Internships 2020

We are happy to announce an 8 week Internship program for Design students starting 27th March, 2020. Below are a few videos to understand the background, eligibility and the structure. Click here if you are interested to register as a mentor.

How to get started

This is an 8-week Internship program in Design Research, being offered to the students of Design. A Think Design initiative from its leadership, we wanted to offer this to students who may be facing uncertainties during this time and help them with positive utilization of time and energy while working from home. The structure has been designed to be conducted entirely online.

You need to be a student of Design and your course at your institution mandates an internship during this period. This is not for upskilling otherwise and it is not for engaging yourself during summer. It is specifically meant for those students who are facing uncertainty due to the COVID-19 situation and their internships are at risk due to the outbreak. For this reason, you need to provide details of your professor or academic coordinator at your institution and you will be granted internship only after they confirm the above.

The course is divided into two modules: Theory of Design research followed by Practicum. During the first module, Theory of Design research, you will be studying the material on Design research below, exploring each method further. You will have to complete weekly assignments and towards the end of this module, you will be given access to an online test. The results will be provided to you towards the end of the internship period.

For practicum, you will be given a choice of projects. Your project work will be overseen by a mentor and you will make regular presentations to the mentor. Your work will be evaluated by the mentor who will communicate the evaluation results to us.

Internships are being offered starting April, May and June and they are in fixed blocks of 8 weeks. You will need to start your internship within the first week of either April, May or June.

You will receive a certificate of completion after the 8-week period, delivered to your inbox. You are free to share this certificate and your coursework online.

Please refer to this page for regular updates. It is important that once you register and receive a confirmation, you stick to your plan and make the most of what is being offered.


Register for Internships 2020

For any queries, please feel free to write to


Module 1: Theory of Design Research


Below, you will find content on a number of Research methods, put together by Think Design’s editorial team. You will need to thoroughly study each method in detail on our site as well as explore each method on the internet. Based on their application, a number of organizations interpret these methods contextually and hence, you will need to maximize learning those different perspectives/ interpretations on your own.

Weekly Assignments

You may be going over 10-15 research methods each week. No later than Friday at the end of the day each week, you will need to submit your weekly assignment to

You will make a slideshow presentation of no more than 5 slides and will include the following:

  • Each slide needs to have your name and email address that you filled in your registration form.
  • A brief explanation of upto 5 of the research methods selected by yourself among the 10-15 you may have studied during the week. The explanation will be a maximum of 2 sentences written in your own words. We are not asking you to define those methods, but reflect upon and write about them in your own words. Be creative!
  • Think of upto 5 daily/ real life scenarios, challenges (they could be from the current context or on the reflection of your past). Explain what research methods you will use to help in those challenges (these will of course be from what you studied during that week).

Do not make the slideshows longer than 5 slides and do not make the files heavy (don’t embed high res images and videos in the file).

Design Research Methods

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life is a type of ethnographic study where the researcher follows and observes a user through a typical day. The objective of this activity is for the researcher to understand the routine and typical activities of a user that the user performs by mere habit and that the user would perform subconsciously....

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Audio/ Video Analysis

Audio/video is an observation-recording tool that can be employed by researchers to record, review and analyze user behavior or actions in specific scenarios. Audio/video can be easily combined with other design research methods such as interviews, guided tour, task analysis, to record user experience or interaction with a prototype, a digital or non-digital product and services....

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An audit is an in-depth review and analysis of a system, prototype, process or an idea. A design audit could be in reference to a website, the visual collaterals being used by a company or the physical plus functional appeal of a prototype or a product. A design audit has implications on marketing, brand, cultural and other communicative as well as perceived aspects of an organization. ...

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Be your Customer

The Be Your Customer design method is a type of role-play or role-reversal technique where the designer or researcher acts out a scenario as a customer. The difference between this method and a regular role-play is that here the researcher enacts a situation specifically as a customer. Being your customer can be applied to many situations, such as to test a product prototype, or a service model....

