top of page

DT Tools

10_Emotional Response Cards

What you can do with the tool:

  • Before redesigning existing products, test their attractiveness and compare them with new ideas.

  • Learn more about competing products, brands and experiences.

  • Collect statements on strategy, information architecture, interaction, aesthetics, and speed.

  • Vision: Already at the kickoff, the client learns how he wants his product to be characterized by the user.

  • For new products, e.g. after a usability test, learn what the user experienced, thought and felt.

  • Compare prototypes across different iterations.

17_Trend analysis

What you can do with the tool:

  • Explore megatrends, trends and their points of contact.

  • Visualise the larger context of trends and discuss with the Design Thinking Team or clients whether and how the trends interact.

  • Avoid a too simple, subjective and possibly monocausal view of a development and find holistic approaches.

  • To identify and present overlaps and causal relationships between trends and to draw conclusions about the possible significance of a trend.

  • Gain valuable contextual information about the problem or idea.

Define /Point of View


What you can do with the tool:

  • Transforming a latent need into a design challenge.

  • Write down the goal of the later idea generation and the intention with the Design Thinking Team in a concrete sentence.

  • Define the scope and framework of the idea-finding process. ​


What you can do with the tool:

  • Research, talk to people and create empathy to formulate profound stories.

  • Summarize results from the Understanding and Observing phase and discuss them with the team.

  • Highlight the unexpected and create new perspectives.

  • Generally share knowledge, ideas, but also results (solutions) with others.

20_Context Mapping  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Learning from an "expert": the user who gives unexpected insights into what he is going through in his life.

  • Make a bigger picture of a particular situation. How do others experience these experiences? When will they experience this? With whom and in what context?

  • Follow the principle: "Knowledge is information with additional context." To create true knowledge, the context must be known and this tool helps to create this awareness.

21_Define Success

What you can do with the tool:

  • A coordination and unity in the team to achieve which success should be achieved.

  • Ensure that requirements of the organization/management/users and other stakeholders are understood so that it is easier later to get a buy-in from the decision makers.

  • Simplify the selection and prioritization of options throughout the project.

  • To create a basis for measuring via KPIs, if any are desired for the project.

22_Vision Cone

What you can do with the tool:

  • Get a feel for changes over time.

  • Think in periods and sections, for example, from the past to the future by mapping different results over time.

  • Sketch a projected, plausible, possible, preferred or absurd future.

  • Linking visions with concrete next steps.

  • To show the potential of all possibilities, for example with regard to technological and sociological developments.

23_Critical Items Diagram 

What you can do with the tool:

  • To process the results from the phases of understanding and observing and to filter out the decisive elements.

  • Prepare the phases "Finding ideas" and "Developing prototypes" and thus create a good starting point.

  • Help the team to understand and agree on the things that are essential for the project.

  • Derive various How-might-we questions.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Generate many ideas that spontaneously come to the team's mind.

  • Utilize the full creative potential of the Design Thinking Team.

  • Immediately have a large number of variants available.

  • To obtain an interdisciplinary view of a problem that represents different competences.

  • Collect ideas and perspectives from a heterogeneous group.

  • Awaken enthusiasm and create momentum.

25_2x2 Matrix

What you can do with the tool:

  • Quickly determine which ideas to pursue and which ideas to discard.

  • Get a first overview of which ideas already have a certain maturity.

  • Perform strategic innovations, market opportunities and many other categorizations and prioritization of ideas.

  • Use it wherever decisions need to be made.

26_Dot Voting  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Make joint decisions within the team.

  • Restrict the selection and thus simplify and prioritize.

  • Make faster decisions and avoid lengthy "analysis paralyses".

  • Resolve disagreements in teams and avoid power games.

  • Include the views of all stakeholders in the decision-making process.

  • Finally, focus on the best ideas and market opportunities.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Either generate new ideas or further develop existing ideas and simply document them.

  • To introduce inexperienced workshop participants to brainwriting and the rules of brainstorming in a structured way with an easy to learn approach.

  • In quiet individual work, grasp the creative potential also of people who are rather reserved in open group situations.

  • Promote the generation of fancy ideas through the explicit separation of idea generation and idea evaluation.

28_Special Brainstorming

What you can do with the tool:

  • Generate a large number of ideas in a limited time,

  • Encourage mutual exchange and active listening between group members to build on collected ideas.

