My Design Thinking Process

I align design with go-to-market by researching, prototyping and testing riskiest assumptions in multidisciplinary teams and agile sprints to find insights and actionable evidence. The below illustration shows how I adapt my process to each team and project. Feel free to call me on +61 416 858 303 to see which of my strategies might best suit your needs.


A story of my Design Thinking in action


Sylvie: Hey Krister! I was reflecting on the creative thinking of your apps and websites, and I think it’s awesome that our incubator has helped so many companies evolve through the cross-channel experiences we designed together.

Sylvie: You must have interpreted some seriously wicked problems during your museum and startup days.

Krister: Yeah, I asked big questions in my research and demystified issues in fields as far apart as Education, STEM, Environment, Health and Culture… and then developed and incubated the deep tech that emerged.

Sylvie: Let’s leverage that more. I’m concerned about the impact these [pointing] megatrends will have on us if we just keep designing for web technologies. We need to grow beyond the web and start incubating companies who we can help understand how they are being disrupted and able to transition. But if they don’t feel the disruption yet, it’s so hard to convince them that they are being disrupted.

Krister: I see the dilemma. Not that it’s easy, but it may just work to time travel into the future and find a client. Someone for whom it’s nearly too late and would give anything to travel back to capitalise on the wave of disruption they missed.

Sylvie: Ah OK. And how would you do it?

Krister: This chart shows how I design and make connections most people can’t. I adapt to each project, sprint and team by creating a strategy that fits it best. And since a Time Machine doesn’t exist, I often find that building the new technology first (a Lean UX method), lets us both experience what the new technology can do. We can then invite customers and startups to experience it to help us understand how it solves their unique problems we had never thought of. This is one of the ways big software companies and manufacturers incubate their own technologies.

Sylvie: It’s real! Does it work?

Krister: Let’s try it and see. Shall we bet on it that in the future, cross-channel experiences will become more inclusive because the boundaries between the technologies like Mixed Realities will blur?

Sylvie: Maybe. But wait, how did you build it so fast?

Krister: I’m not a fan of all-nighters, so I built a machine to clone myself. But when I stepped into the cloning machine with my breakfast bowl of fruit loops (as you do), it exploded.

Sylvie: So that explains the shirt?

Krister: Yeah but the good news is now there’s 16 of me. Each is skilled in a different field of design. UX is my focus area, and the guy on the right works like he’s being doing industrial design for 17 years. Together we’re not some fabled unicorn, but multidisciplinary in fact.

Sylvie: It’s a rare ability to be able to dream up innovative solutions and then drill down to the most granular detail across all touchpoints.

Time travelling 20 years into the future.

Sylvie: Is this a shopping centre we’ve landed in? Why does it look so dead?

Krister: Let’s find the CEO and ask them.

CEO, Fred: …Malls have been struggling worldwide to attract the online shoppers. Shoppers have turned to Mixed Realities. And because only the luxury brands can afford our rent, we all struggle to invite new business and just end up looking the same.

Krister: We’d love to help break that cycle. Until we investigate further, let’s agree for now that it’s that sameness that repeats the cycle and keeps young shoppers online where they can experience more variety conveniently.

Sylvie: There are a lot of pent up market forces in that paradoxical cycle worth exploiting. Fred, what’s your key metric for attracting new business?

CEO, Fred: Extending shopper dwell time. I really wish I could return to the good old days where cafes were being spaces, like a shopper’s second home.

Krister whispers to Sylvie: Lets watch and interview some online shoppers. I’m keen to learn how they shop and how the experience supports their personal growth and identity.

Observing online shoppers:

Jason: I can switch this headset to be in AR and then full VR mode, and even emulate any other device so I don’t have to run around with a thousand devices. I just ordered a driverless taxi to bring my daughter Pippi to preschool. 

Krister: Could you please guide me through your steps? 

Jason: Sure,.. Oh wait, Pippi and her educator are starting a video conference with me from their classroom. I just gotta do this first. I really miss her imaginative stories and I get to play a character in her role plays! We do this like 10 times a day!

Krister: May we visit Pippi’s preschool?

Krister whispers to Sylvie: If increasing dwell time is our target, I’d love to know how the preschool involves parents like Jason so often. Let’s see if the preschool lets us be assistant educators for a day so we also learn the challenges they deal with to be so effective. 

At the preschool:

Educator, Jean: We’re finding more parents enjoying quality time with their children using VR, and now it’s even mandated to involve parents in their children’s education. It’s becoming like a virtual village.

Sylvie: What was the tipping point? 

Educator, Jean: I think we were all influenced by the new working week of 25 hours and the social responsibility that Swedish corporations introduced to lessen the stigma of stay-at-home dads. And we found that parents are quick to adopt new healthy habits whenever we involve them in their child’s learning. It’s profound. It’s also thanks to a designer who envisioned the future classroom. His design here raises the creative reasoning of our children by a few years. Parents like Jason have spent more money and time than ever to increase their children’s creative potential. The only problem is we’re not resourced to help children build the worlds they imagine at full scale. It would however increase their creative potential even further.

Krister: Phenomenal! Would you care to share more of your insights in a co-creative session back at our incubator?

Krister whispers to Sylvie: Let’s see synthesise everything we learned and see if we can spot if there’s a dream-like journey parents like Jason are driven to pursue that’ll get them into the mall.

Travelling back to the incubator with the client and a party of stakeholders.

Krister: Let’s assume that Jason’s dream is spending quality time raising Pippi his unique way with the support of a village community. And because he has to drop off Pippi at the preschool, he’s driven to keep consuming and co-producing experiences that perpetually get him closer to live that dream. 

Let’s map that that infinite journey out.

CEO, Fred: Interesting. Malls ceased to be places families could spend quality together time in. We always used to think that spaces can’t be educational and make money. But here it’s abundantly clear that providing families with wholesome, educational experiences would increase their dwell time!


+61 416 858 303



Krister Gustafsson

Magic Garden

18 Curagul Road

North Turramurra

NSW 2074