Design Thinking

Design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem-solving that focuses on empathy, creativity, and experimentation. It's a methodology that is used in various fields, such as product design, software development, and even marketing. The goal of design thinking is to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems by placing the user's needs at the center of the process. In this blog, we'll explore the basics of design thinking and its benefits, along with some examples and sources.
March 13, 2023

Design thinking is a methodology used by organizations to solve complex problems and respond to rapidly changing environments. It is a customer-focused approach that helps create maximum impact and shareholder value. According to McKinsey partner Jennifer Kilian, design thinking is the single biggest competitive advantage a company can have if its customers are loyal. The best design performers increase their revenues and investor returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry competitors.

Design thinking goes beyond just the way something looks. It means fundamentally changing how companies develop their products, services, and organization. McKinsey's Design Practice has learned that design-led organizations start with design-driven cultures. Here are four steps to building success through the power of design:

  1. Understand your audience: Design-driven companies go beyond asking what customers and employees want to truly understand why they want it. Frequently, design-driven companies will turn to cultural anthropologists and ethnographers to drill down into how their customers use and experience products, including what motivates them and what turns them away.
  2. Bring design to the executive table: This leader can be a chief design officer, a chief digital officer, or a chief marketing officer. Overall, this executive should be the best advocate for the company's customers and employees, bringing the point of view of the people, the planet, and the company's purpose into strategic business decisions.
  3. Design in real-time: Organizations should develop a three-pronged design-thinking model that combines design, business strategy, and technology. This approach allows business leaders to spot trends, co-create using feedback and data, prototype, validate, and build governance models for ongoing investment.
  4. Act quickly: Good design depends on agility. That means getting a product to users quickly, then iterating based on customer feedback. In a design-driven culture, companies aren't afraid to release products that aren't quite perfect. Designers know there is no end to the design process. The power of design lies in the ability to adopt and adapt as needs change.

In conclusion, design thinking is not just about how something looks but also about fundamentally changing how companies develop their products, services, and organization. Design-led organizations start with design-driven cultures and incorporate empathy and purpose into problem-solving. By following these steps, companies can build a design-driven culture that creates maximum impact and shareholder value.


If you're interested in learning more about design thinking, here are some sources you can check out:

  1. McKinsey’s latest Business value of design report
  2. Creating value through sustainable design
  3. Innovation in a crisis: Why it is more critical than ever

Please feel free to schedule a consultation with us for any of your research and design requirements. We would be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Let's build something good together

If you have a project in mind, we would be happy to have a chat about how we can make it happen.

Ben van Rooy

Strategy Director

Nick Brown

Marketing Director