Singapore University of Social Sciences

Design Inquiry II: Sensemaking and Communication

CET Course | SkillsFuture Claimable Course

Design Inquiry II: Sensemaking and Communication (DES503)

Applications Open: 01 October 2021

Applications Close: 30 November 2021

Next Available Intake: January 2022

Course Types: Modular Graduate Course, SkillsFuture Series

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Design, Digital Media

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: SkillsFuture

School/Department: School of Business


DES503: Design Inquiry II: Sensemaking and Communication focuses on the processes and methods designers use to make sense of — i.e., looking at the parts in greater detail and putting all the parts to form a new whole — and communicate the organised evidence to develop insightful and potential design directions. Specifically, this course will explore the use of frameworks and methods for analysis and synthesis, insights generation, and the development design principles and potential design directions. In addition, this course will cover the role of storytelling in design and the design process, the building blocks of a story, and how designers use storytelling structure and techniques to build empathy, connect with stakeholders, engage audience, and more importantly, align findings for decision making.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester


  • An overview of the sensemaking process
  • Planning for design analysis and synthesis session
  • Design analysis: Framework and process
  • Design synthesis: Framework and process
  • Visualisation and mapping tools
  • From research to actionable insights
  • Envision possibilities: Imagination and ‘what-if?’
  • Quick overview of generative and evaluative studies
  • Communication in the design process
  • Reporting and sharing the findings
  • Storytelling in design
  • Building blocks of storytelling

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the interrelationship of analysis and synthesis in design
  • Distinguish insights from findings and observations
  • Appraise the role of storytelling and communication in the design process
  • Discuss usefulness of mapping tools in design process
  • Organise data into meaningful patterns and insights
  • Propose design opportunity and intervention based on the research outcomes
  • Use appropriate means to communicate key messages effectively
  • Assess critically on the design discovery process and learning journey
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