3 Proven Principles for Design Thinking (Users are only part of the story!)


We wave the design thinking/human-centered flag around here quite a bit. In order for initiatives to succeed and the most compelling experiences shipped to the masses, more needs to be taken into consideration than spending time
with users. 

While the following is not an exhaustive list, we find ourselves thinking and talking frequently about the following principles that have surfaced recently as we’ve been advising and designing for and with large global clients and small startups:


Engage leaders and influencers from product, research, business, data and technical groups. Their insight, buy-in and advocacy will be key over time. These relationships can spark movements that others in the organization will want to join. When you are “playing to win” vs. “playing to not lose” this momentum can be key to lean on through the ebb, flow and chaos of getting your product to the finish line.


Rapidly iterate across mediums to educate and inspire. Seeking insight and inspiration from qualitative and quantitative data, prototype personas, journey maps, and sketches that may be imperfect but help create a culture of collaboration and can enable quick wins towards defining strategy and design direction. When documenting personas, consider incorporating various mediums to bring them to life: designed books, short films and VR environments. These are sharable formats that can educate and inspire!


Don’t stop at benchmarking competition by who Hoover’s deems as competition. The true competition? The digital tools and experiences your users engage with throughout their daily lives. Seek inspiration and insight from analogous experiences. I.E. Automotive: check out gaming experiences for visual and interaction patterns that may enable your users to love your product or service.

Reach out, we’d love to chat.


We are Runkel & Jenny, a human-centered, data-driven company, that crafts digital experiences to improve processes, teams and lives. runkelandjenny.com