Author:  congruentX

Before you dismiss this as people gathered in a room putting sticky notes on the wall singing Kumbaya, consider this:

Human-centered Design Thinking transformed Airbnb from a failing startup to a billion-dollar business.

That is not a symbolic statement. It is a direct statement from Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia.

They are not alone. A study by the Design Management Institute found that design thinking-driven companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 219% over ten years. IBM found that companies that used design thinking to innovate new solutions saw a 75% reduction in development time and a 33% reduction in development costs.

Our Design Thinking Journey

As a company founded on the ideals of “clients, not projects,” “people, not resources,” and “outcomes, not just hours,” we knew that design thinking had to be a column of our business. That’s because design thinking is a problem-solving approach that emphasizes putting people at the center and collaborating on innovative solutions to problems. We are fortunate that in our journey to customer-focused innovation, JC Quintana joined the congruentX team. JC is a leader in design thinking education and the founder of design thinking certificate programs at UC Riverside, USF, and Bellevue College. Today we start every engagement with a human-centered design thinking approach to solving problems because it accelerates the path to business outcomes while making our clients stakeholders in the process. How does it work?

We focus on understanding the problem:

The core of human-centered design thinking, as the term implies, is to focus on the needs of humans. It is too easy to focus on technology and forget the expectations of those who use it. Design thinking processes and tools keep us focused on outcomes and value acceleration.

We make people stakeholders in the solution:

Design thinking helps us explore solutions together. It is a better way to identify digital friction and pinpoint areas where technology can make it more functional, effective, easy, and enjoyable to do your job. It is also how we include cross-functional team perspectives and give people across the organization a voice to discuss common challenges.

We aim for innovation:

People support the things they help build. The design thinking approach allows people to see the problem from multiple perspectives. It allows for creativity and better alignment with needs, business feasibility, and technology innovation.


For our clients, design thinking translates to direct business outcomes. For one of our clients in the specialty lumber business, it meant building a solution that increased outside sales productivity by 38%. Likewise, for our GetCRMright clients, it means discovering ways to help sellers spend less time with processes and more time closing deals and building customer relationships.


If you do it right, incorporating human-centered design thinking into your business strategy can be a game-changer. It is a powerful tool for creating solutions that meet the needs of users (humans) and drive business success with tangible and significant ROI.

So, where do you start if the concept of Human-centered Design Thinking is unfamiliar?

  • Start By Listening (Internal And External): Take the time to understand needs. Conduct interviews, surveys, and other research to gain insights into challenges.
  • Collaborate Creatively: Involve stakeholders in the design thinking process. Doing so will result in innovative solutions people will adopt because they helped create them.
  • Iterate and test: Use an iterative design process to create and test prototypes of your solutions. Not only will it reduce development time, but it will also help you connect solutions to business results.

How can we help you leverage design thinking to fuel your efforts to increase revenue and retain the right customers?

Contact Us