  • Take different perspectives through different approaches and look at a problem from different angles.

  • Increase creativity in different ways, e.g. through negative brainstorming, figuring storming or body storming.

29_Analogies & Benchmarking 

What you can do with the tool:

  • Generate ideas that lead to a WOW effect.

  • Explain ideas and complex facts through analogies in an understandable way.

  • Find inspiration by comparing problems and their solutions from another area with our problem.

  • Integrate supportive cognitive thought processes that are necessary for open and poorly structured problems (so-called ill-defined and wicked problems).

  • Unleash your full creativity in combination with Sketch Notes.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Quickly grasp the core of an idea, concept or prototype.

  • Ensuring that the user/customer is in the focus by starting with the question about the customer problem and then intensively addressing the customer's needs.

  • Consider an idea under the four different aspects Need (problem/need), Approach (solution/performance promise), Benefit (benefit) and Competition (alternative/competition).

  • Present an idea at an early stage and obtain important feedback.

  • Compare different ideas/concepts with each other.

31_Blue Ocean & Buyer Utility Map

What you can do with the tool:

  • Explore new untapped market opportunities.

  • Provide differentiated and new services based on user needs.

  • Adapt a strategy to new market needs by understanding the competitive advantage.

  • Establish the appropriate vision for the Design Challenge or a roadmap for the step-by-step implementation and control mechanisms.


What you can do with the tool

  • Find out at an early stage whether the basic need is satisfied and the product is of interest to the market.

  • Iterative testing to determine whether the user's needs can be satisfied with a minimally functional product and how this can best be expanded.

  • Find out through user feedback how much the product is in demand before further details and features are developed.

  • Minimize the risk of investing in a solution for which there is too little market demand, saving time, money and energy.

01_Problem Statement

What you can do with the tool:

  • Develop a common understanding of a problem with the client and in the team.

  • Formulate collected findings from the problem analysis into a Design Challenge.

  • Define the direction and framework for generating ideas.

  • Form the basis for the formulation of a target-oriented How-might-we question (so-called HMW questions).

  • Develop a reference for later performance measurement.

02_Design Principles

What you can do with the tool:

  •  At the beginning of the project, we focus clearly on a specific mindset or requirements for the product or service.

  • Obtain a common understanding in the team concerning the assignment.

  • Provide guidance so that decisions can be made more quickly within the design team.

  • Define overarching characteristics which should be treated with higher priority.

  • Develop a guideline that ensures that future design challenges are created on the same overarching principles.

03_Interview for Empathy  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Gain a good understanding of a user's needs, emotions, motivations and ways of thinking.

  • Gain insights that are not visible in a superficial view, such as frustration and deeper motivations of a user.

  • In the context of use, find out which task sequence the user has to perform and which mental model he bases this on.

  • Validate information already gained and gain new insights. 

  • Establish a good basis for discussions with the Design Thinking Team.

04_Explorative Interview

What you can do with the tool:

  • Explore the everyday life of people.

  • Gain a deep understanding of the user and his unspoken needs.

  • Get a view of the basic values, beliefs, motivations and aspirations that influence behavior.

  • Create a mindset that does not focus on the product, but on people and their needs.

  • Explore cultural and social aspects that may influence the satisfaction of needs.

  • Minimize risks at an early stage, identify opportunities and examine initial concept ideas.

  • Explore the everyday life of people

05_Question 5x Why

What you can do with this great guy:

  • Discover the root cause of a problem.

  • Develop a sustainable solution.

  • Go deep and experience more than just superficially exploring the symptoms that are obvious.

  • Dig deeper and deeper to gain new surprising insights

06_5Wh questions  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Obtain new knowledge and information and grasp the problem or situation in a structured way.

  • Draw conclusions from concrete observations of a specific situation to more abstract, potential emotions and motives.

  • During the observation phase, use "W-Questions" to observe more closely and dig deeper for new insights.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Structured recording of customer tasks (jobs to be done) and gaining new insights.

  • To find hidden tasks of the customer that have not yet been pronounced, in order to derive or sharpen customer needs later.

  • Also optimize the entire customer experience, for example to give a service a clear purpose.

08_Extreme & Lead User

What you can do with the tool:

  • Explore the needs of users who are average users unable to articulate.

  • Finding new innovative ideas.

  • Identify early trends in user behavior or needs.

