Design Thinking meets approveIT

Creative processes have the goal of finding, inventing, or creating a hitherto unknown solution. Thus, processes, products, or services can be developed, adapted, expanded, or developed further. Design Thinking is a modern and proven creative process that drives innovation and can provide a wide range of solutions.


Fine-tuning for approveIT

ApproveIT digitises the packaging and POS area for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods. The workflow tool created and developed by Neuherz is currently being launched on the market. As almost always in this product phase, we ask the following questions: What is the detailed behaviour of my customers?  What is the best and easiest way of convincing them? What details are missing in order to enable an optimal sales start?

Creative workshop for innovation

In a creative agency, it’s only natural to carry out a Design Thinking workshop. In doing so, it was important for me to get external experts on board and to task them with the implementation. A look from the outside always offers a new perspective that is worth taking into consideration. After the preparatory phase that involved briefing and workshop planning, the time had come. Our approveIT team and external support met for the workshop in premises outside of the company. Since the space dimension plays a central role in Design Thinking, abandoning the daily routine is necessary to make room for innovation. Our workshop room at Casalunga in the 4th district used to house a small industrial and craft business.  For a day, it became our space for creative engagement with a product from and for the digital industry.

Design Thinking from a bird’s eye view

Design Thinking is a comprehensive, holistic approach to innovation. The goal is to find solutions that are convincing from the user’s perspective. Design Thinking emphasises the equivalence of team, space, and process. So the core elements consist of an interdisciplinary team, a variable space to break up the everyday structures, and an iterative process that consists of various interconnected process steps. Innovation arises at the intersection between human needs, technological feasibility, and business viability. So much for the abstract view of the workshop framework.

Question posing as a starting point

Which features will make approveIT the ideal digital assistant for document sharing? This was the question from which we started. The day was split into two phases: an exploration phase and a creation phase. The exploration phase was about gaining knowledge, which had to be summarised in key messages, and the creation phase was about the idea, which was to be presented at the end.

Phase I – customer journey, touchpoints, and personas

In the first phase in the morning, we developed a customer journey which focused heavily on the touchpoints, i.e. the points of contact with approveIT. By creating personas (i.e. fictional characters with very detailed characteristics) according to the question posing, we slipped very directly into the role of our customers. The presentation of the personas was very insightful, since we described their character as well as the actors they interacted with. We identified their desires, needs, and even concerns, which allowed us to see how to reach the personas in the best possible way.

Yodelity for a new quality of group work

The afternoon started with Yodelity – a special method that uses emotional interaction to initiate creative processes. Yodelling forms one of the foundations of this emotional interaction. It’s a disruptive element that not only introduces a new quality to the group interaction, but also frees the mind and the soul, and prepares them for the process of ideas and innovation.

Phase II – courage for wild ideas

Yodelling gives us a kick and helps us step outside of the “mental box”. Design Thinking also means having the courage to think totally differently and to come up with wild ideas, even if they seem unfeasible. There’s no limit to thinking! The following process, i.e. prototype development, allows to put together the ideas that might have once seemed audacious into a realisable whole.

The step to the prototype

The next step is to take the ideas and personas, and develop a prototype within the team, based on the innovations of the day. As if by magic, many of the wide-ranging thoughts come together to form a very concrete result. At this point, it can be seen that the iterative entanglement of the phases bears very concrete fruit. It is not without reason that Design Thinking is very popular with many organisational units because it allows and encourages innovation through team creativity. 

During the last concluding step, in the follow-up and processing of the workshop, the final evaluation of the team-based innovation work takes place.

Concluding evaluation

Eventually, the essential question arises: What have we gained by the Design Thinking Workshop? After all, we have 20 years of experience in the daily handling of packaging and POS.

The strong focus on the customer’s view, which this Design Thinking entails, clearly showed in some places that even a very good team is not immune to a certain organisational blindness. Our supply chain experience in the field of packaging, on which approveIT is based, has now been enhanced not only by the results of the workshop. These results are now incorporated in the software tool, making it a particularly efficient tool.

Thus, approveIT takes a big step forward in terms of the workflow process. It makes many things easier, clearer, and faster for our customers as well as for the suppliers involved. This is an advantage particularly for international companies, but not only for them. Many SMEs with related processes can benefit from approveIT. 


See for yourself and arrange a personal approveIT presentation. We will be happy to have you to join us.