Getting to Better

Welcome to Getting to Better, our blog for stories, insights, and industry trends surrounding social innovation, capacity building, design thinking, and human-centred design.


Overlap is a social innovation design consultancy in Kitchener, Ontario that believes better is possible. Overlap helps organizations use human-centred design to create revolutionary products and services that make better a reality for people, organizations and, ultimately, the world around them.

Recent Posts

Helpful Resources to Help Non-Tech Industries Learn Agile Methodology

Posted by Overlap on April 25, 2019

Agile methodology refers to a way of working that is iterative and flexible. We’ve compiled a list of resources for anyone beginning to learn about Agile, or for anyone not from a software background.

With this reading list, your non-tech organization can learn Agile methodology, begin applying Agile, accelerate innovation across your teams, and much more.

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Tags: Design, Human-centred Design, Design Thinking, Agile

3 Occasions for an Empathy Map

Posted by Overlap on February 12, 2019

An empathy map is a great tool for you to use when trying to understand the experience of an individual or a group. Empathy maps help you empathize in a meaningful, useful way. As you might have guessed, after reading about How to Use an Empathy Map, we use this tool quite a bit in our work. Below we've outlined three occasions where filling out an empathy map can help you. Scroll to the bottom for a free download of this tool today!

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Tags: Human-centred Design, Tools, Engagement, Community Engagement, Empathy

Announcing our 2019 course calendar

Posted by Overlap on February 01, 2019

With a new year comes a new set of course offerings from Overlap Associates! Whether you have some budget left to spend on professional development or you're really interested in learning more about human-centred design and facilitation, we have a great catalogue of courses to choose from. 

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Tags: Design, Human-centred Design, Facilitation, Ideation, Design Thinking, Collaboration

3 Free Design Tools for Understanding Student Needs

Posted by Overlap on November 21, 2018

The first step of engaging with students is listening to them. Whether the end goal is to help students feel comfortable on campus, succeed academically, or access the mental health services they need at school, working with students to create effective change is no small task.

Universities and colleges are understanding more and more that there's a need for open and honest engagement between students, faculty, and staff. Education systems and campuses will improve by engaging with the students they directly impact. 

In this post, you’ll find 3 design tools for understanding student needs that will give you the insights you need to make their experience better.

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Tags: Tools, Design Thinking

A Beginner’s Introduction to Human-Centred Design

Posted by Overlap on September 01, 2018

Human-centred design (also known as design thinking) is iterative and collaborative. An introduction to human-centred design will help you embrace design to reach better results for people, teams, and organizations.

In this post you’ll find:
  1. What is Human-Centred Design?
  2. Defining Human-Centred Design
  3. How to use Human-Centred Design at home and at work
  4. Human-Centred Design Resources for getting started
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Tags: Human-centred Design, Design Thinking

How to Use an Empathy Map

Posted by Overlap on July 06, 2018

An Empathy Map is one of those tools that we always keep in our back pocket because it often produces an "aha!" moment and it is incredibly versatile.

Originally developed by Scott Matthews, Empathy Maps provide a process for empathizing with your own customers, service or product users, or stakeholders. They help us dig into a person's experience of the context in which we interact with them.

Continue reading to learn how to use an Empathy Map as a research tool and scroll to the bottom for a free download to try it yourself!

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Tags: Design Research, Human-centred Design, Tools, Engagement, Design Thinking

75 Design Thinking Tools and Resources Explained

Posted by Overlap on February 16, 2018

Design thinking is human-centred, iterative, and collaborative. It’s a process that embraces design to reach better results for people, teams, and organizations. Design thinking is accessible to any experience level and an asset for any industry.

Whether you want to embrace design to achieve personal goals, reach new heights as a team, or improve the world around you, the following design thinking tools and resources will help you do that and more.

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Tags: Design, Human-centred Design, Tools, Design Thinking

How to Create an Ideal Workspace Using Human-Centred Design

Posted by Overlap on February 07, 2018

When thinking about reimagining your office space, using a human-centred design approach can help you reshape your workspace to meet the needs of the people using it: your employees.  A workspace designed for the people that use it can increase productivity, facilitate collaboration, and boost company morale.

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Tags: Human-centred Design, Design Thinking, Overlap

Rethinking Professional Development Because People Are Our Most Important Asset

Posted by Overlap on January 30, 2018

In 2018, Overlap is turning training inside out to focus on making ourselves the best trained team in the industry.

All Overlap employees are given five full days of Professional Development and can choose which courses best align with their Development Goals.


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Tags: Human-centred Design, Design Thinking, Overlap

How You Can Prepare for the Future Using Strategic Foresight

Posted by Overlap on January 17, 2018

You may not be able to predict the future, but you can prepare for it. Foresight uses research to map out educated possibilities for the future. The more you consider these possibilities, the more you can prepare yourself, and your organization for what’s to come.

This post will introduce you to using strategic foresight, outline examples of signals and trends, (including the rise of Netflix), and get you started with an exercise that will help prepare your organization for the future.

Change may be a constant, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Consider all of the technological, social, economic, and political changes that have occurred even in the past ten years. Get your organization on the path that’s the most likely to lead to success using strategic foresight.

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Tags: Design, Human-centred Design, Design Thinking, Foresight