secured a venue and obtained permission from any leaders of your organization, etc. needed to run a workshop
  • Download the Facilitator’s Agenda (p. 29) and start to update it for your own workshop.  You can continue to make adjustments as you plan your workshop, but start thinking through this now.
  • Download the Presentation Deck (p. 31) and briefly skim through it.  We’ll help you prepare to deliver each section over the coming weeks.

Week 3: Review the Facilitation Notes in Detail

  • Print out a copy the Facilitator’s Notes (p.32-69)
  • Read through the entire Notes section.  Put a star next to any points that you think will particularly resonate with your group of participants.  
  • Highlight or underline sections that you are less familiar with and may need to research further or practice delivering. 
  • If you are working with a partner to facilitate, divide up the sections of the workshop that both of you will deliver.
  • Now that you have a sense of the workshop content you will be facilitating, what questions do you have?  What resources do you have to share with others?  Post your questions, tips, and resources that you want to share with the community on this board.

Week 4: Rehearse and Finalize Arrangements

  • Pull out your highlighted copy of your Facilitator Notes and open the Presentation Deck on your computer. Practice running through the slides and talking through the notes. If possible, have someone listen in to a few sections and give you feedback or videotape yourself!
  • Look back at your Planning Worksheet (p. 23) that you filled out a few weeks ago.  Make sure you have a venue confirmed for your workshop.  Start assembling the supplies you will need.  Send a reminder note to your participants.
  • Be sure to check out the “Pro Tips” at the bottom of the Facilitator’s Notes (such as the one on p. 36) if you need some extra guidance and inspiration from IDEO.org designers.

Week 5: Hold Your Workshop!

  • Confirm your venue and send a reminder to participants.
  • Have copies of all handouts photocopied (p. 70) and all materials ready to go
  • After the workshop, make sure the participants complete the Participant’s Survey (this is how we’ll verify that you’ve held your workshop and send you a Statement of Accomplishment)
  • Complete the final Facilitator’s Survey to tell us how it went!


To Complete This Course:

  • Submit your Facilitator's Survey. Make sure that your participants have submitted their Participant Surveys.
  • Please add photos of your workshop the board. Share them here.
  • We will share a Statement of Accomplishment with you soon after you complete all the requirements.


If You've Found this Course Helpful, Consider a Donation to IDEO.org

IDEO.org, as a nonprofit design organization, relies on donations from people like you to continue to offer the Facilitator’s Guide for free. If you find the Faciliator's Guide useful for introducing human-centered design to others, please consider making a donation at IDEO.org/donate. As a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations to IDEO.org are tax deductible.


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+Acumen is a global learning community for social change-makers. Be an effective force for change with Acumen's free online courses and chapters. Learn more at http://plusacumen.org/ and on Twitter@plusacumen.


IDEO.org is out to design an end to poverty by bringing creativity, empathy, and innovation to the social sector. Our goal is to improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities through design and we're doing it in three ways: through the products, services, and experiences that we design; through the problem solvers we fuel; and by inspiring the social sector to adopt human-centered design.

Learn more about human-centered design on our learning platform, www.designkit.org, follow us on Facebook or Twitter @IDEOorg, and consider donating to IDEO.org to help keep these online tools free for our human-centered design community of learners at www.ideo.org/donate.