Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat. – The Book

The handbook introduces the reader to the changing role of design as a way of thinking and a framework for solving complex problems and achieving systemic change. It documents 80 methods that cover all stages of a design process, providing actionable guidance for applying the methods across a range of projects. 

The methods are complemented by seven case studies to demonstrate their application in different domains, from designing interfaces for autonomous vehicles to addressing health and wellbeing. 

Free templates and resources available from this website make this a great resource for design educators as well as practitioners leading workshops in their organisation or looking for inspiration to transform their practice.

The first edition of the book was published in 2018 and included 60 methods. The revised edition, published in 2021, documents 20 additional methods, new case studies and a new chapter on life-centred design. 

Untitled Book

Design innovation, design thinking, human-centred design, interaction design, user experience design 

How to cite the book:
Tomitsch, M., Borthwick, M., Ahmadpour, N., Cooper, C., Frawley, J., Hepburn, L.A., Kocaballi, A.B., Loke, L., Núñez-Pacheco, C., ‎ Straker, K., ‎Wrigley, C. (2021). Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat. A Handbook of Methods (revised edition). BIS Publishers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

A neat, concise handbook.

Sarah Dawood,

Anyone who doesn’t find a solution to their problem from this practical book, can only blame themselves.

PAGE magazine

The book is amazing, it is practical, easy, objective and so simple, one of the best books I’ve bought in the last years.

Reader from Portugal

The book Design. Think. Make. Break. Repeat. is engaging to read and intuitive to understand. Readers of the book can gain knowledge of the aspects and features of the design process to help them solve complex problems and develop innovative ideas, concepts and solutions.

Yuli Suseno, Associate Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle

The design tools in the book have helped our students to experiment and playfully combine analytical and creative thinking.

Michel Brokke, Lecturer Research & Design, Hotel & Facility, Breda University of Applied Sciences

Online Course – Innovation Through Design


The book has a companion MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) available on Coursera for free without a certificate. To earn a certificate, learners have to pay a small fee and pass all assessments. 

The 5-week course demonstrates some of the methods from the book and how they can be used in practice. It brings the design process of think-make-break-repeat to life through case studies and interviews with some of Australia’s leading design firms, Atlassian, Design+Industry and Wunderman Bienalto. 

The course is suitable for anyone who is curious about design and translating the processes and tools of design thinking into innovative opportunities.

Instructors: Martin Tomitsch and Cara Wrigley

Offered by: The University of Sydney

Great overview of the design innovation process! The content is up-to-date and the professors really go above and beyond to make the course feel like a regular university course as much as possible.

LL on Nov 8, 2020 (via Coursera)

A light introduction to design thinking. Not too taxing. Easy to understand concepts with some practical applications tested. Good stepping stone to more rigorous and testing design thinking courses.

AS on Feb 15, 2020 (via Coursera)

Wonderful course for newbies getting into the designing world. I will surely recommend this course to every designer … to make it a part of their learning journey. Thank You!

YD on May 14, 2020 (via Coursera)

The course is excellently paced, designed to ensure that readings enhance each module’s discussion and that the learner’s pacing are considered. Thank you, University of Sydney!

CY on Aug 23, 2020 (via Coursera)

Industry Case Studies – 5-Part Mini Series

An extended Director’s Cut edition of the industry case studies produced for the online course is available for free on YouTube. Featuring interviews with designers from Atlassian, Design+Industry and Wunderman Bienalto, the 5-part mini series unpacks the role of design for innovation and documents the think-make-break steps of a human-centred design process. The final episode includes tips for aspiring designers about working in the design industry.

Methods – Templates and Resources

You can find free resources for the 80 methods included in our book below. Resources include printable templates, materials for running design exercises and slides for using the methods in a class or workshop setting.

To learn more about each of the methods and for a step-by-step guide for how to use the methods, you will need a copy of the book. If you already know how to use the methods and are just here for a free template, that’s totally OK too!


The methods included in the book and on this website have been contributed by leading experts in the field hosting many years of experience in design research and practice. The exercises and templates are informed by the learnings from over fifteen years of teaching courses on design in the Design Lab at the University of Sydney.

Many people have contributed behind the scenes to bring this resource to life.