  • Find ideas for a more integrative design.

09_Stakeholder Map   

What you can do with the tool:

  • Receive valuable information for strategic and communicative planning and future activities.

  • Make assumptions about the influence of certain actors on the project.

  • Identify indications of missing information on actors, e.g. which actors have not yet been sufficiently considered (white spots).

  • Identify initial conclusions about alliances or power relations as well as potential conflicts between different stakeholders.



11_Empathy Map

What you can do with the tool:

  • Document findings from observations or tests with users and capture the user from different perspectives in order to build empathy.

  • Better understand where the user has problems (Pains) or possible advantages (Gains), and derive his tasks (so-called Jobs to be done).

  • Gather insights to create a persona.

  • Summarize observations more easily and capture unexpected insights.

12_Persona & User Profile

What you can do with the tool:

  • Create a fictitious character that is a potential user/customer of a solution.

  • Create a common image of the user/customer in the team

  • Visualize the goals, wishes and needs of a typical user/customer and share them with the design team.

  • Gain a consistent understanding of a target group.

  • Document stories and images that a typical user/customer experiences.

13_Customer Journey Map   

What you can do with the tool:

  • Establish a common understanding in the team about the experiences of customers with a company, product or service.

  • "Moments of misery that affect the customer experience.

  • Get a good understanding of all the customer's touchpoints.

  • Close issues and gaps in customer interaction and realize a unique experience.

  • Create a new and improved customer experience.

  • Develop new products and services in a customer-oriented manner.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Bring structure into observation and ask the right W questions, which are decisive for gaining knowledge.

  • Facilitate the evaluation of many findings by larger design teams performing parallel observations.

  • To relate the user to the activity, to the space and to an object.

  • Gather knowledge that is not public.

  • Insights can also be collected by inexperienced design teams, because the AEIOU tool provides structure and guidance.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Identify relevant influencing factors which form the basis for a new or improved product or service and then analyse them in a targeted manner.

  • Prevent not being creative enough in the analysis process because the focus is on technical "details".

  • Increase efficiency in the analysis process by avoiding idle times.

  • Use a standardized procedure to re-examine the problem and solution space with the help of data.

16_Peers Observing Peers   

What you can do with the tool:

  • To explore the behaviour and needs of a user in a "natural" and inconspicuous way.

  • Gain a better understanding of the problem or design challenge that has been defined.

  • New insights are gained into how the problem is solved today, which workarounds are applied and how the process is lived in the real world.

Find ideas


32_Exploration Map

What you can do with the tool:

  • Make visible what kind of experiments were carried out and what prototypes were realized.

  • Get a quick overview of which experiments or prototypes can still be performed.

  • Record the delta between an expected and actual result of an experiment.

  • Gain a common understanding of the experiments carried out so far in the team.​

33_Prototype to Test

What you can do with the tool:

  • Let the user experience the idea and observe how he interacts with the prototype.

  • Deepen the understanding of the potential user.

  • Validate needs and verify assumptions.

  • Get feedback on different dimensions of desirability, feasibility and feasibility.

34_Service Blueprint  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Extend the Customer Journey Map by including supporting technologies, data and customer interactions for each phase of the journey.

  • Address key issues in the development of new products or services, such as whether a service covers all customer needs and all pains have been removed.

  • Visualize the interactions with a customer on different levels (e.g. frontstage, backstage, supporting processes).

  • Define key performance indicators (KPIs) in terms of quality and time of interactions


36_Testing Sheet

What you can do with the tool:

  • Systematically plan a test and define the roles.

  • Document the test and results so that they can be easily used for the next activities.

  • Consider in advance which are the test criteria and in which cases the hypotheses are considered verified in order to validate the needs and test assumptions.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Test the first prototypes quickly and easily using four defined questions.

  • Record, collect and cluster test results in writing.

  • Sharpen theses on problems as well as solutions, personas and ideas and further develop prototypes on the basis of the findings.

  • In general, write down feedback on ideas, presentations, etc. quickly and easily in a structured way.

38_Experience Testing  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Leave the fantasy world and conquer the real world by exploring the prototype with real customers.

  • Find out if it really works as intended for the users/customers.

  • Learn whether the idea will lead to success or not.

  • Get feedback: "love it", "change it" or "leave it".

  • With the right questions, collect qualitative and quantitative data to identify whether problems arise during experience or use.

