"You leave equipped with not only basic understandings of how to approach a product or service design but also with concrete tools that can help you with that. Definitely a strongly recommended to follow course." Kasia Nowak - Nexperia (former participant)

Learn how to make a product that customers really want.

At FEI, they once had the dream of building a small and inexpensive electron microscope, for example, for schools or small businesses. That initiated the development of the Phenom. A technical tour de force, there was no question about that. However, the big challenge was how to sell an electron microscope to people who have never thought about it before. How do you find them and how do you reach them?

At first, they just tried it with an internet site and e-mails to lists obtained from the Chamber of Commerce. When these efforts failed to bear fruit, they decided to put a lot more work into it, including going to the events where the target group met and presenting themselves in the magazines the targeted users read. Their main conclusion: things would have gone a lot smoother if they had known how to go about it. They had searched for parties who had gone through a similar process but found no one who could help them.

The story of the Phenom isn’t an isolated one. It’s a familiar phenomenon in the high-tech industry: companies trying to sell a technical marvel to potential customers who have never thought about it before and who are unaware of its possibilities. Of course, you can ‘just’ go and build something and then market it. But why would anyone buy something if they don’t know what they can gain from it?

Alternatively, you could seek out those same potential customers first, as they eventually did at FEI. You could ask them what they’re up against. You could inquire about their needs, about what would help them in their daily work. That way you can build something that really solves something and therefore can be sold more quickly.

In practice, this approach turns out to work a lot faster with more chances of successful product and service launches. The time savings and increased success rate can benefit any organization.

The great thing is: the approach can be learned. The Customer-Centric Systems Design training provides you with the tools to create a product that customers really want by using the Design Thinking method. FEI could have saved a lot of time and effort with it.

Source: Article (NL) Bits & Chips: 'Laaglandse hightech op les bij Apple'.

This training is available for in-company sessions and can be adapted to your situation and special needs.


After the training you will be able to:

  • get to the heart of a business/innovation challenge, using effective communication techniques;
  • gain insight into the motives, frictions and needs of the end user;
  • use practical and pattern-breaking creative thinking techniques, to easily come up with original solutions;
  • translate ideas into product or service concepts and visualize them;
  • recognize the value of the approach to their organization.

Intended for

This course is intended for system architects, product managers and project managers.

Start date In-company only
Duration 1 day
Price per participant € 480 excl. VAT *
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  • Welcome/check-in/introduction
  • Background innovation, business creativity and Design Thinking
  • Hands-on with empathy – phase 1: stakeholders
  • Hands-on with empathy – phase 2: conversation design
  • Hands-on with definition – formulating and choosing user statements
  • Mindset yes and yes but
  • Hands-on with idea generation – thinking techniques
  • Hands-on with conceptualizing & prototyping
  • Hands-on with pitching & testing
  • Team pitches
  • Closing/reflection


Applying Design Thinking means constant learning, letting go of existing patterns and testing new solutions. It is a non-linear method in which the joint result is more important than the correct sequence of process steps. It is also a short-cyclical method. The point is to gain high quality insights from the right stakeholders as soon as possible. These insights are then tested, validated and adjusted again. You repeat this a number of times. This way you quickly find the right solution for your customers.

Many hands-on individual and group exercises and finally a presentation. 


Participants will receive a High Tech Institute course certificate for attending this training. 

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Remarks from participants

"Due to Rex's enthusiasm, energy and practical approach, the course was extremely fun, but also valuable for any kind of design work."

Tina Bartulovic - Sioux Technologies

"You leave equipped with not only basic understandings of how to approach a product or service design but also with concrete tools that can help you with that. Definitely a strongly recommended to follow course."

Kasia Nowak - Nexperia