Morten Winther

Design approach

I believe in design driven by empathy and insights.

Through iterative and design-driven processes, I help businesses and organizations by transforming empathic user insights into strong experiences that are technologically feasible and strategically viable.

To me, product design is

  • asking "why?" and other big questions.
  • building meaningful and useful products for people.
  • navigating between user needs, strategic business goals, and product development.
  • being intentional about design decisions based on insights.
  • planning and facilitating collaborative, creative processes.
  • part of the entire process from planning, through ideation to implementation.

User research and product design goes hand in hand

The core of design is empathy for the people we are designing for. The best way for me to gain empathy for users is through interaction, conversation, and observation. That is, through first-hand encounters with people. Rooted in the Scandinavian design tradition, I perform user research from an empathic and holistic point-of-view. I involve users (and other stakeholders) throughout the design process to inspire, inform, and validate design decisions.
To me, user research is about uncovering the stories that will inspire, qualify and argue for design decisions. To do this, I have a toolbox filled with qualitative methods that I use to uncover user needs. I am genuinely curious about people's experiences, frustrations, and motivations. I love to combine ethnographic methods with workshops and other types of experiments that will unlock people's creativity.

My toolbox of qualitative methods is based on

  • understanding people's lived lives and their experiences.
  • experience from 1500+ individual interviews.
  • award-nominated design research based on in-situ observations.
  • holistic attention to the entire user journey.
  • user testing and continuous user involvement.

Iterative and insight-driven concept development

I develop strong and exciting concepts through iterative sketching, prototyping and user involvement. I am a strong believer in insight-driven design, where insights are used to improve concepts and product ideas throughout the process. Insights can be anything that informs design decisions: User needs, business requirements, or technological limitations.
I am a firm believer in externalizing ideas to share and collaborate with others. I use anything from quick doodles and sketches to high-fidelity prototypes to invite stakeholders, decision-makers, or users to help qualify the design work.

To develop concepts I use

  • pen & paper to sketch and ideate.
  • detailed wireframes with attention to content and microcopy.
  • interactive prototypes to test flows with users.
  • storyboards or other narratives to convey user empathy.

Collaboration and stakeholder involvement are cornerstones in my practice

To me, involvement of stakeholders is essential in design processes. Relevant stakeholders can be decision makers, customer service staff, IT architects, developers, or other designers. Co-creation workshops can be a great way to both draw out essential insights across disciplines as well as for making sure that the project in well-anchored in the organization. To me, stakeholder workshops are less about coming up with the perfect concepts – and much more about uncovering essential insights and contradictions through creative exercises. The format of my workshops is tailored to the purpose, but will often include a presentation of user perspectives or other relevant insights to frame the work followed by group work, discussions and presentations. I have also had success with using a workshop to facilitate a heated discussion between two disagreeing organizations.