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  • Writer's picturedina mehulic

Thinking like a designer

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

Design has been the key driver of product and service market differentiation, used to increase consumer brand awareness, brand loyalty, engagement or purchase intent. As designers embrace a consumer-centered and problem-solving approach, they discover unmet users’ needs and opportunities. Through a deeply emphatic experimental and exploratory process, designers consumer-centered approach is capable of creating extensive value as well as driving innovation.

Thinking like a designer implies "thinking by doing" or learning through a process of early prototyping, "visual thinking" or the visualization of intangible concepts as well as having a beginners "divergent thinking" approach of creating multiple alternatives towards a solution.

This approach of Design Thinking is now increasingly applied to a much wider range of challenges beyond the traditional concerns of product and service design. Driving the creation of new innovative strategies, business models and organizational structures and processes. Essentially Design Thinking contributes to the creation of value around the user experience, by combining what is desirable for users, with what is technologically feasible and sustainable from a business perspective.

Understanding people's needs or preferentially “putting people first” (Brown T., 2009) is the key starting point in the process. Through the three ‘lenses' of constraint as criteria of successful innovation; desirability, feasibility, and viability, Design Thinking creates meaningful solutions by prioritizing user experiences over product and service characteristics.


In order to drive innovation and create brand value, established companies need to embrace a new consumer-centered design approach that enables a transparent collaboration between the companies and their customers. Creating interdisciplinary teams and integrating a wide range of stakeholder and customer perspectives, is essential to the collaborative work style of Design Thinking.

By embracing this explorative mindset, companies can better solve the complex challenges they face and ultimately create more value for consumers. Embedding consumers early within the process, the roles of the company and the consumer may converge, where both become collaborators in the creation of value.

In order for Design Thinking to truly change the working culture and successfully embrace an approach of creating unique experiences with customers, established companies need to seek endorsement from senior and C-level executives. Therefore the biggest challenge established companies face are organisational and in order to successfully implement the Design Thinking methodology, they need to encourage an innovative culture and create an environment that frequently challenges the status quo and promotes continual experimentation.

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