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The Impact of User-Centered Design Approach on New Product Development Outcome

Student: Yuliya Moiseenko

Supervisor: Irina Bazileva

Faculty: Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge

Educational Programme: Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2018

One of the most prominent, yet highly debated user-centered design (UCD) approaches to new product development (NPD) is Design Thinking. Evidence on the effectiveness of the complex set of principles and process steps underlying this methodology is very scarce. This research project examines the impact Design Thinking application has on the NPD outcome. The thesis advances the discussion on the topic - firstly, with a series of new insights into the benefits and challenges of the method appropriation by organisations collected during ten expert interviews, and, secondly, by providing the first empirical indication of the positive effect of a Design Thinking-oriented NPD process on the market performance of the resulted new products. The evidence was derived from the data collected in an online survey in which 40 NPD professionals took part. For scholars, the relevance of this research lies in establishing an operationalisation for the construct of Design Thinking-orientation in NPD processes, which can be refined and used in further research on the topic. For design and business professionals, this work can be seen not only a justification of the benefits of the UCD approach to NPD, which increases the likelihood of a new product’s success, but also as a point of reference when decisions are made on Design Thinking principles and process appropriation.

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