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Design Thinking

What is it about?

The system of Design thinking, brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business can convert into consumer value and market opportunity.

Design thinking makes the customer the main focal point of design for any solution. Plus, it consistently applies the values embraced by this approach, such as empathy, diversity, and ambiguity, as well as recognizing the importance of multidisciplinary teams.

Who should use it?

Design thinking can be used by organizations in the public and private sectors who want to innovate and grow.

Succes story

Vibram: This Italian manufacturer of rubber soles changed thinking from “maximum support for human foot during sports’ to  “let feet move in a more natural and free way as when walking barefoot. That feels a lot nicer! The result is the funny-looking “toe sneaker” which is very successful.


Design Thinking process is broken up into a 5 step ITERATIVE (not linear) process.

EMPATHIZE: Work to fully understand the experience of the user for whom you are designing.  Do this through observation, interaction, and immersing yourself in their experiences.

DEFINE: Process and synthesize the findings from your empathy work in order to form a user point of view that you will address with your design.

IDEATE: Explore a wide variety of possible solutions through generating a large quantity of diverse possible solutions, allowing you to step beyond the obvious and explore a range of ideas.

PROTOTYPE: Transform your ideas into a physical form so that you can experience and interact with them and, in the process, learn and develop more empathy.

TEST: Try out high-resolution products and use observations and feedback to refine prototypes, learn more about the user, and refine your original point of view.



Design thinking is a methodology that we use to solve complex problems, and it’s a way of using systemic reasoning and intuition to explore ideal future states. We do this with the end user or the customer in mind, first and foremost. The reason that it matters for business is because it’s the single biggest competitive advantage that you can have, if your customers are loyal to you—because if you solve for their needs first, you’ll always win.

The Value of Design Thinking is in the approach of creating new opportunities. Typical is the people-oriented approach.

Advice for starters

Designing an organizational structure in which cross-fertilization of ideas can take place effectively can be challenging, particularly within large organizations where systems and departments have become entrenched over the years.

You need to be prepared to rethink how you think about projects, about who gets involved and when, about no less than how you do things. The way that you approach innovation itself will probably need to change. This might seem like a massive undertaking, but if you’re after genuine disruption more than incremental improvement, these kinds of measures are the only way to get the results that you need.

Where to find more information?

The virtual crash course in design thinking from D school

Who are you going to call?

Techlane Miriam Luijken 06-12814711