New Applications

Over the decades that design thinking has existed as a practice for solving problems, the problems it's best suited to tackle have changed. The approach remains as potent as ever, even as the planet and society face daunting challenges—shifting political structures, climate change, the rise of automation, the transformation of social welfare systems, and widening education gaps. The reason design thinking consistently proves itself as a route to solving tough problems is that it always—no matter the scale of the problem—keeps humans at the center. Often we are designing for large systems—businesses, public institutions, healthcare providers, or educational institutions—but the voices and needs of the individuals within those systems are what guide our process and shape the outcome. By approaching our work this way, we develop solutions that are deeply impactful and long-lasting. They belong to the people for whom they were designed.

IDEO has used design thinking to tackle big questions such as:

What makes organizations more creatively competitive?

In today’s fast-changing world, leaders and companies evolve and grow through human-centered design.

How does design drive new ventures and innovation?

Big companies want to behave more like startups. Startups want to scale like big companies. Time to start thinking like a designer.

How can government be more citizen-centered?

Government agencies make complex, bureaucratic systems accessible to everyone. And in the process, build a culture of innovation from within.

How will we personalize healthcare?

Build products, services, and experiences that advance healthcare for patients and providers.

How will we move people and things in the future?

Design for the future of autonomous mobility, multi-modal transportation, and the ever-changing technology that fuels it.

How can we use AI to make things better for humans?

Combine data, design, and machine learning to build intelligent products and services that improve people's lives.

How can we design a better food system for tomorrow?

Push the edges of technology, business, and design in a quickly evolving industry to tackle complex global food challenges.

How can design improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities?

Every solution starts small. Work to design for impact, build partnerships with organizations that know how to bring innovative solutions to life, and continue to evolve the products, services, and experiences.

How can design advance learning and education?

Partner with changemakers around the world to design the most innovative systems, tools and experiences for learners of all ages.