Suomeksi | På svenska | Text version | Page map | Feedback | Contact information Advanced Search
Larger text Smaller text
työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö

Design is a user-driven innovation policy instrument

Design has become an important strategic instrument in user-driven innovation policy. Design holds a key role in the innovation process, since studies have shown that enterprises investing in design are more innovative than others. In a user-driven approach, the relationship between design, innovations and competitiveness becomes emphasised; in such cases design can be regarded as a bridge between the supplier of the product or service and the user. Therefore, design strengthens the dialogue within the innovation process. For a company, the strategic utilisation of design creates a competitive advantage.


There are differences in the degree to which various sectors and enterprises of various size utilise design, but SMEs and the service sector have many opportunities to employ design. A user-driven innovation policy encourages the use of design by enterprises at strategic level and in the renewal of public services.


In recent years, the definition of design has been expanded to emphasise its potential as an integrator of various perspectives. The approach to design is also more comprehensive than before and the areas in which it can be employed more varied.


Design is a multidisciplinary way of solving problems

Design is an all-embracing activity, following a special methodology and going through various phases, including research, planning, modelling, testing and potential redesign. Design is more than giving a product or a service a stylish final touch.


Design offers a multidisciplinary point of view with whose help many different approaches can be taken into account simultaneously, including functionality, ergonomics, visual appearance, usability, product safety, environmental viewpoints, cost-efficiency, or intangible values such as brand. It can be said that, in product development, the professional boundaries between designers and other developers are torn down.


Design is employed in products, services, systems and environments

Design can be employed in private and public services and town planning. By means of service design, solutions can be sought, for instance, for public service renewal, in which case application areas might include health and wellbeing services or administrative services. Design can also concern entire systems, integrating physical parts, digital contents, interaction and online services. Business innovations too can be based on the exploitation of design.


Page last updated: 13.03.2014

Further information

Katri Lehtonen