How to use design

This model may help identify where your business is in relation to using design and what additional benefits could be achieved. It was created by the Danish Design Centre, an international hub for innovation excellence.



Which of these statements feels most familiar to your business?


Stage 01 – No Design

"Design plays no role in our product / service development"

Stage 02 – Design as Styling

"Design is only relevant in terms of aesthetic considerations such as style, appearance and ergonomics. Sometimes professional designers are used but styling will be predominantly purchased internally or from professionals in other sectors."

Stage 03 – Design as Process

"Design is considered in terms of a process or method in product or service output that is employed from initial stages of development. The design solution is procured externally and is adapted to the requirements of the end user using a multi-disciplinary approach.

Stage 04 – Design as Strategy

"Design is integral to our organisation's continuous renewal of their business concept as a means of encouraging innovation. The design process is fused with the organisation's key objectives and plays a role at every stage of development."


Clearly there is a journey of embedding design thinking into the core of a business to attain the maximum benefit from the opportunities it generates. The first steps are pretty straightforward.

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