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A Customer-Centric Approach

Jan 3, 2023
A Customer-Centric Approach
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Have you ever been faced with a problem, and your first instinct was to come up with a quick solution?

We've all been there!

But what if I told you there's a more effective way to approach problem-solving?

Enter the design thinking model.

At its core, design thinking encourages us to ask ourselves crucial questions about the problem we're trying to solve.

- How did the problem come about?

- What approach would lead to a long-term solution?

Over the last decade, design thinking redefined how companies approach technology projects to cater to the ever-increasing needs of their clients.

The idea of design thinking as a comprehensive and innovative approach to problem-solving got popularized after a 2014 study published by the Design Management Institute.

This study showed that businesses like Apple, Coke, P & G, and Coca-Cola, which adopted design thinking models, exceeded the average or performance goals by about 200%. This motivated more organizations to explore various design thinking models to solve their business problems and develop innovative solutions.

Design thinking perspective

Sarvadhi finds design thinking is a tool to derive evidence-based solutions rather than focusing on the problem. Design thinkers are concerned about an ideal future they want to create and work towards it by setting the track.

They collaborate inputs from imagination and intuition with systematic and logical reasoning to examine a problem from different angles.

Additionally, mankind’s intelligence largely depends on design ability, which is actualized through cognitive and physical skills. On looking around, we can see that everything out there are specifically designed to meet a purpose in some way or other.

Cognitive skills of humans also largely depend upon the developments of science and art. In this duo, art identifies the contrasting elements among similar things, whereas science explores the similarities between contrasting things. Design thinking tactically brings these contrasting elements together to find innovative solutions.

Design thinking approach

Designing is not just about finding solutions to problems; Sarvadhi experts also use it as a tool for innovation. With designing thinking, a person or team can step ahead of the conventional ways and find situational-best futuristic solutions to age-old dilemmas.

Moreover, designing thinking is not just for design or technology companies but largely contributes to government, nonprofits, finance, healthcare, and any industry. Let’s further explore the design thinking approach.


Design thinking revolves around the user's needs, and its primary goal is developing products or services that optimally cater to user needs. Design thinking is a humanistic approach wherein the designers look closely at user intents to find ways to improve their experience and quality of life.

Creating breakthroughs

Design thinking keeps evolving, with its fundamental philosophy being ‘design, test, and repeat.’ It paves the way to many breakthroughs through prototyping and consistent improvements based on user feedback.

Compared to the traditional ways of problem-solving, designing thinking may not be straight forward for some; however, it creates breakthroughs and quick results.

Collective knowledge

Design thinking teams comprise technology, business, financing, and operational experts working together to brainstorm ideas and make collective decisions.

As different perspectives, philosophies, domains, and skills come together, solutions through design thinking become more inclusive and sustainable. 

If done right, design thinking ensures a great value addition to end users, helping businesses explore the latest timely opportunities in the market.


Design Thinking Steps

As we have seen, design thinking is powerful in dealing with poorly defined problems with unknown variables. Design thinkers try to understand the changing requirements of people and take a human-centric approach to resolving a problem.

There are various standardized design thinking models, and the top among them is the Hasso-Plattner Institute model. It is a five-step process in-line with Sarvadhi’s client-centric approach, which we will discuss in detail below.

Step #1: Empathizing

The primary step in Hasso-Plattner Institute designing thinking model is empathizing with the end user. At this step,

  • We need to understand the end user's challenges and priorities.
  • Study with an immersion approach by living their life to understand their challenges keenly.
  • Talk to experts to learn about the problem in detail through engagement, observation, experience, and intuition.

Empathizing is a human-centered approach that lets the designer get an unbiased knowledge of user needs.

Step #2: Defining the problem

Once enough data related to the problem at hand is gathered, design thinkers need to

  • Arrange, analyze, and derive insightful information to identify the core problems.
  • Write a ‘problem statement’ that should be crisp and easily understandable.

The problem statement should be human-centric. For example, it should not be something like “To increase company’s profit margin by 20% by introducing women's health products”. Instead, it should be more like “Helping women to be healthier during their teenage with a line of clinically proven women's health products.”

Step #3: Collating ideas

At this step, a team with multi-disciplinary experts starts to generate various solution-centric ideas by,

  •  This stage involves exploring different solutions to a problem while prioritizing a human-centric approach to brainstorming ideas.
  • Everyone involved may push their limits and go beyond the boundaries of conventional models to come up with actionable solutions.

The design thinking model uses various idea generation techniques such as SCAMPER, Brainstorm, Worst Possible Idea, etc.

Step #4: Prototyping

This is the most complicated step in the design thinking pathway, where the team needs to come up with many prototypes of the actual product.

  • At a scale, these models must have the same characteristics as the actual solution, which the team can test.
  • The prototypes are further shared with the design team and other concerned teams, and the end users outside the organization.
  • The planned solutions are tried using these prototypes, which will be evaluated consistently.

The design thinking team will decide which prototypes to accept and reject based on their results.

Step #5: Testing

The final stage of any design thinking project is to test the accepted prototype based on the devised solution..

  • Testing needed to be done from different perspectives, including user testing.
  • The product is thoroughly evaluated, quality checked, and refined to overcome any shortfalls identified.

The out come from the testing phase may also lead to more ideas, and the process may be started again from scratch from the brainstorming stage.

Even though we discussed these five steps in a linear order, designing thinking projects are largely flexible as many of these steps can be run simultaneously or in varying orders.

Design Thinking in action

Design thinking has proved to be an out-of-the-box methodology for sustainable solutions. Any type of business can make use of this approach fordecision-making by focusing on their customer preferences.

Many still think that design thinking is an instinct-based model, but that is not true. Designing thinking actions are more evidence-based with tangible proof and by incorporating experts' skills, expertise, and collective thoughts.


Applying a design thinking model will help businesses save money and focus more on futuristic customer-centric solutions than relying only on historical data. This model looks at problems from different perspectives to design collaborative solutions, which is now leveraged by government agencies too for public policy making.

To achieve great results in your next project using design thinking, it's important to understand how it works in your specific case and apply it correctly.

We would be happy to connect with you to start working together.

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