Design thinking (DT) has been adopted by some of the world’s most successful corporations, including Apple, Google, and Facebook. There are many reasons why design thinking is so effective, but some of the most important benefits are that it allows businesses to empathize with their customers, to think creatively about solutions, and to test those solutions quickly and cheaply. Design thinking has helped these companies create products that are customer-focused and user-friendly, two essential qualities in today’s competitive marketplace. If your business is not using design thinking, you may be missing out on a major opportunity to gain a competitive edge. In this blog, learn about some of the most successful design thinking success stories and why you should consider DT for your business too.

Design thinking is a method of problem-solving that puts the user first. It’s a human-centered approach that considers the needs of people when developing products or services. This iterative process begins with empathizing with the user, then defining the problem, ideating solutions, prototyping and testing the prototypes with users. There are many design thinking success stories. DT has been successful for many major corporations, including Apple, Google, IBM, and Coca-Cola. These companies have used design thinking to develop new products and services, as well as to improve existing ones. 

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving. It is often used in the field of design, but can be applied to any area where innovation is desired.

The basic steps of design thinking are:

  1. Define the problem (from an empathetic perspective)
  2. Generate ideas and develop solutions
  3. Prototype
  4. Test
  5. Implement

Design thinking is often used in conjunction with user-centered design, a process that puts the user at the center of the design process. User-centered design begins with understanding the needs of the user, then developing solutions that address those needs. Design thinking takes this one step further by not only developing solutions that meet users’ needs but also considering how those solutions can be implemented in a way that is efficient and effective.

Read: What is The Importance of Design Thinking?

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” 

— Elon Musk

What are the Different Types of Design Thinking?

Design thinking has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently that major corporations have started to use design thinking to innovate and create new products and services. This has led to many design thinking success stories. Design thinking is a process that helps businesses understand the needs of their customers and create solutions that meet those needs.

There are three main types of design thinking: user-centered design, participatory design, and co-design. User-centered design is all about putting the customer first. The goal is to understand the customer’s needs and desires and then create a solution that meets those needs. Participatory design involves involving the customer in the design process. This can be done through focus groups, surveys, or interviews. Co-design is a combination of user-centered design and participatory design. It’s all about working with the customer to jointly develop a solution that meets their needs.

All three of these methods share one common goal: to create solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of the customer. By understanding what the customer needs, businesses can create products and services that they will love and use again and again.

Why Should a Business Consider Using a Design Thinking Mindset?

Design thinking has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to solve business problems. There are many advantages to using a design thinking mindset, including spotting business opportunities, thinking outside the box, coming up with creative solutions, and empathizing with customers.

design thinking success stories teach us to think out of the box

Some of the world’s biggest companies have used design thinking to achieve success. For example, Apple has used design thinking to create groundbreaking products such as the iPhone and iPad. Similarly, Amazon used design thinking when developing its Kindle e-reader.

There are many reasons why your business should consider using a design thinking mindset. Design thinking can help you to better understand your customers and their needs. It can also help you to generate new ideas and find innovative solutions to problems. In fact, DT works wonders when attempting to solve wicked problems in business. In addition, design thinking can help you to build a more user-friendly and efficient product or service.

What are Some of The Design Thinking Success Stories?

Design thinking has been around for decades, but it’s only recently that major corporations have started to use it to drive innovation and growth. It has helped major corporations like Google, Apple, and Facebook solve complex problems and create innovative products. Here are some of the most successful design thinking success stories:

#1 – Google:

Google has been on the cutting edge of technology for many years, and they continue to push boundaries with its innovative products. Google Glass, a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display, is one of their most ambitious projects to date, and it required a lot of design thinking to bring it to life. 

The idea for Google Glass came from a desire to create a truly hands-free experience for users. The team knew that they wanted to use voice commands and provide augmented reality features, but the details of how to make it all work were still up in the air. That’s where design thinking came in.

Design thinking is a process that emphasizes user needs and iterations. The team started by doing extensive user research to understand what people wanted from a hands-free device. They then created prototypes and tested them with users again to get feedback. This process was repeated several times until the team had a product that they were confident would meet user needs. The end result is a product that is truly unique and impressive. Google Glass has taken the world by storm, and it’s all thanks to the power of design thinking making it our number one on the list of design thinking success stories.

#2 – Apple:

Apple has long been known for its innovative and stylish products, and the iPhone, iPad, and iPod are no exception. 

All three devices were developed using design thinking, a process that begins with a deep understanding of users and their needs. Apple designers and engineers then brainstorm potential solutions and create prototypes of those solutions. The prototypes are tested with users to get feedback and refine the designs. This process is repeated until the final product is ready for launch. The design thinking process was instrumental in developing all three devices. For example, when creating the iPhone, Apple identified user needs such as the ability to make calls, send texts, check email, and surf the web. They then created several prototypes of possible solutions before settling on the final design. The same process was used to develop the iPad and iPod. In each case, Apple started with a thorough understanding of users and their needs. They then created multiple prototypes before finally launching each device. And the end result is pretty much known to all – Apple’s new product launches see masses of people lining up outside their stores from the previous night itself! Design thinking played a huge role in making this happen.

