Design Puzzle™ is a user-centric and future-driven innovation toolkit developed by ED Design.


the users’ goals

future foresight


Discovering radical
innovation opportunities

Overcoming the obstacles of
innovation generation

Is your organization struggling with innovation? Are you worried of losing your competitive edge? Are you lacking the means to come up with products and services that you know your customers want and need — now and in the future? You are not alone.

The early phases of product and service development are where critical decisions affecting the strategy and direction of the company are made. Yet, lacking clear processes and often depending on sketchy and ill-informed ideas, these phases resemble fumbling and wild stabs in the dark. No wonder these early stages are known as the fuzzy front end of new product development.

The DESIGN PUZZLE™ toolkit has been developed to overcome the obstacles of innovation generation. The toolkit taps into true user-centered innovation opportunities, combines them with future foresight, and transforms them into successful products and services.

It all starts with understanding
the goals of the users

At the core of the DESIGN PUZZLE™ is a fundamental revelation about people: they don’t actually want to use your product, or anyone else’s for that matter. Rather, they have a number of goals which they want to achieve, and they tend to choose the solutions which best serve them in doing so.

Some of the users’ goals are functional; they want to get their thing done. Equally important are emotional and social goals. Emotional goals are involved with how the user wants to feel while striving for the functional goal, while social goals deal with how the user wants to be seen by others.

True user insight is best achieved by observing and deep-dive interviewing users — not just to identify the challenges they are facing with current solutions, but to discover and understand the ultimate goals they are striving to achieve.

The most successful products and services are perfect matches for the users’ functional, emotional and social goals.

Don't get stuck in the past —
aim for the future

Understanding the present is only the starting point. A successful solution meets the users’ goals optimally, not just now, but also in the future.

Megatrends and trends are constantly evolving forces that are shaping the future. Making a solution future-proof requires an analysis of not only how these forces affect your industry, but also how they interact with the users’ functional, emotional and social goals.

Sustainability and digitalization are examples of future-shaping forces. Even now, there are hardly any industries which are unaffected by them, but the effects will be more profound in the future. Understanding these effects enables creating future scenarios which can be backcast into a roadmap into the future.

To understand the directions into which the trends are driving the users’ behavior is to be successful in the future. This is what the DESIGN PUZZLE™ is all about.

A winning solution is
designed holistically

Focusing on improving your current solution can only lead to incremental development. Focusing on what your competitors are doing is no better — by doing so, you are positioning yourself as a follower, not a leader.

True innovation requires adopting a solution-agnostic and holistic stance to design. In a world of infinite opportunities, what would be the ideal solution for the users in question, now and in the future? It is unlikely to be what you or your competitors already have. So what then: would it be a product or a service — or a combination thereof?

The DESIGN PUZZLE™ provides tools for adopting an out-of-the-box stance to design. Using it, holistic product-service offerings that match the users’ goals can be created.

A great user-centered innovation is
viable and feasible

A user-centered approach is the natural path to successful innovation. There can be no viable business if the user is not interested in the product or service. Likewise, there is no point in investing in technology unless the solution can support a viable business model.

Starting R&D efforts from technology development is a common, yet dangerous practise. The later the true goals of the users are taken into account, the more expensive the changes will be.

The DESIGN PUZZLE™ utilizes established tools for converting the users’ goals into a desirable value proposition and further into a viable business model. A technological solution is then developed for supporting the goals and the business model.

The Six Steps of the

  1. Understand the Users’ Goals: Observe and deep-dive interview your users. What are they ultimately striving to achieve — functionally, emotionally, and socially?
  2. Explore Future Opportunities. Identify the trends that are shaping the future of your industry. Find out how they interact with the users’ goals.
  3. Draw a Future Roadmap. Build scenarios which the describe the future of your industry. Backcast a roadmap from the future into the present.
  4. Design a Holistic Solution. Design a product-service solution which is a perfect match for the goals of the users — now and in the future.
  5. Build a Viable Business Model: Convert the goals of the users and your solution into a desirable value proposition. Build a business model around it.
  6. Select Technology Enablers: Explore and select feasible technologies which enable and support your business model.

Taking the Guesswork Out of R&D

Don't Let Your Competitors Pass You By

Designing for the Future

Think Differently – Think Holistically

Avoid Failures & Late Changes

Are you ready to take the Design Puzzle™ into use?

As the creators of the Design Puzzle™ toolkit, and with 50 years and 4000 projects worth of experience in innovation projects, ED Design is here to help you.

We can walk you through the entire process, conducting user studies, facilitating workshops and creating radical designs.

After completing the Design Puzzle™, we can continue with normal R&D activities. Our services include Industrial Design, Service Design, UX Design, and Mechanical Design.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information!

Do you want to learn the Design Puzzle™ yourself?

We offer individual training sessions for companies in different industries to help them learn to use the Design Puzzle™ on their own.

Training sessions can be tailored to address the toolbox in varying detail. Short trainings of a few hours will give an overview about the Design Puzzle™, while longer sessions of up to three days include detailed instructions, real-world examples and hands-on exercises.

All sessions can be conducted remotely.

Contact us and we will offer training that exactly meets your needs!


  • User-centered innovation
  • Future foresight
  • New business models
  • Vision & strategy
  • Radical innovations
  • Brand building

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