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Design Techniques

Design Techniques

According to Osterwalder (2010), there are six types of design thinking approaches that a business owner can engage. Based on Osterwalder (2010), here is a quick rundown:

  • Customer Insights - look at the opportunity through the eyes of your potential customer. Think about the customer - consider their environment, their routines, their attitudes, concerns and aspirations. What will they pay attention to most, and what will they ignore about your offering? Put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
  • Ideation - the process of looking at the largest number of possible business models and then isolating the best ones for further evaluation.
  • Visual thinking - uses a range of visual tools such as diagrams, rough sketches, notes and images. Prototyping - primarily a tool that helps you think about and explore different concepts through exploration, discussion and inquiry. The prototype can take the form of a simple sketch, or a spreadsheet that simulates financial modelling.
  • Storytelling - everyone loves a story! Once used predominantly for reading to children or advertising, the art of storytelling can be applied in business as well - helping you effectively communicate your new idea. You can use storytelling in many ways - through talk and image, video, role playing, or even a comic strip.
  • Scenarios - the job of a scenario is to bring the abstract into context. One good way to use scenarios is to extend your customer insight or even you future business model into a real and tangible situation under certain conditions. You are exploring the “what if...”.

Whatever techniques you apply, there is no one combination that fits all. What is best for you and your small online business is the combination that fits with your resource availability, circumstances and your unique business idea.

See Also for more information on design thinking and the Business Model Canvas.


Think about the five design thinking approaches mentioned.

Which design thinking approach do you feel you could try in developing your business model? Why do you feel that approach would work well for you?

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Planning for Success

RMIT University