Can early stage design really help companies scale up and grow?

Posted on: 13/05/2019

The Design in Innovation team at KTN has been working with a wide range of companies across the UK. Last updated 27th June.


Through the Design Foundations funding, the Design in Innovation team at KTN has been working with a wide range of companies across the UK looking at how design techniques can help companies refine their ideas and create new opportunities to scale up and grow.


Last updated: 27.06.19


Nuron Case Study

Nuron in partnership with UsCreates defined its user journey, creating a sophisticated user-interface prototype to monitor wastewater flow in realtime:

Having identified the current pressures on wastewater systems in the UK, nuron devised a sensing technology that allows the monitoring of wastewater flow in real-time.

Once they understood the pain point for wastewater companies nuron could have strategic conversations with them on how real-time, dense data enables the transformation the industry is looking for. This is where Uscreates and the Design Foundations funding came in. By teaming up with a service design company like Uscreates, nuron were able to develop a more sophisticated user-interface prototype than they previously thought possible.

Read the Case Study here.

LettUsGrow Case Study

Early Stage design thinking helped create a clear value proposition for aeroponic farming technology company LettUsGrow:

Addressing the environmental issues of air transport of goods world-wide, Lettus Grow have set out to provide that local urban farming using aeroponic technology can produce food at higher yields, lower costs, with a significantly lower carbon footprint.  Lettus Grow, through the Design Foundations were able to work with local designers Crux to explore the indoor farming market to see where their product could fit.

Read the Case Study here.

Becoco Case Study

Using human centred design to reduce waste in online shopping returns:

Online shopping results in a high proportion of people who buy online often returning a significant proportion of their purchase due to ill fitting garments. Becoco provides a personalised fashion styling service that retailers can integrate into their platform. With the help of Design Foundations funding Becoco teamed up with Untapped Innovation to explore how human-centred design strategy could help to bring this data-driven styling technology to market.

Read the Case Study here.

Safetynet Technologies Case Study

Using design to develop a clear value proposition:

With fish stocks under threat from the over-fishing of our seas and fishing crews under pressure from new regulations, Safetynet Technologies are working to alleviate stress on both sides with their illuminated fishing nets. Less endangered and juvenile fish caught up in the nets means reduced waste in the fishing industry and the preservation of fish stocks for future generations.

Read the Case Study here.

Immaterial Case Study

How Design Foundations funding helped Immaterial market their gas storage technology:

Immaterial had found an alternative technique for storing and separating gas which is much more effective than previous methods.

Immaterial teamed up with Rapid Innovation Group (RIG) to find new ways of scaling their product and create a watertight business case.

Read the Case Study here.

Qumodo Case Study

Advancing human and AI interaction:

Former police detective Ben Gancz’s experience of using clunky technology in law enforcement left him feeling there was a better way. With the help of the Design Foundations funding, Qumodo has now developed an image search platform specifically for police investigations which is not only easy and intuitive to use, but also reduces psychological distress for detectives working on sensitive cases such as child protection. Qumodo marries psychology, AI, and human-centred design, to optimise collaboration between humans and machines.

Read the Case Study here.

How Do I? Case Study

Using human centred design to create individualised solutions for those living with dementia:

As a company dedicated to helping people learn how do things using mobile technology, How do I? developed a project called Living Well to improve the lives of people living with dementia. With the help of the Design Foundations funding they teamed up with design agency Humanly and, together, they set about designing, prototyping and testing appropriate learning tools. Read the full case study here.


If your business is facing customer experience challenges and want to talk to someone about using design thinking to tackle that challenge, talk to Jake from the Design in Innovation team at KTN.

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