39_Solution Interview

What you can do with the tool:

  • Understand whether an intended solution is valued by users, i.e. whether it is convincing in terms of functionality, user-friendliness and user experience.

  • To question the task on which the project is based, i.e. to check whether the project concentrates on the decisive questions.

  • Understand the needs, behaviours and motivations of users/customers more deeply.

  • To measure the value of the solution for the user.

40_Structured Usability Testing

What you can do with the tool:

  • Using defined test scenarios (tasks), observe the interaction between user and system (prototype).

  • Check and compare the correctness of the assumptions, solutions and concepts made with the user.

  • Get new inputs for improvement or completely new ideas.

  • Gain deeper insight into the problem by testing existing products.

  • Improve usability iteratively through testing and subsequent optimization

41_A/B Testing  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Perform a real A/B test or several variants of a prototype in the form of multi-variant test / split testing.

  • Make a quantitative evaluation.

  • Conduct a qualitative survey and evaluate the number and content of feedback.

  • Compare individual variants of a function or a prototype (e.g. button, visuals, arrangement) with each other.


42_I like, I wish, I wonder

What you can do with the too:

  • Anchor it firmly in the team as a feedback ritual in which only "I like, I wish" or supplemented with "I wonder" is permitted as feedback (IL/IW/IW for short).

  • Small successes, which were achieved by an iteration, a prototype or in a test, celebrate with it.

  • Make a part of the reflection and the brainstorming, e.g. extended by "What if..." and an idea parking.

  • Giving and receiving feedback in written and spoken form.


What you can do with the tool:

  • Improve team interaction and collaboration - in a fast, focused, respectful and structured way.

  • Take a "RETRO-SPECTIVE", i.e. look back at what went well and what could be improved.

  • Reflect which factors are changeable and which are to be accepted.

  • Foster a positive atmosphere, as all team members are heard and can get involved, which in turn promotes the mindset of self-organized teams.

44_Create a pitch  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Show the team and stakeholders the current status of the prototype, a project or the final solution.

  • Structuring ideas and highlighting the essential statements.

  • Get feedback on the solution and key features, customer needs or value proposition.

  • Convince the audience or decision-makers of the project in order to obtain approval and resources for further action or implementation.

45_Lean Canvas

What you can do with the tool:

  • Summarize the results of the Design Thinking iterations and give everyone a clear picture of the innovation project.

  • Visualize and structure the hypotheses in order to then test them and record the findings in an overview.

  • Consider implementation or the business model to identify the risks associated with implementation.

  • Compare different variants and business models.

46_Lessons Learned

What you can do with the tool:

  • Gather experience in the project in a structured way and process it.

  • Learning from experience and using it for the next project.

  • Enable a positive handling of mistakes and appreciate good progress.

  • Identifying, documenting, applying and finally making use of the findings.

47_Roadmap Implementation  

What you can do with the tool:

  • Use the Roadmap for Implementation as a guide to determine the current position (A) and the destination "Where to go" (B).

  • Maintain an overview and determine whether the right destination area and target group will be considered during the trip.

  • Sharing the path to the goal with others.

  • Develop the basis for a checklist with the most important success factors.

  • Make clear an undefined path from A to B through iterations in the course of the journey.

48_Growth & Scale Funnel

What you can do with the tool:

  • Document a portfolio of existing customer requirements (today's markets) and future customer requirements (tomorrow's markets). 

  • Focus on the contribution margin and sales of existing customers and technologies through extrapolation.

  • Track opportunities in new ecosystems, technologies and market roles through retropolation.

  • Demonstrate the market validation of prototypes, proof of concepts and finished solutions over time.

  • Replace existing innovation funnels with modern terminologies and approaches

49_Agenda Planer 

What you can do with the tool:

  • The preparation of a 1-5 day workshop.

  • Plan and keep an eye on the most important steps of the preparation.

  • Record an overview of the workshop participants.

  • Plan different tools and methods over the duration of the event.

  • Plan the follow-up and documentation.

  • Reflect retrospectively on what went well and what went less well. . 

50_Digital Transformation

What you can do with the tool:

  • Transform a business model based on new technological requirements.

  • Better meet customer needs, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

  • Redefine physical and digital channels and provide customers with a unique experience.

  • Initialize a realignment of the business to remain sustainable.

bottom of page