Design Thinking Value & Benefits: Insights from UK Service Design Professionals

Catarina Hirt Branco

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis seeks to bring clarity both on Design Thinking (DT) approach and Service Design (SD) practice, particularly through the eyes of Service Designer professionals working in the UK. The focus of this work is in understanding these professionals’ perceptions on the value and benefits of DT, as well as the approach’s potential in creating a better and more sustainable world economy, for its citizens.
This thesis begins with an explanation of its purpose, followed by a clarification on methodology, literature review on Design Thinking and Service Design, empirical research results, analysis of empirical results and, to cease this work, a small discussion and conclusion with the main points of the work are presented.
Findings related to definition, models, teams, as well as characteristics of a good design thinker were among the most consistent ones, as empirical findings were closely related to what can be found in DT literature. As expected, empirical research confirmed that there is no singular definition of DT, that there are specific models that are consistently used among Service Designer professionals, that multidisciplinary teams are the rule and that there is a consistent understanding of what is expected from a good design thinker. Other less consistent topics such as interviewee’s perception on the roots of DT though, prove that more empirical research on DT is needed to make the approach’s understanding more robust.
This thesis contributes for a better understanding of Design Thinking values and benefits that both academics and professionals can benefit from and adds to the little empirical research that exists on the approach.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages66
SupervisorsDaniel Hjorth