How to design for real impact: the Koos Approach

Myrthe Montijn
Written by
Myrthe Montijn
Service Designer
Feb 08, 2023 . 5 mins read
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How to make an impact with Service Design? How to translate good ideas into products and services going live? And how to make them stick to avoid ending with just a customer journey that hangs nicely on your wall? Follow the design approach by Koos to make a tangible positive impact with human-centred design and innovation.

Real impact is MIA

Service Design often uses Design Thinking methodologies to solve problems beyond products and digital experiences. But when looking at the traditional Design Thinking models, we often observe a lack of guidance to make a real impact with customer-centric design. Such as the Design Thinking model created by D. School Stanford, which ends with ‘prototype’ and ‘test’. But we all know that this is just a start.

Additionally, the classic Design Thinking models also imply that businesses have to understand who their customers are and what they need (during the ‘Empathise’ phase) to be able to launch successful products and services. Our lives as designers would be super easy (and boring) if it were that simple.

5 Components to Design Thinking by Stanford d. School

One step beyond

Reality hits when Design Thinking enthusiasts start working with post-its (or Miro boards nowadays) to design service innovations. Once the enthusiasts have prototyped and tested their (riskiest) assumptions, they are not ready at all. The real work starts when they, for example, have to align stakeholders across the organisation to co-create, develop, implement and scale products and services. As Robert Brunner,  founder of the San Francisco design firm Ammunition stated, “It [went] from ‘Wow, design can save the world!’ to ‘Shit, this is hard.” (source). It takes much more effort, beyond prototyping and testing to make a real impact with customer-centric design.

 

 

The new way to go

This is why we took a critical look at the Design Thinking and Service Design frameworks we used in the past. We created a new framework based on all our experience translating service design strategies and concepts into real desirable touchpoints and products. 

 

Bye Double Diamond!

Say hi to the Double Diamond, Double Donut 💎💎🍩🍩

The Koos approach

This approach is a four-phased approach to innovation and design. Each phase requires different mindsets, methods and tools.

Let us briefly explain its different phases:

Indeed, this model might not seem shockingly new. There are many design models out there, as many designers have made iterations of the classic models. Nevertheless, we decided to create our own model to reflect better how we think you can design for positive impact. This model shows in one overview how to move from human-centred design to implementation. It combines our service design, design strategy and UX practices in one holistic approach, applicable to all domains. After applying this model to various projects in different client contexts over the past year, we believe the phases and their related mindset provide sound guidance to researchers, strategists, designers, CX managers, or innovation leads to translate insights and ideas into successful products and services. 

A starting point for exploration

Even though the model provides guidance to our everyday work, it also simplifies what happens in reality. For example, design is not a static and linear process. Moving back and forth between the different phases is part of what design entails; always messy, unpredictable and often challenging, but also an incredibly fun and explorative journey to embark. 

Do you want to learn how to apply the Koos approach within your organisation? How to make a real positive impact with human-centred design and innovation? Call us!

Reach one of the co-authors if you want to know more about the Double Diamond Double Donut approach.

Catarina Silva

Our designer's perfect match is being herself and bringing her creative side while contributing to better people's life experiences.

Myrthe Montijn

Myrthe wants to create delightful experiences while making people around her excited and motivated about service design.
Myrthe Montijn
Written by
Myrthe Montijn
Service Designer
Feb 08, 2023 . 5 mins read
Share this article