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When Publivate was started over a decade ago - without knowing any better - informal design thinking was a starting point for almost every online engagement that we did. Informal because the term design thinking was not fully exposed at the time but the principles of putting yourself in the persona of the users that you wanted to engage on your platform was a natural and crucial perspective to guide you. Over the years we have formalized our design thinking approach, conducted numerous engagements - more formally - utilizing design thinking principles, and developed our own materials as well as using accepted design thinking materials available publicly. Design thinking and exploring new and creative ways to drive the right online engagement continues to be a central part of who we are.

One of the reasons that we have come to believe in the design thinking approach, beyond the results, is the structure that it provides. Structure in our business, particularly through the design stage of an online engagement is a significant benefit, particularly when we are working with partners that may not have preconceived notions of what will make their online engagement or consultation successful, if they are too focused on the online platform, don't have a full appreciation of what might be important to their audience, among other reasons.

Co-creation illustration

One of the more recent articles that we have read that helps expound upon the benefits of Design Thinking is Why Design Thinking Works by Professor Jeanne Liedtka from the University of Virginia. She has done an admirable job of saying in a few words what many authors have needed a book to do, that design thinking helps people address their biases, blind spots, and take a structured lens to innovation and engagement. Many people believe that design thinking helps those that apply it to better understand their audience, which is true. As important and related to that, is that design thinking helps to move you away from pre-conceived notions and biases that you bring to the table. It's about a 10-minute read that we would suggest is time well invested.

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