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Bodystorming is a way of subjecting a researcher’s own body to physically experience a situation in order to ideate. A combination of role-play and simulation, bodystorming takes place in a physical environment, instilling a feeling of empathy for the users. Bodystorming is also a form of brainstorming using the body i.e. by acting out stories or simulating something very close to reality with the objective of generating ideas....

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Brainstorming is a group format problem-solving/ creativity technique, in which a group of people uses their collective intelligence to approach a creative problem. This technique inspires people to come up with creative ideas. Brainstorming sessions should be used at the very beginning of a project and should address a specific question. The duration of the session can be short or long depending on the nature of research, the quality as well as quantity of ideas generated....

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Business Model Canvas

Developed by Alexander Osterwalder, the Business Model Canvas is a framework that helps business modelers, strategists, entrepreneurs as well as managers determine how a business creates, delivers and captures values. The Business Model Canvas framework is a visual representation of the important aspects or parts to consider when designing a Business Model....

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Card Sorting

Card sorting is a participatory, user-centered technique used to understand the attitudes, values, preferences and behaviors of participants as they relate to the domain under study. It is used when we need to develop a deep understanding of the audience’s mental models or conditioning. Card sorting also gives insight into how participants make sense of the subject under consideration....

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Concurrent Probing

Concurrent probing can be seen as a variation or more accurately an extension of contextual inquiry. Concurrent probing is more useful in situations where probing doesn’t disrupt the natural flow of the participant as this could alter the subsequent steps a participant would have otherwise taken without interruptions....

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Contextual Inquiry

Contextual inquiry is literally inquiry of context. It is a method where participants are observed while they perform tasks and simultaneously talk about what they are doing while they perform them. Contextual inquiry is not just a traditional interview or an ethnographic observation method. The key difference between contextual inquiry and other user research methods is that participants must take a more active role in leading their session in contextual inquiry....

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Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a method of analyzing ideas, concepts or data collected to evaluate the situation from different perspectives and arrive at an unbiased optimum solution. A critical thinker can anticipate the consequences of certain actions in advance. A researcher with the competency to critically think can reflect, think independently, stay objective, problem solve to deduce a solution. Therefore, critical thinking requires self-actuated discipline and correction to get one step closer to the solution iteratively....

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Customer Segmentation

Customer Segmentation is a method to categorize customers into groups based on certain parameters such as age, interests, behavior, geography, etc. Customer segmentation is one of the primary most important methods employed by marketers around the globe for targeting specific users for a product or service. This also allows marketers as well as businesses to communicate effectively only the information that is relevant for specific user types....

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In clinical terms, diagnosis is defined as detection of a disease that has already occurred in a patient based on its symptoms. Along the same lines, diagnosis in design is detection of anomalies, fallacies, bugs or holes in theories, concepts, processes, products or service offerings. In this method, the researcher wants to uncover the root causes of the problem. He describes the factors responsible or possible explanations for the symptoms....

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Document Research

Document research method refers to the analysis of documents that contains information about the scenario or event under consideration. It is used to investigate, categorize and analyze physical sources, most commonly written documents, in the social, public or digital world. This research method is just as good as and sometimes even more cost effective than the surveys, in-depth interviews or other observation based methods such as ethnography....

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Dyads & Triads

Dyads and Triads can be thought of as very small focus groups. However, unlike with focus groups, there is occasionally a connection between participants (i.e. child and mother or consumer and customer). For example, for an ecommerce store selling childrens’ fashion, the consumer is a child but the customer could be the parent. ...

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Ethnography is a creative process of discovering and mapping the cultural patterns within a group. Ethnography also helps to develop models that could explain those patterns. Therefore, ethnography can be used as an anthropological design research method to investigate everyday social life and give a description of the culture of a group of people. Additionally, many anthropologists and sociologists are employing ethnographic techniques to understand everyday product experiences and the processes of design....

