Conference article

Measuring the impact of design, service design and design thinking in organizations on different maturity levels

Tua A. Björklund
Aalto University Design Factory, Finland

Pia Hannukainen
OP Financial Group, Finland

Tuomas Manninen
OP Financial Group, Finland

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Published in: ServDes2018. Service Design Proof of Concept, Proceedings of the ServDes.2018 Conference, 18-20 June, Milano, Italy

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 150:40, p. 500-511

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Published: 2018-07-05

ISBN: 978-91-7685-237-8

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


While there is increasing interest in design, isolating its effects in compound results is challenging. Indeed, several studies point to practitioners struggling in finding appropriate metrics for their needs. We review extant design, service design and design thinking literature, mapping metrics to the different levels of design utilization in organizations suggested by the Danish Design Ladder. Our mapping reveals a particularly pronounced lack in appropriate measures at the final level of design as strategy. Furthermore, we identified extant metrics to reflect two groups of external evaluations – market and customer reactions – and four groups of internal evaluations of outcomes and operations. Moving on to more extensive or mature levels in design utilization, the emphasis on and variety of internal metrics were found to increase. Our illustrative case study of measuring design outcomes at OP Financial Group suggests this may be due to a shift in the aim of measurement from overall legitimatization to more nuanced development.


design, design thinking, service design, metrics, design utilization, organizational maturity, legitimatization, development, The Design Ladder


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