Develop an instructional outlet, such as a manual, to teach design theories to new or non-designers.


A 220–page workbook titled Design-a-Day: Design Thinking for the Everyday. This book reviews the history of design and highlighting major design concepts and theories in short blurbs followed by prompts to test the theory and build one's design skills. I developed working prompts that are designed to walk a user step-by-step through a design process. In this manner, a user practices real world design skills and develops his or her own process.


Personal project and course project


2017, product development, design theory synthesis


 6 weeks


InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop


Josh LeFevre

My role: 

Researcher, designer, author, editor, publisher




The Design brief

The brief for this project was to integrate the theories of design, such as design thinking, into a manual to give a new designer or a non-designer a user-friendly way to learn about and develop his or her design skills. 

Key design decisions

  • Spiral bound

  • Open work spaces

  • Image representation

  • Color coded page edges

  • Font families



An early prototype

An early prototype


I began by conducting interviews with my intended target audience. I interviewed non-design CMU students, family members, and business people in the community to learn how they learn and apply new skills. The idea of teaching them to design a habit or way of thinking quickly rose to the top as the best approach. 

So, I worked with current design students, professors, and industry professionals to teach skills and mindsets that those interested in design should develop to be the most effective in their work.

I paired what I learned from them with my readings from design thought leaders such as Buchanan, Dorst, Kimbell, Meadows, Simon Woodilla, and more. 

A prototype for used for user testing

A prototype for used for user testing

Prototyping and Testing

In order to test my assumptions, I developed rough paper and handmade prototypes with 10 to 15 prompts on each and gave them to users to test over a week’s time and provide feedback about the flow, organization, and helpfulness of the book. 

I also checked out many manuals, games, and handbooks and settled on making my book in the style of an informed sketchbook. 

Below are images from the final product. 


Final Product pictures