CLOSED Design Thinking Call for Papers

IEEE Software seeks submissions to an upcoming special issue.
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Submissions Due: 1 August 2019

Submission Deadline: CLOSED
Publication Date: Mar./Apr. 2020

Design thinking is a problem-solving method. It is based on creative design methods, such as iterative problem reframing, early prototyping, and involving different stakeholders. Across industries it has shown its value as a methodology for generating innovative ideas.This method is extending its reach to software and IT, becoming part of agile-method toolkits. Building on these early experiences, design thinking is being used in software engineering because it pragmatically connects problem understanding, solution exploration, and innovation. With its growing relevance in agile software development, design thinking deserves a snapshot of its underlying methodology along with analysis of the state of the practice, usage schemes, lessons learned, and risks and benefits.This IEEE Software theme issue will dive into design-thinking principles and methods and how they’re applied to software development. We’re looking for articles with a strong practical focus; survey articles, case studies, and focused tutorials are especially welcome. Design thinking’s everyday relevance will grow for software development and service; this theme issue aims to bring this message to practitioners.

IEEE Software invites articles covering any aspect of design thinking in software development and service. Topics include, but aren’t limited to,

  • methods for design thinking and how they’re applied in software development;
  • connecting design thinking to agile methods, such as agile scaling, cocreation, and reflective practices;
  • innovative product management with design thinking;
  • design thinking along the lifecycle, from discovery to maintenance;
  • technology support for design thinking, such as engineering tools for media modeling;
  • redefining value and reinventing business models;
  • managing innovation and measuring the impact on innovation success;
  • collaborative and human-centered innovation and appropriate software solutions;
  • problem-solving and solution creation affecting diverse groups of people;
  • coping with rapid changes and managing complexity;
  • entrepreneurial initiatives building on design thinking;
  • software tools for collaborative design thinking;
  • education in design thinking across functional silos—and design thinking for education; and
  • how design thinking will change management and affect new organizations.


For more information about the theme issue, contact the guest editors at

Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must not exceed 3,000 words including figures and tables, which count for 250 words each. Submissions exceeding these limits might be rejected without refereeing. Articles deemed within the theme and scope will be peer reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. Be sure to include the name of the theme for which you’re submitting.

Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented or theoretical treatments aren’t appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software doesn’t republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference or workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or electronic form.

General author guidelines

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