What is design thinking in business/four steps of methodology/application

Today, it is increasingly necessary to innovate in HR in order to ensure better results for the company. But how to do this? The design thinking applied to human resources is a great option. design thinking in business

It is a methodology that came from design, but can be used by Human Resources to achieve greater efficiency in organizational processes. As a result, many HR departments have begun to adopt the approach.

And the choice isn’t by chance: around the world, companies from all walks of life have been working with design thinking for years. It is possible to use it in schools and even in government.

In this article, we will understand the concept of design thinking, its objectives, steps, processes, application in HR and expected results. Are we going to learn about design thinking applied to human resources? Enjoy reading!

What is design thinking and what are its goals?

Practicing design thinking means thinking like a designer, that is, applying design concepts in search of solving the most diverse problems . To this end, the entire development of the project is centered on the user and their experiences, using the product or service in question.

One of those responsible for popularizing the term was Tim Brown, trained as an industrial designer and reference author when we think about design thinking. He began to rethink the products he created from the perspective of the audience that would use them. According to Brown, a design thinker needs to be intuitive and know how to recognize patterns. design thinking in business

It is, without a doubt, an innovative model capable of generating transformations in companies, making them differentiate themselves from the competition precisely because they deliver a better experience to the customer.

The main objective of design thinking is, therefore, to produce a good experience for the end user , bringing innovations in processes, products and services to impact customers and employees.

The four steps of the methodology

The design thinking process is divided into four stages: immersion, analysis and synthesis, ideation and prototyping.


At this stage, we understand what the scenario is by observing and collecting data. This is where we conduct user interviews to try to clarify our customers’ experience.

Analysis and synthesis

With the data in hand, we now need to analyze it. This is how patterns are identified, in order to understand the problem and then look for answers to solve them in the best way.


During ideation, we look for ideas that can become solutions for our customers. At first, every idea is valid and no suggestion is better than another, otherwise, employees may feel unmotivated to share opinions.


The final phase is prototyping, when we create a prototype to test our ideas with the public, before finalizing execution. With this, we save unnecessary expenses with a project that may not generate returns.

The design thinking process

The application of design thinking consists in bringing together a group of professionals, preferably from different areas, to discuss solutions to a problem . The process is divided into four steps to facilitate the organization and progress of the project. design thinking in business

Therefore, the first step to success is company involvement. Without employees being engaged to make it work, it is very difficult to achieve the expected result.

But with the participation and cooperation of everyone, it is time to start implementing design thinking applied to human resources. Thus, the methodology must be put into practice, always striving for empathy with end users. 

After all, how do we know if we are on the right path? There is only one answer to this question: testing. Only constant testing will tell us whether we’re being effective every step of the way — and design thinking takes time.

The application of the DT in the HR department

Design thinking applied to human resources has numerous benefits, as it can be used to create innovative practices and policies in the management of people in an organization, from planning .

To apply it, you, as an HR professional, will need to listen carefully to the team, understanding employees and involving them in order to then propose actions capable of positively impacting daily work, including rethinking performance evaluations and training, if applicable.

Also, invest in organizational design. Think like a designer when restructuring the company and, above all, be concerned with training the HR team, as they are the professionals who most need to update to ensure the company’s success. design thinking in business

And yes, you can do all of this without exceeding your human resources budget , just get organized.

What are the expected results?

Among the results we can expect are: more empathy and engagement , optimization of company processes and higher quality of products and services.

More empathy and engagement on the part of the team

When employees actively participate in projects, therefore, they feel essential to achieve the desired metrics and tend to have greater empathy with management. This makes them also more engaged with the work performed, which could previously be considered routine.

Optimization of company processes

In general, processes that were once time-consuming are optimized with design thinking. This is also due to the organization’s information integration, as well as greater team productivity. design thinking in business

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