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Extreme User Interviews

Extreme User Interviews is a method employed to understand user responses and insights at two opposite ends of the usage spectrum. An ‘extreme’ participant should exhibit sharpened traits of your target users. For example, if your research is focused on a kitchen appliance, an interview with a professional chef will give you quality insights into the experience of cooking. Similarly, someone who barely cooks is at the other end of the spectrum and can help shed light on the cooking experience. ...

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Five Whys

With the 5 Whys, our initial answers usually allow us to look at the most obvious aspects of a problem or situation. With every why, we dig deeper and deeper into the problem until we arrive at the root cause of an occurrence. Five Whys method is so in your face that it can be applied by anyone but yet is very powerful. The method is simply asking the question ‘why’ five times! It’s a technique to help you get past the symptoms of a problem, and to find its root causes. Simply ask ‘why’ up to five times during any problem solving activity to arrive at a solution....

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Fly On The Wall

Fly on the wall research is an observational technique that allows a researcher to collect data by seeing and listening. Usually researchers employ this method to gain insight into people, environment, interactions and objects in a space. It is the primary responsibility of the researcher to stay completely unnoticed during the observation so as to not bias the participants in any way....

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Focus Groups

A Focus group refers to a group of 10 or fewer individuals who gather in a room to discuss a product, service, concept or merely an idea. A focus group is a qualitative research method to find out different attitudes, responses about a subject. The Focus group can either react or discuss a series of survey questions or are given statements on which they share opinions....

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Guided Tour

A Guided tour is a field method by nature. In this method, the researcher gets immersed into the participant’s environment. Here, the user or participant gives the researcher a guided tour of their home, workplace, or daily activities. This will enable the researcher to understand not just the physical details of the participant’s environment, but also their daily routines, habits, values and other qualitative aspects that are part of the daily interactions of the participants....

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Heatmap Analysis

Heatmap analysis involves analyzing heat maps generated from a recording tool such as mouse tracker, eye tracker or even cameras (in case of traffic or footfall capture). Heatmap is a graphical representation of the user’s mouse or eye movement when using a product or service. Heat maps are helpful indicators of what grabs a user’s attention, where the users are spending their time and how much time is being spent on which areas. Additionally, heat maps can help determine which aspects of digital or non-digital products need to be improved....

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Heuristic Analysis

Heuristics is synonymous to rules or methods. Heuristic means ‘to discover’. It helps think through problems to reach a solution by process of elimination, trial and error, and other such means. Heuristic Analysis is conducted by experts based on the rules of heuristics, popularly used in user experience and user interface design to evaluate a website, portal or an app for their confirmation to heuristic principles....

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In-depth Interviews

In-depth interviews involve direct engagement with individual participants. It is a qualitative data collection method where the interviewer can ask the participants different questions based on their responses. In-depth interviews require the interviewer to be highly skilled at such data collection methods to ensure that the participants feel comfortable in sharing information authentically, that there is no data lost in the process and the quality of information collected is in-depth and thorough....

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Informance is a combination of role-play, improvisation and bodystorming. Informance is unique in the way that it places designers in the minds and bodies of users for design ideation. In some ways, the purpose of informance and ethnographic research is similar such that they are both supposed to give an in-depth understanding of the customer; however, informance goes beyond understanding the customer’s culture and motivations....

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Participatory Design

Participatory design is a method to co-create, co-operate, and co-design. Participatory design is an approach where all the stakeholders i.e. employees, customers, end-users, partners, designers, and researchers are actively involved in the design process. Participatory Design exercises are used in a variety of fields, such as software and product design, architecture, and graphic design, among other disciplines....

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Personas are character profiles, which are created based on user research for products and services. The user research helps in classifying different user types who have similar behavior. These user types are then described in detail with their attributes. These representative descriptions are personas. Creating personas helps understand ones users with their needs, behavior, and expectations. Personas enable researchers to create a picture of whom they are designing for. This makes the design process much easier....

