Mitigating company adoption barriers of design-driven innovation with human centered design

Ehsan Baha*, Taresh Ghei, Anne Kranzbuhler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


In Design-Driven Innovation (D-DI) the meaning of a product or service is radically innovated to introduce a new paradigm that ideally can benefit people, companies, and society as a whole. However, due to the associated risks, most companies are hesitant to engage with and adopt D-DI. Human Centered Design (HCD) is preferred while innovation is limited to incremental change. This dichotomy is also reflected in design literature where D-DI is pitted against HCD. We propose the symbiosis of the two approaches as a strategy to create space for and the adoption of D-DI within companies. An instrumental design case study explores a design-driven service innovation and its adoption in a renowned airline. Results show an adopted D-DI where HCD evidence mitigates for the market and organization uncertainty while D-DI enabled a paradigm shift in the company's current service operation. Advantages and limitations of this mitigation strategy are discussed. With this design precedent, we aim to encourage designers and companies to further explore the benefits of a symbiotic use of D-DI and HCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2097-2105
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Design Society
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event23rd International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2021 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 16 Aug 202120 Aug 2021


  • Case study
  • Design process
  • Design-driven innovation
  • Human Centered Design
  • Service design

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