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Don't think harder, think smarter: Bringing Design and Systems Thinking together

Design Thinking and Systems Thinking

We see them every day; stories of failed start-ups, digital transformation flops and customer experience fails - successful digital products are incredibly hard to achieve.

Iva Johan, Chief Strategy Officer, and Steph Marques, Head of UX have been featured in Creative Salon Worldwide, and believe they understand one of the reasons why.

They believe “All too often design and product led teams are over indexing in their Design Thinking approaches to solving problems, and at the other end of the spectrum, operations and business led teams are leaning too heavily into a Systems Thinking approach.”

When working with Cadbury on reimagining their website, combining the two thinking styles allowed us to take our original brief from what was a simple website redesign, to unlocking real opportunities by defining a new purpose for the website in the wider ecosystem.

In the case of our work with Italy specialist Citalia it’s been important to think of their business as a system, to make sure that the optimization work we do is feeding into what the business is trying to achieve.

We have a duty to mix both ways of thinking in order to give the products and services we create the greatest chance of being successful.

Read the article in full here: Don't Think Harder, Think Smarter: Bringing Design And Systems Thinking Together

Venn diagram showing two circles that overlap - left circle representing Design Thinking, and right circle representing Systems Thinking



With over 15 years of experience in launching new digital products and platforms, working with notable brands such as Three, Qantas, Ford, University of Liverpool, and The Body Coach, Iva has established herself as a seasoned professional in the digital industry.

Having worked in diverse team structures, both in-house and in agencies, she thrives when her teams are encouraged to think creatively and deliver impactful customer experiences.

Passionate about delivering value to users and organisations and making a difference in the community, Iva combines her expertise in strategy, transformation, research, business design, psychology and product management to shape, develop, and launch successful products and services.

Iva Johan
Steph Marques



Steph has over 10 years experience of finding ways to bring business, customer and technology together into products and services that deliver and delight.

She has worked with clients such as O2 on their digital transformation and innovation, Domino’s on their ecommerce platforms and Saga on their website ecosystem redesign.

Steph is passionate about Diversity & Inclusion, and leads the Accessibility Collective at Bernadette - evangelising and training the team in accessible design and development.

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Got a creative business challenge that’s looking for a breakthrough idea? Or, perhaps you’re interested in joining our collective of digital pioneers? Maybe you just want to know a little more about what we do. In any case, we’d love to hear from you.