Design thinking meets agile – our product development approach


Partners can expect better engagement experiences thanks to our use of user-centric innovation methods and development of more tailored creative solutions. 

Design thinking is an empathy-driven approach that encourages designers to adopt the mindset of users. This non-linear and iterative process helps to define their needs and generate ideas and products that fulfil them, giving our partners a better experience. 

Our ‘Hyphen of the Future’ working group is already developing tech solutions that adhere to these principles. The timekeeping solution MVP is just one example of how we are creating unique user-focused products while we are actively working behind the scenes on others that could supercharge our partners’ engagement experiences. 

To make sure these tech products will be as useful as possible, we stress-test the ideas by conducting interviews with prospective users, developing storyboards, and more from an early stage to help us as we go through multiple iterations. 

This approach goes together with the popular Agile methodology but there are key differences. While Agile methods focus on building with fast iterations first before learning about the user needs at the end later, design thinking looks more at identifying and understanding the problems at the outset. After the initial empathise stage, practitioners move on to defining the problem area and generating ideas for prospective solutions. Prototypes are produced and tests are carried out before further iterations work out any flaws to come up with a truly user-centric solution. 

This is another way in which design thinking differs from agile methods. That is, production using design thinking is outcome-driven, not merely about meeting an internal objective to generate an output and it places a high value on user experience. 

However, combining design thinking, agile methodologies and lean operating can give us the best of all worlds as it ensures we explore problem areas thoroughly, build optimal solutions to tackle these issues and construct them in the right way. 

One of our recent posts focused on the value of creativity within Hyphen and our commitment to building our own products. Design thinking plays a huge part in our process when it comes to developing digital solutions as it ensures we deliver the best and most valuable outcomes for our users as well as ourselves. 

Other examples of how we are making a difference for our contractors and clients include: 


This joined-up approach is something that pervades every part of the company, and this human-led mentality is something that we look for in prospective hires. We want staff who can get inside the minds of clients and contractors to understand how we can make engagements better. 

For us, design thinking is increasing innovation, enhancing product usability and encouraging experimentation by putting clients and contractors first. Our partners can therefore expect plenty more exciting developments in the future thanks to our approach.