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Design Thinking

A real eye opener

In a Nutshell

What is it? Design Thinking is a systematic process that helps you to understand your users better and to use this empathic knowledge to develop creative ideas for new products and services that are tested as prototypes with potential customers.

Duration? A Design Thinking Cologne basic workshop is 2 days. See below for other formats.

Remote? Yes! Virtual Design Thinking workshops are possible with Miro or Mural.

For how many? A team of 6–10 people is optimal.

Why? What is the output? We're experiencing a time of constant change. Design Thinking is used at the beginning “fuzzy front-end” of an innovation process to uncover customer needs. These pain points provide the data that drive and guide the product innovation process or sprint. Changes in customer behavior are integrated into the cycle (iteration) of development, which greatly increases current business value and potential customer satisfaction.

Have a look at my e-book “Design Thinking? Ask Me Anything!” (in German) here!

Focus on customer needsInnovation in the spotlight


Design Thinking is effective where traditional planning and management tools are no longer enough to address the needs of our complex, ever-changing digitalized world. Design Thinking offers with attitude, process, mindset and tools a future-oriented problem-solving approach for companies that understand their development as a learning journey.

Design Thinking is a dynamic method for the people-centered, structured design of products, services, and strategies. It is based on a multi-level, 5 phase process. And we spend time trying things out instead of getting bogged down in long discussions.

Sound good? Then give me a shout out and we'll talk about your needs.

Shout out here

Know your customer!Involve customers in the solution


You want to optimize your product or service in a customer-oriented way? You'd like to expand the repertoire of agile, creative forms of working with your team?

Then Design Thinking Cologne is your door opener!

Design Thinking leads to innovation in products, services or even new business models. By structurally questioning the seemingly obvious, Design Thinking interdisciplinary teams create new, meaningful solutions that meet human needs and generates business value. The Design Thinking Cologne process consists of five phases: understanding, problem definition, idea generation, prototyping and testing.


The first phase, for example, focuses on the project context and the environment of the target person. It develops an initial understanding of the problem space by identifying the needs of each target person and highlighting their experiences in relation to the topic being worked on.

Teams are immersed in the user-context which reveals a wealth of information or "data". This includes potential opportunities and challenges that would otherwise be difficult to identify. Team collaboration is one of the strengths of design thinking in the digital age, where new forms of work are required that rely much more on networking.

Design Thinking is much more than just a method for finding solutions to problems: It is an attitude that involves mindfulness towards the outside world, a change of perspective and confidence in one's own ability to find solutions. Design Thinking contains a set of techniques for disruptive innovation and encourages you to break new ground!

Karla Schlaepfer Cologne in an interview with Creative NRW

What advice can you already give creative players and companies?

“Just do it. Start before you're ready and before things are perfect. I would create small innovation hotbeds as quickly as possible. A ‘safe’ space where you can experiment and test out new beta ideas.”

– Source: Köln

In Interview: Karla Schlaepfer and Peter Jüde

Our working methodsIndividual and professional


Together we clarify your goals. Discuss possible solutions and develop an individual strategy.


We tailor our services to suit your budget and your needs.


We form small, interdisciplinary teams for successful co-creation and a “safe environment”.


We think radically from the customer’s point of view. Rapid prototypes enable direct validation.


We make an individual selection of the active tools that make sense for your solution strategy.


We award participant certificates Design Thinking Cologne. On request, the design thinking process can be documented.

“Fascinating …

… in how little time and with how few resources you can come up with great, creative ideas! The Design Thinking Workshop was a real eye opener.”

– Dr. I. von Helden/University of Koblenz-Landau

Our FormatsFrom Light to Transfer

Design Thinking LightGrass roots

This interactive session of theory and practice opens the door to the basics of the Design Thinking approach. You will experience first-hand what it means to develop radically customer-oriented solutions. Learn from well-known examples. And understand the importance of rapid prototyping.

Workshop: 2,5–4 h

Including the set “Design Thinking: Instructions” with step-by-step instructions for a Design Thinking Workshop to be conducted by yourself. Extensive prototyping materials.

Design Thinking SmartThe Big Picture

In just one day, this agile, dynamic workshop takes you through the entire 5-step Design Thinking process. Together we will tackle a concrete challenge problem. You will learn to use the mindset, principles and motivating tools. A day with maximum agility and lots of fun.

Workshop: 1 Tag

Structure like Design Thinking Light, plus: a practical field guide for qualitative interviews and participant certificate for each participant.

Design Thinking TransferYour individual project

This is where it all comes together: The workshop will be tailored to your individual problem requirements. Here you will deepen your methodical knowledge. We use the 5-step process to solve your problem using new perspectives and approaches. The result is a concrete action plan with real business value!

Workshop: 2–2,5 days

Setup and material like Design Thinking Smart workshop, plus each participant receives the book “Design Thinking? Ask Me Anything”

Voice feedback

Dr. Henrike Andersch, Innovation Office, participant in the Design Thinking Workshop

Dr. Stephan Kuppig/Pharma Product Manager, Participant Design Thinking Workshop

Anschaulich und kompakt

“The Design Thinking method is described very concretely and concisely. Anyone can easily find out for themselves if he/she wants to use the approach and method. The practical examples are very helpful for orientation.”

– C. Karsch/Coaching & Moderation

Real-life …

with many examples from global enterprises, clearly and comprehensively presented in my eBook "Design Thinking? Ask Me Anything". What a delight to show how this innovative, agile and customer-oriented strategy can be used in so many contexts for solving complex problems.

More information, reading excerpt and order

Do you have questions how Design Thinking can work for you and your company? Make a complimentary consultation appointment and we’ll talk!

Write me here