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Design thinking methods (2G & 3D)

Of course, the method described above is only part of the cake. As a brand, you must also use the necessary methodology to convert this way of thinking into usable and correct input. And the latter is not unimportant: correct input. You can throw the most fantastic ideas on the table through brainstorms and so-called ideation, but they are all worthless if your target group does not understand a word of it at the end of the ride. So just test. It is for this reason that we at Maquina have created the 5G & 3D approach:

  1. Goal
  2. Goal audience
  3. Domain
  4. Distribution
  5. Design

This 5D approach has proven to be an excellent guideline for just about every briefing we get pushed under our noses. The elements in this list are also deliberately placed in this order. They help us step by step to define the goals, hopes and dreams of a brand, product, service or organization and thus arrive at targeted solutions.


Logically, determining the objective of a campaign is the most essential question that should emerge from the briefing. The objective will also strongly influence the nature of the campaign and the final tools delivered. Are we going to raise awareness or promote commercially? Should new or existing markets be addressed? Does the customer make decisions based on emotional or rational parameters? Each and every one of these elements is necessary information for us as your creative partner.

Goal audience

Once we have defined the goal of the marketing action or campaign, we look at who the intended target group is. By creating and describing personas , we map out who is potentially interested in the product or service and what characterizes that specific person. In some cases we are talking about ten personas, in other campaigns only one. For example, a specific persona could be a mobile visitor to your website. Or a professional mobile visitor to your website. Or a professional mobile visitor to your website who is at a trade fair where you are present with a stand.

It is best to work out the different target groups as detailed as possible, but not too detailed. To make it easy. For each element we ask ourselves ‘does this parameter make an essential difference in the approach of this target group?’.

Do we know enough about this target group? Or do we think we know? Nothing is more difficult than getting into the mindset of a 6 year old. So, test. Can that cool billy, our six-year-old test object, easily handle the app on a touchscreen? Or does he think it’s just a boring idea? Does he recognize all clickable zones?

User tests, panel discussions and monitoring provide you with irrefutable results. The user never lies.


In which domain is your service, product or company active? Is this a very broad market, such as FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), or a very specific niche market? Of course, not only your own position is important here, but also that of your competitors. Are we facing a highly competitive market, or are you firmly positioned as a market leader. It is especially important that you can keep your promises as a brand here. Can you walk the talk?


Based on the objective, target audience and domain that have now been determined, the brainstorming session can gradually begin. There is one more parameter that is often added in the course of the brainstorm because it is highly dependent on the idea. The distribution: how do we get this plan or idea to the intended target group. How do we package this information in the most efficient way? Will static images suffice as an advertisement or do we need an audio-visual reminder?

Design, finally!

You see it right. Design with a slab serif is only the last step in the process of design thinking. Only when the strategy and the idea have been properly determined do we get to work with pencil, markers and drawing tablet. No designing before this point, except for a few lonely doodles and sketches.

It should be clear: in the search for a creative concept, we do not blindly jump behind our screens to start designing like an artist kissed by his muse. We go through the briefing step by step, question certainties and also dare to mercilessly throw our ideas into the trash. Once the strategy is ready , we can devote ourselves fully to the design work. And make no mistake, that’s still why we throw open the door of our office every day with a smile. Use Geometric Fonts to give extra finish.

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