By the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of the Design Heuristic tool.
  • Understand how to use Design Heuristics to generate initial ideas.

Class Length

40 minutes

Year Groups

All ages


Computer, projector, printed handouts, pencils.

Lesson Structure

1. Introduction to Design Heuristics

  • What are Design Heuristics?
  • Idea modifiers to push your thinking further.
  • Design Heuristics are a tool to help you think and modify ideas.

2. Design Heuristic Guidelines

  • Use any part of a card to generate a new idea
  • Generate new ideas by applying a card to a previous idea
  • Use the abstract image to inspire ideas
  • Use the title to inspire ideas
  • Use the description to inspire ideas

3. Using the Cards

  • There are many ways to use Design Heuristics to push your idea generation and development further:
    o Generate initial ideas
    o Transform ideas
    o Change parts or sub-components of ideas

Lesson Activities

Activity 1

Reinforces the importance of recording your own initial ideas first; natural idea generation.

Problem: Generate ideas for a superhero.

Activity 2

To help students overcome exhaustion, they will use Design Heuristics to push their thinking a little further to generate more ideas.

Problem: Generate more ideas for a superhero.