#3 – Facebook:

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking platforms in the world, with over two billion active users. The company has been constantly innovating and introducing new features to keep users engaged. Recently, Facebook has been using Design Thinking to develop new features like Timeline and News Feed. 

Timeline is a great example of how Design Thinking can produce results. The feature was developed by studying how people use Facebook and what they want from the platform. The team identified a need for a way to tell stories and share experiences with friends in a more meaningful way. They then created prototypes and tested them with users before launching the final product. 

News Feed is another example of how Design Thinking has helped Facebook improve its platform. The team used this approach to understand how people consume news on Facebook and what they want from the experience. Based on this feedback, they made changes to the algorithms that power News Feed, resulting in a more personalized experience for each user. 

Design Thinking has proven to be an effective tool for developing successful features on Facebook. By putting the needs of users first, the company has been able to create products that people love using making it another worthy entry in the list of design thinking success stories.

#4 – IBM: 

Innovation has always been key to IBM’s success. Over the years, they have adopted different approaches to driving innovation within the company. Recently, IBM has been using Design Thinking to help them drive innovation and grow their business. 

Design Thinking helps IBM focus on the customer’s needs and how they can be met in new and innovative ways. It also encourages IBMers to think creatively about solutions and to collaborate with others to find the best possible outcome. This approach has helped IBM create new products and services that meet the changing needs of its customers.

IBM’s use of Design Thinking has helped them drive innovation and grow their business. This human-centered approach allows them to focus on the customer’s needs and create new products and services that meet those needs. Design Thinking is a flexible process that can be adapted to different types of problems and businesses, which makes it well-suited for IBM’s constantly changing environment.

#5 – Nike:

Nike is a company that is always looking for ways to innovate and improve the products that they offer. When they set out to develop the Nike+ fitness tracker, they knew that they needed to come up with something special. To do this, they turned to design thinking.

Design thinking is a process that helps businesses to come up with creative solutions to problems. It involves breaking down a problem into smaller pieces, coming up with lots of different possible solutions, and then choosing the best one. This is exactly what Nike did when developing the Nike+ fitness tracker. They started by looking at the problem of how people could better track their fitness progress. They then came up with lots of different ideas for how this could be done. After testing out some of these ideas, they eventually settled on the Nike+ fitness tracker.

The Nike+ fitness tracker has been incredibly successful since it was first released. It helps people to keep track of their runs, their workouts, and their overall activity levels. It also motivates people to stay active by setting goals and giving feedback on their progress.

So, how did Nike use design thinking to develop the successful Nike+ fitness tracker? By starting with the problem, coming up with lots of possible solutions, and then choosing the best one. This process helped them create a product that has changed the way people think about tracking their fitness progress.

These are just a few of the design thinking success stories. Many companies have used design thinking to drive innovation and growth. If you’re looking for ways to increase your own company’s innovation, consider using design thinking too!

Replicating the Design Thinking Success Stories – How Can You Implement DT in Your Business?

a team replicating design thinking success stories in their company

As mentioned above, Design Thinking is a process for creative problem-solving. It is a way of thinking that involves understanding the user, generating new ideas, and rapidly prototyping and testing them to find the best solution.

If you’re looking for ways to implement design thinking in your business and replicate some of the design thinking success stories, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Teach your team about design thinking.

There are many resources available online and in books about design thinking. Teaching your team about this process can help them be more creative in their work and solve problems more effectively. On a side note, we at Humane Design Consulting and Innovation are super passionate about this space of DT. If this article has inspired you and you wish to learn more about how DT can help elevate your business to the next level (or just help you solve a major marketing problem!), contact us to hop on a free discovery call.

  1. Encourage creativity in your workplace. 

Like in the design thinking success stories discussed above, create an environment where people feel safe to experiment and take risks. This will allow them to generate new ideas and solutions that you may not have considered before.

  1. Prototype new ideas quickly.

Once you have some potential solutions, it’s important to prototype them quickly so you can get feedback from users and make improvements before investing too much time or money into them.

  1. Test new ideas frequently.

Testing is essential to making sure that your solutions are effective and user-friendly. Try out different prototypes with different users to get the most accurate feedback possible.

By following these steps, you can start to implement design thinking. And for more information on design thinking and how to create design thinking success stories, check out our other blog posts:

How to increase customer lifetime value

How to 10x your business

UX design problem solving


Design thinking has been used by some of the world’s most successful companies to create products, services, and experiences that are loved by their customers. If you’re looking for a way to take your company to the next level, consider embracing design thinking in your own organization. Who knows — you could be the next company on the list of design thinking success stories!

About the author

Anuradha is a passionate Design Thinking practitioner with 10+ years of industry experience. She has dived into the field of Design and Design Thinking, where she is trained to design experiences. She is the Founding Partner and Design lead at Humane Design and Innovation (HDI) Consulting. Her professional career spans across various roles in Advisory, UX Design, Service Design, Engineering Design, Design integration and Training. She was the lead designer of the Design Thinking and Innovation practice at KPMG. She has designed multiple digital experiences by conducting strategic UX workshops and design experiences that add functional and emotional value. To her friends & peers, she is the Bonding Agent of the team and always a Go to person. She is an avid reader, blogger & a painting enthusiast.

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