HomeEducational TechnologyInstructional DesignUsing Design Thinking Strategies to Improve Performance

Using Design Thinking Strategies to Improve Performance

In this webinar, Gregg Eiler, learning design manager at lululemon, joined us to talk about how to use design thinking strategies to improve performance. 

Gregg shared how lululemon uses rapid prototyping to design, build, and launch effective learning programs. He explained why prototyping works better for his team than other methods more commonly used in the learning space (ADDIE, etc.).

If you take anything away from this webinar, it should be these 3 ideas:

  1. Clarify the problem you’re solving.
  2. Break prototypes, not programs.
  3. Look, don’t listen.

Following these 3 strategies can help you think differently about how and why you’re building training. And in turn, this will help you build better partnerships with your stakeholders and identify better solutions for the end user.

Gregg’s team at lululemon is responsible for onboarding all the people at lululemon, primarily in retail stores, across the globe. This means they need to build training for a diverse range of learners. And as is often the case, resources are limited. 

Clarify Your Problem

Too often, we build programs that work for small groups of people. Or we’re trying to build something one-size-fits that works for everybody in a global market, which just really doesn’t work well.

Know whose problem you’re trying to solve. Is it the user or is it your stakeholder’s problem that you need to focus on? Sometimes you just need to get something done for your stakeholder and sometimes you can spend more time focusing on solving a performance problem. 

Jump to 11:09 in the recording below for more.

Break Prototypes, Not Your Programs

Once your programs leave your door, they’re gone. Break it before it leaves so you know what to fix.

Gregg shared a story about a conversation he had with a colleague who was working on shoe development. The product manager dumped out a box of broken insoles and said “do you know what these are? They’re all failures.” But what he said next surprised Gregg the most. “That was cool—we love when things break!” The product manager explained that “When something breaks, we know what to fix.”

Too often in instructional design, we don’t let things break, or when we do, it’s too late because we don’t find out it’s broken until we’ve spent all the money, done all the development, and launched our program into the world. It’s too late to fix it. 

That’s where prototyping comes in. Break the prototypes so you know what to fix before the program is launched. At lululemon, Gregg’s team has taken to building things in pieces and trying out the pieces individually before launching them. 

Jump to 14:18 in the recording below to learn more.

Look, Don’t Listen

Instructional designers and developers receive a LOT of feedback, from stakeholders, from subject matter experts, and from other departments. The important thing is to focus on the results, on the data and actions you’re seeing post-training, not what you’re hearing.

Jump to 17:32 in the recording below to learn more.

Gregg continued to discuss how to implement these strategies and the benefits that can come from them. For his team, so far they’ve experienced these benefits:

  • Building better partnerships
  • Identifying better solutions
  • Learning to trust actions, not words
  • Evolving as a training team
  • Changing the training culture to become business partners

Watch the whole webinar recording now:

lululemon works with our Staff Augmentation team to ensure they have the right people at the right time to achieve their training development goals. Learn more about our staff augmentation services here


Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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