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Personal Inventory

Personal inventory is a study of relationships individuals develop with the things at their home or workplace. This method uses information about people’s relationship with physical and digital products to design of prototypes or models. Personal inventory also helps to determine the perceptions and values of people....

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Predict next year’s Headline

Predict next year’s headlines is a method that can be used to guide the steps to take immediately and in the future. This method can be employed in combination with other methods such as surveys, interviews, extreme user interviews, and other methods that involve different stakeholders who can project the state of a product, service, or an industry in the future....

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A prototype is a simple model or a mockup of a concept, idea, product or service. It is used to test or validate design assumptions that were made to construct the prototype quickly and in a less expensive way than developing a full-fledged product or service. The prototype also gives an idea of how to refine or alter it to move closer to the finished product or service offering....

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Retrospective Probing

Retrospective probing is a probing technique that can be employed to gain Customer/ User feedback. It is a method, which follows Usability testing, Simulation, or other User testing methods to ask the participants their experience in hindsight. The researcher may also choose to just observe the user, so that the natural flow of the user’s thoughts and actions do not get altered and then the researcher chooses to probe the user immediately after they have used a system i.e. probe the user in retrospect....

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Role Play

A Role Play is a type of prototyping or simulation technique that can help in quickly eliciting the user experience for a product or service from the target audience. A role-play, just like prototyping can be used as a way to gather data, tweak and re role-play to gather more data from the activity. The participants in this method of research essentially play certain roles in a skit or a conversation. ...

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Role Reversal

Role Reversal is role-play where the participants get into another participant’s shoes. A role-play activity especially with the roles reversed allows the participants to understand each other’s perspectives and promotes empathy among the participants. Empathy is the ability to identify with another person as well as their situation. Additionally, role-reversal also involves reflection. This method, therefore, allows the participants as well as the researchers (who may be participants playing the opposing role or observing the role-reversal) to expand their thoughts, experiences and manage their expectations through role-reversal....

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Scenarios are descriptive or pictorial stories of the users or personas we are designing for. Scenarios involve a user performing certain actions or simulations to accomplish a goal. It also involves using a product, service or prototype to accomplish certain goals in their day-to-day activities or otherwise. Scenario stories also help researchers figure user objectives. It can be employed at the time of usability testing to determine the extent to which a product can capture value or resolve a challenge a user is facing....

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Shadowing is a qualitative research technique conducted on a small scale where the researcher acts as an observer. In shadowing, researchers observe real-life situations of a research subject or participant for a set period of time. For this set period, the researcher does not interfere with the participant to avoid the research subject to deviate from their natural behavior under the scenario or circumstance....

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Simulation/ Modeling

Modelling is defined as creating physical, mathematical, or logical representations of a process, product or service where the implementation of the representations is termed as simulation. Modelling and Simulation allow designers to test design considerations or specifications with the potential users before the formal process, product or service is launched. The terms modeling and simulation are extensively used in the technological context; however, models in the physical or real world are called prototypes and role-play, informance or role-reversals are different forms of non-virtual simulations. Similarly, virtual models are used to test digital products and services to understand user experience during a simulation. Additionally, the virtual models help shorten the design and test cycle. It also gives the researcher immediate feedback to alter the model and re-test it quickly....

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Social Network Mapping

Social Network Mapping is a method used to determine and understand the nature of social interactions between individuals as well as groups. This method helps in figuring out which individuals hold what level of influence over another individual or group. A social network with its many links is complex, just like the nature of human relationships. A social network map helps in identifying the actors that enjoy the most influence over the other actors in the network....

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A Survey is a list of questions asked to individuals with the aim of collecting information. The purpose of a survey is to gain an understanding of thoughts, feelings and opinions of a group. If the size of the group is too large, this exercise may be too expensive or time consuming. So, for the sake of feasibility, we select a representative sample of individuals and ask questions to this sample to describe certain characteristics of the group and/or to test hypotheses about the nature of relationships within the group....

