4 Examples of Successful Design Thinking

In this article we tell you what Design Thinking is and we present 4 examples of Design Thinking that show how useful this methodology can be.

What is the Design Thinking method

The Design Thinking methodology, or design thinking, consists of a set of tools and actions aimed at designing a solution to a specific problem. Its main characteristic is that it emphasizes the design and the user.

In this way, given the need of a user, it is decided to divide the problem into smaller elements. Each of the small problems is then analyzed from a designer’s perspective and a solution is provided for each of them. Finally, a joint solution is provided from a design perspective, always keeping the user and their needs at the center of thought .

4 Examples of successful Design Thinking

Here are 4 examples of Design Thinking that have been launched by different companies and that have something in common: they are examples of success.

1. Airbnb

Today everyone knows Airbnb, the reference website when looking for accommodation around the world. But it has not always been this way. In 2009 its collection barely reached $ 900 per month.

However, one of its founders, Joe Gebbia, chose to apply the Design Thinking methodology. He began conducting interviews with clients of the accommodation company. He studied the market and user needs and redesigned the web and the way users communicate with each other. Currently Airbnb is a company present on five continents and the main reference when it comes to looking for vacation rentals.

2. The San Francisco Opera

The San Francisco Opera (SFO) faced limited resources and a shrinking audience. However, thanks to the Design Thinking methodology, a solution was found that allowed it to position itself as a new benchmark worldwide.

In this way, Barely Opera was born , an event that has managed to give a new air to the opera production of the Californian city. Barely Opera is presented as an alternative to traditional opera, cheaper and affordable both for SFO itself and for users (many of them young people or students).

3. SAP

Another example of successful Design Thinking is found in SAP. The ERP and management software company has used Design Thinking to improve its products internally. It was necessary to adapt the software to make it simpler and more manageable. And, above all, that it responded to the real needs of users in their day-to-day life.

Thanks to the use of the Design Thinking methodology this has been possible. This has made it possible to better tailor SAP products to the specific needs of its customers. The user experience has been improved taking into account the opinions of the customers themselves, the interface has been optimized and, overall, a more efficient and agile experience has been obtained in every way.


The Spanish bank is another of the best examples of successful Design Thinking . Thanks to this methodology, BBVA is bringing technology and humanity closer together, achieving a much closer and friendly user experience. Based on the user’s need to feel more secure when using ATMs, BBVA, together with IDEO, have redesigned ATMs adapted to these needs.

The result has been a terminal that offers a much simpler user experience, where the keyboard and display have been simplified, as well as a screen that provides greater privacy and, with it, greater security.

These are just a few examples of Design Thinking and everything that can be done when rethinking design with the user at the center of thought. The Design Thinking methodology can be applied to any field or sector, be it a production process, logistics distribution , user experience or, simply, a completely new business model. If you can think it then you can design it.

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