Design Thinking Paper

Topics: Design, Insurance, Creativity Pages: 5 (1529 words) Published: August 22, 2010

Design Thinking Paper Week 7 Assignment
Lucia Bastian
John F. Kennedy University
August 16th, 2010



This paper is to define “Design Thinking” and explain how it can be used by organizations to improve their level of innovation in product development and service delivery. It further describes some examples of how organizations that continuously use design thinking proved to be very successful and talks about their principles and strategies of ongoing innovation. Finally in conclusion is my personal view on the subject where I talk about the usefulness of design thinking and its applications as part of the business culture and possibility of using design thinking even on a larger scale as just with a limit of one organization.

Definition of Design Thinking
With design thinking being a pretty new concept, many companies are finding that this way of thinking and solving problems with application of experiences and observation leads to more valuable products and services in today’s world. Although there is no general definition of design thinking, Tim Brown in his book Change by Design gives the following definition: “Design thinking can be described as a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” Design thinking can be applied to more than just companies who want innovation of their product offerings, but also to solve more complex problems. The Wikipedia website defines design thinking as a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that looks for an improved future result, combining empathy, creativity, and rationality. It is further described as a creative process based on new ideas where thinking outside the box is encouraged early in the process to come up with creative solutions. Design thinking process goes through stages of definition, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement and learn, where some of these stages can be repeated or happen simultaneously. Each of the stages is pretty self explanatory and with each project the chosen team and its flexibility will determine the further details needed to apply in their situation. There is no how to guide when it comes to design thinking, these are just the basic principles that put it into a framework. One of the very important basic principles is to keep the human need in mind. When a new product is invented, usually the technology part comes first but many times lacks the part about the specific need. With design thinking, usually by simply observing the human behavior, will trigger the need and give us the best brief with a set of objections rather than specific instructions. DESIGN THINKING PAPER

How is Design Thinking Used by Organizations?
There are no boundaries when it comes to innovation and creative thinking. Many companies that apply the design thinking as part of their culture are becoming more successful. One of them I’ve been a part of ever since I started working in the insurance industry (now over 10 years) is Progressive Insurance. They’ve changed the “face” of car insurance through what they refer to as “forward” thinking. Their innovations are very impressive, from being the first auto insurance company to launch a website in 1995 to introducing the Name your Price tool couple of years ago that allows the people to say how much they want to pay for car insurance and see the package available based on the price entered. Progressive also become the title sponsor of the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, an international competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that get 100 miles per gallon. The entire list of accomplishments of all their firsts throughout the years, using this type of...

References: Brown, Tim., (2009). Change by design, first edition, New York, NY HarperCollins Publishers
Design Thinking Definition from Wikipedia (2010) Retrieved from
Progressive - Innovation retrieved from
Target, Fostering and Inclusive Culture (2010) Retrieved from
Brown Tim (Feb 2010), Jaime Oliver’s TED Wish, Design Thinking Thoughts by Tim Brown blog. Retrieved from
What is the TED prize (2010) Retrieved from
O’Toole Robert (Dec 2009) Design Thinking Learning in Higher Education essay, Retrieved from
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