Design Thinking

  • User Experience

We believe in Design Thinking

Design Thinking is an iterative process that uses a solution-based approach to solving problems. When using Design Thinking, we try to understand a user's pains, wants and needs, challenge our assumptions and redefine problem statements or solution aspirations in order to create new strategies and solutions that may not have been immediately apparent in initial brainstorming.

Man looking at board filled with sketches and plans during design thinking workshop

The backbone of the Solvers operating system is Design Thinking and our experience designers are not the only practitioners. Every single employee, whether it be marketing, engineering, operations or back-office support, understands the fundamentals of Design Thinking and its importance as a methodology. Everyone at Solvers is able extract, teach, learn and apply these human-centered techniques to solve problems in a creative and innovative way.

Design Thinking helps us internally and externally understand the root cause and effect of a problem and understand whether it can be solved and how. We believe that only by obsessing over the problem and validating the fundamental hypothesis of why the problem exists, can we design and build solutions that go beyond clone experiences but completely redefine solutions. Plus, in doing so we help our partners become solution leaders.

If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.

— Albert Einstein

Phases of Design Thinking

There are many variants of Design Thinking, and in Solvers, we too have our own approach for how we create award-winning experiences. However, all variants of Design Thinking embody the same principles, that were first described by Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in The Sciences of the Artificial in 1969. At Solvers, we focus on the five-phase model proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford or because of their experience in applying and teaching Design Thinking. The five phases of Design Thinking, according to, are as follows:


In the first phase of the Design Thinking process we develop a deep understanding of the problem we are trying to solve. We challenge our assumptions by engaging and empathizing with users to understand their pains, wants and needs.


In this phase, we analyze users’ needs, problems and insights gathered during the Empathize stage. We consolidate the information to clearly articulate the identified core problems as a problem statement.


After emphasizing with users and defining the problem statement in phases 1 and 2, we enter the Ideate phase, in which we begin to generate ideas for innovative solutions. We use a variety of different tactics to identify new solutions and new ways of looking at the problem.


During this phase, we create interactive digital prototypes so that we can identify the best possible experience. By the end of this phase we have a better understanding about how users would think, feel and behave when using the solution.


During the final phase of the Design Thinking process, we refine and improve the solution we have designed by user testing the complete product with real users to gather feedback.

Your Design Thinking Partner

We use Design Thinking to support some of the biggest banks and retailers in the world through Design Thinking Workshops, Design Sprints, Solution Acceleration Programs and Fit for Future Workshops.

Close up of Solvers working on business model canvas Close up of Solvers working on business model canvas during workshop

Design Thinking Workshop

During the Solvers Design Thinking Workshop we work with our clients to generate, define and design target user personas, develop desirable experiences or journeys and gather assumptions about user’s wants, needs and pain points.

Design Sprints

Modelled off the brilliant Google Design Sprint, the Solvers Design Sprint is a 5-day expedition into how smart experience design can rapidly accelerate a company’s position and thinking about a current problem or idea for a solution.

Solution Acceleration Program

We offer two Solution Acceleration Programs - Solution Acceleration and Solution Acceleration Plus.

Solvers Solution Acceleration

The Solvers Solution Acceleration Program is a defined engagement which includes the Solvers Design Thinking Workshop, qualitative research (user surveying and interviewing), user story development, high-fidelity digital prototyping, concept and user testing and value proposition development. Upon completion of the Solvers Acceleration Program, our clients receive a user research report, a high fidelity interactive prototype and a user testing/feedback report.

Solvers Solution Acceleration Plus

The Solution Acceleration Plus contains all the same activities as the Solution Acceleration Program, but also includes a more in-depth and technical solution design process. During the Design Thinking Workshop we facilitate “technical thinking” and translate the workshop outcomes, into a lean technical/functional specification. This, along with the visual prototype, act as a blueprint for the actual build of the solution.

Fit for Future Workshops

The Solvers Fit for Future Workshop is a new service launching in Q1 of 2019. It’s 2-day submersion into demographic, psychographic, technology, legislative, environmental and competitive trends and uncertainties that may directly affect the future of an incumbents business. In a highly interactive and collaborative way, these workshops look at the convergence of emerging technologies and platforms such as blockchain, VR, IoT and AI with changing consumer behaviors, and how this will impact a partner's specific industry (financial services, retail, and media and entertainment). The outcome of the workshop is a Fit-for-Future blueprint (lean playbook), which outlines key strategies, such as react or observe, follow fast or innovate, that a partner should take to stay on top and be comfortable with changes within their industry.

Get in touch to learn more about how our Design Thinking Services can help you.

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