Stoked is a design consultancy. We use design to wake people up.

Welcome Cigna.

You have now entered the back room. The secret stash. The hidden gems and special sauce. We're thrilled to have you as a subscriber to the Stoked Digital Experience. Here you'll have unlimited access to tools, tips, leadership tactics, mindsets, stories and spiritual guidance as we go on this journey together. Did we mention stories? Yes, we are going to tell lots of stories here and we are going to write some together as we go along. 

*This is a non-functional prototype just to give you a sense of what a custom curated Cigna experience would look like. Some buttons work and some are just there to give you a feel.

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A Digital Introduction to Human -Centered Design.

This is our introduction to Design Thinking, or Human-Centered Design, we call a DP0. It's often the very first design cycle we run with new partners to get our feet wet together. We recommend you start here.

Before you begin the video, download the booklet that goes along with it here and get prepared before beginning. Grab a coffee! Take 60 seconds and take a few deep breathes. Relax.


Need some creative inspiration to get out of a rut?

Check out this episode of our monthly podcast, Reframe. Every episode we produce is designed to inspire, educate and generally motive all of us to keep being curious and seeing the world in new ways.

This month: Getting Unstuck

If you're someone who needs creativity and inspiration to work, to make something worthwhile, day in and day out, what do you do when you find yourself stuck?

Special thanks this month to Matt Urmy, Jason Myers & Jennifer Justus for being guests on the show! Special thanks to Scott Doorley & Adam Royalty for their help!


Printable Tool

Empathy Prompts.

All design starts with empathy. It's vital in gaining the perspective of your end user, which is where all great design work begins. To help you along, we've created these index card packs to get the questions flowing.

Download the PDF, print these babies out on some card stock and you're in business!



Feeling like an Empathy Ninja now? Take our 30 Day Empathy Challenge!

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Printable Tool

Using Empathy to reframe a problem.

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We now take a break from our regularly scheduled program, for a few hits of inspiration.

Ahhhhhh....just what we needed.

➞ VIDEO    2 minutes

Watch an exercise we practice when we're feeling stuck. It usually starts with getting in the car and hitting the gas.


It's Not You, It's Us.

3 causes of relationship ruts that squander growth and personal freedom.

➞ VIDEO    3min


Let's talk about meetings.


Clean Up Your Meeting Hygiene

This month, Parker Gates writes about how culture both shows up and is spread (like wildfire) in meetings. He goes into the mind of a new hire to show us what it looks like to be intentional about our behavior in meetings and how we can have a positive impact on our culture just by being fully present.

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Printable Tool

Feeling inspired to change the way you hold meetings with your team?

Try using Human-Centered Design to re-design one from the ground up. We've made this handy guide for just that. Print a few out, put them together and collaborate with your fellow designers to make it happen.


Ok, we've been working pretty hard. Let's see what happens below when we try doing nothing at all.

➞ VIDEO    2min



More spiritual guidance on being awesome.


➞ VIDEO    3min

Reflecting with Your Team

Here is something to try: reflect as a group with your team the moment a work day with clients or a design cycle is finished. This helps in a lot of amazing ways and here is how we do it.



Living Above the Trees

So, the question I often wrestle with and have from time to time for the majority of my life is… with such a limited amount of time on Earth, why spend any time at all doing something as trivial as going to work?


➞ VIDEO    5min


The culture you build with your team may be your biggest asset. Here is why.

➞ VIDEO    4min

86,000 Hours at Work

➞ VIDEO    5min

Keeping Innovation Alive in a Crap Culture

Practicing Human-Centered Design in a culture that's not quite ready for it can be tough. Here are some pointers and thoughts on keeping the fire alive while hopefully creating some real culture shifts, wherever it is you work.


Well Worn Shoes - an article by Anna Love-Mickelson

Here are some other stories that are currently inspiring us.

Not all are our clients. Some are people who believe, as we do, that the principles of human-centered design can change the world, one answer at a time, if we only take the time to reframe how we think and understand others.

Have one? Want to write a new one? Let’s do it.


Sign up for our monthly digest featured stories & articles produced by us and our collaborators


➞ VIDEO    7min

Scott Witthoft - The Mechanics of Humanity

Scott Witthoft is a design educator at the d. school at Stanford, a product designer and writer. He is the co-author of the book Make Space, which is incredible.

➞ VIDEO    7min

Yusuke Miyashita -Public Speech Fail

Yusuke ("Use-K") Miyashita | Design Manager, SPARK Innovation Group at GoPro, talks about some big fails and what they taught him.


Work Sucks - a short story by Barbara Patchen


Watch how others are intentionally designing their lives, both in and outside the "office".

➞ VIDEO    7min

How to Test a Move Abroad

Parker Gates & Anna Love-Mickelson travel to Hong Kong to talk life, work and the pursuit of happiness. You know, the good stuff.                                                                                                                      

➞ VIDEO    8min

Chasing Stillness - Fly Fishing in New Mexico

This is Emily Roley. For the last couple of years, life for Emily has sounded like a river, cutting through the high desert, with the sound of her fly line slicing the air.


Greg Celentano moved his family out west to chase a new kind of California gold rush. This is a story of doing what you love, against high stakes.




Some of our favorite Human-Centered Design outcomes. These stories just might fill your heart and spin your brain in the direction of real innovation.




How a Non-profit is Using Human-Centered Design to Transform the Child Welfare System. 






Using Human-Centered Design in Higher Education.

This is an interview with Mark Blegen PH.D., Dean of Health Sciences at St. Catherine University. This is the story of Mark implementing Human-Centered Design in his classroom.



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Using Human-Centered Design to Better Serve Schools.

This is an interview with Dean Kephart from Serve Minnesota, an organization working with Americorps to service education initiatives in the state. This is the story of how Dean and his team used Human-Centered Design to discover a key need for the children in the school district they were trying to better serve.



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