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Task Analysis

Task Analysis is a method of observing participants in action performing their tasks. Task Analysis helps figuring out how users perform tasks and how a system, product or service should be designed for users so that they can achieve their intended goals. Task Analysis also helps determine what user goals are i.e. what designers must design for; how do users determine or measure the completion of tasks, what sort of personal, social as well as cultural attributes influence the user’s performance, etc. ...

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Time Lapse Video

A Time-lapse video is a series of still images capturing a scene that has a slow state-of-change and plays back in high speed when turned into a video. A time-lapse video consists of frames separated by a fixed time interval. For example: A video of the sky in which a frame is taken every x amount of seconds. Hours worth of pictures are compressed into a video with few minutes playtime, creating a time-lapse effect. A 5 second video, playing at 15 fps and that was shot at 1 frame per minute would capture a 10 hour scene....

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Tree Test

Tree testing is a usability testing technique, which is used to evaluate how easy is it for users to find items or topics on a website. Also known as reverse card sorting or card based classification technique, tree testing allows researchers to show a website menu structure to the participants without the layout or design being complete. The process is for participants to find items, topics or perform tasks laid down by the researcher by merely navigating the menu structure presented to them. ...

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Trend Analysis

A trend is a recurring pattern and trend analysis is the practice of collecting data in an attempt to spot that pattern. When the user needs and behavior are changing rapidly, trend analysis is a method that can act as a window into the future demands of users. Knowing now how the needs, behavior and expectations of users will evolve, can help companies act fast and invest in research and development of products and services that can cater to those needs and expectations....

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Try it Yourself

Try it yourself is a technique where the designer or researcher acts on behalf of the user. What usually happens in typical design projects is that the user is interviewed or surveyed and observed to ensure that the needs, behavior and expectations, that surface from these methods match. Then, depending on the budget of the project, the design specifications are tested and validated using other research methods. All these methods give the researcher a sense of the user, understanding of their needs and behavior; however, Try it Yourself, allows the researcher to pose as the user and experience the design first-hand....

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Unfocus Group

A contrast but highly valuable tool to a Focus Group is the “Unfocus Group”. An Unfocus Group is a conversation with your representative sample again of 10 or fewer participants without an agenda, a discussion guide or a main topic. In an unfocus group, when we work without an objective, we can sometimes stumble upon much valuable insights than when we work within the confines of a structure....

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Usage Analytics

Analytics guide design insights that help in achieving the aforementioned objectives and are the most frequently used in the web products context. Some researchers believe that analytics aren’t as helpful in understanding the user’s motivations and intent – this is true when the sample size is small but for larger sample sizes, certain inferences can be drawn from usage analytics or usage analytics can be combined with other user probing based research methods....

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User Testing/ Validation

The goal of user testing/validation is to understand how users experience certain products or services. The usability of products and services can be validated at any stage in the design process. This method can be particularly useful to evaluate usability of concepts, prototypes, physical or software products and service offerings of an organization....

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Visit Survey

Visit Survey is a method where the researcher visits the home or workplace of the user and studies the user’s context for behavioral, cultural, social and professional cues. Visit survey can be conducted along with personal inventory or standalone. However, in the case of personal inventory, the questions asked from the users are more related to the products they possess, whereas, in the case of visit surveys, the questions asked from the users are more about the environment of the user i.e. the relationship or interaction that the user has with their environment....

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Word Concept Association

Word Concept Association is a way to identify relationships between two stimulus words based on the response words. If there is a similarity in the response words of two stimulus words, then it indicates a similarity between the stimulus words as well. Besides the relationship between words, the association also gives an indication of the participants’ mental models and language i.e. how participants associate one thing with another....

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A workshop is characterized by a group of individuals who have come together with more or less a common goal i.e. to acquire new knowledge, problem solve, brainstorm or innovate. Depending on the size of the group, a workshop is facilitated by a single or multiple facilitators. A workshop removes participants for their everyday contexts and places them in a context that provokes reflection and innovation....

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As you progress through the internship, we will update the modules on a regular basis. Check back later here for more information.

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