Design thinking has evolved to influence more and more aspects of businesses and services, even reaching the upper executive levels including the C-Suite.


Because it makes good business sense and improves the bottom line. In their book Rise of the DEO, Maria Giudice and Christopher Ireland explore how the combination of creativity and business acumen develops leaders who demonstrate an exceptional capability to solve business problems that continue to increase in complexity. CEO’s and DEO’s (Design Executive Officers) share traits like passion and focus to produce results, increase productivity, and improve their bottom line. What DEO’s add is including employees, customers, and consumers throughout the business process.

Where does a human-centered design fit?

Design Thinking applies human-centered design to innovation. Human-centered design is problem-solving that involves the human perspective in all steps of the process. The human-centered design focuses on usability and user experience; it brings an empathetic focus in the first step of Design Thinking.

Added value makes a strong case

Executives have discovered that including human-centered design in products and services can reduce costs, increase consumer satisfaction, and improve quality. The impact of this includes:

  • increasing the productivity of users and the operational efficiency of organizations;
  • easier products to understand and use, thus reducing training and support costs;
  • increasing usability for people with a wider range of capabilities and thus increasing accessibility;
  • improving user experience;
  • reducing discomfort and stress;
  • providing a competitive advantage, for example by improving brand image;
  • contributing to sustainability objectives.

The difference in leaders

Companies invest great sums of money and time to measure employee engagement and satisfaction. They want to know the levers they can use to improve business metrics and address significant areas of weakness. By incorporating design thinking and human-centered design principles, executives can arrive at solutions that are effective in ways that business-as-usual approaches would simply not deliver.

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