Design Thinking

Design Thinking | Human Centred Design

Taking a human-centred approach to innovation and problem-solving that integrates the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.

What does good look like? Our guide to creating digital standards and improving your skills, capacity and capabilities.

Design Thinking

  • Start with tenant needs. Understanding the needs of tenants is paramount. Every digital initiative should prioritise the user experience and harness design thinking methodologies. Uses user interviews, surveys, and observational studies to define problem clearly based on user insights.
  • Use data and analytics to gain insights into tenant behaviour, preferences, and pain points to build digital services. Design thinking applied to develop solutions that meet user needs, solve real problems, and create value. Potential solutions tested through prototyping with iterative improvements based on real user feedback. Human-centred approach should be inclusive, considering the needs and perspectives of all potential users, including those with different abilities or from diverse backgrounds.
  • Reflect the experiences, needs, and perspectives of users in a compelling and empathetic manner through storytelling. Highlight user journeys, including their motivations, challenges, and interactions with the technology. Use visual aids and narrative techniques to enhance the storytelling process.
  • Make use of the Government Design Principles, UK government’s design principles and examples of how they’ve been used.



  • Use of digital collaboration tools, such as shared documents, video conferencing, and project management software. Support team collaboration, improve efficiency, and foster a digital culture.


Mobile Technologies

  • Use of mobile technologies, including mobile apps, mobile-optimised websites, and mobile devices for staff. Aim to enhance accessibility, improve service delivery, and support remote working.


Assistive Technologies

  • Extent of the use of assistive, adaptive and rehabilitate devices with people with disabilities and the elderly. Home automation or assistive domonics focuses on technologies that enable independent living and self-care.


Artificial Intelligence

  • Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). This could include predictive analytics, personalise services, automation, chatbots, and other AI-driven services. AI/ML capabilities in terms of infrastructure, talent, and data management.
  • Use of data analytics and business intelligence tools and techniques to generate insights from its data. Impact on decision-making, improving services, and driving innovation.



  • Extent of the use of IoT technologies. This could include smart devices, sensors, and IoT networks. Usage to enhance services, improve asset management, and support digital transformation


The Marzipan Way is a framework for managing digital transformation in social housing. One page, one section or the whole set of standards, there is something to learn for everyone.

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