About this event

Systems thinking – a holistic problem-solving approach that focuses on understanding the connections of a complex network – is not new. But remarkably it’s rarely used alongside user centred design methods to create holistic solutions.

This course will enable you to take a user centred approach to systems thinking. It will help you adapt and enhance existing design tools to deliver impactful change. You’ll learn how to address the root cause of challenges and future-proof your designs.

Organisations often struggle to make effective change when designing in complex spaces, where every action and decision has a knock-on effect. Problems rarely happen or are solved in isolation. It can mean teams often only see part of the picture when designing solutions, which can result in projects failing or being less impactful.

On the flip side, projects that take an entirely system-based approach can be too high level and strategic, making it difficult to make practical changes at a service level. Teams can end up feeling so overwhelmed by the size of the system and the number of decisions to be made that it’s hard to know where to start.

This course combines user-centred design methods and tools with traditional systems thinking, offering an innovative approach to solving complex problems.

We’ll cover user centred systems theory, with practical examples. You’ll leave the course with the tools and methodology to understand complex systems and deliver well-designed interventions. You’ll learn to make meaningful day-to-day changes while working towards an ideal future.

What you will learn

As designers, the challenges we’re facing are getting increasingly more complex and interconnected. Drawing on Snook’s extensive experience, we’ll share:

  • The concepts underpinning user centred systems thinking approach
  • How and when to apply a systems approach (and what to watch out for!)
  • Common techniques for visualising a system
  • How to set boundaries in a system
  • How to use insights from user-centred systems thinking to inform decision

Who should go on this course

We’ve designed this course for:

  • People who are interested in – but new – to systems thinking
  • Established designers who work in complex spaces (in house and in agencies)
  • People in strategic roles who want a better understanding of the system around them

Note: We recommend participants have a knowledge of basic design tools, such as journey mapping, service blueprinting, etc.

Find out more about our Journey Mapping & Service Blueprinting course

Why Snook?

For over ten years Snook has been quietly revolutionising the private and the public sector, on a mission to make the world more human. We’ve built great products and services in a wide range of scenarios, putting people at the heart of the design process every time. We want to share what we have learned from these experiences with you so more people can benefit from the value service design brings.

Making Sense of Service Design

An introductory course aimed at anyone with an interest in service design. Learn how to apply tried and tested techniques from over a decade of Snook’s experience designing and implementing services.

  • Course runs over 2 half days
  • Tues 24th & Wed 25th September 2024, 09:30 – 13:00 BST
  • Early bird £390
  • Book now

A Practical Introduction to Content Design

Content design is essential to make services accessible and easy for everyone to use. Learn how to improve your services by creating inclusive and accessible content that meets your users’ needs.

Designing for Behaviour Change

Snook’s practical introduction to designing behaviours – learn about behaviour design, what is it, how it works, and how it can add value for reframing problems including the environment and sustainability!



  • Course runs over 2 half days
  • Tues 22nd & Wed 23rd October 2024, 09:30 – 13:00 BST
  • Early bird £390
  • Book now

Analysing User Research Data

Learn how to analyse qualitative data on user research projects and create high-quality insights that your team can act on.

  • Course runs over 2 half days
  • Tues 12th & Wed 13th November 2024, 09:30 – 13:00 BST
  • Early bird £390
  • Book now

User Journey Mapping & Service Blueprinting Essentials

A hands on course for people wanting to understand the practicalities and uses of journey maps & blueprints.


  • Course runs over 2 half days
  • Tues 2nd & Wed 3rd July 2024, 09:30 – 13:00 BST
  • Early bird £390
  • Book now

Service Design Training for Housing Providers

This is aimed at upskilling those involved in providing housing to the public in designing to meet real human needs.

From learning how to engage with tenants to finding practical ways to respond to new Government guidelines for safety and net-zero targets. Service design can help transform the future of housing.

Planet-Centred Design Training

Learn how to make better design decisions that consider the impact on the environment. This course will improve your ability to ask questions and spot opportunities that benefit the planet. 

Service Design Masterclasses

Masterclasses are a deep dive into service design methods – from user research and customer journey mapping to digital prototyping and beyond.

You can either choose from existing courses or create something bespoke with one of our Learning Design team.