Published on 2022-12-08

Discover our new design process: Directioning

As designers, we can’t help but tinker. Especially when it comes to our own business, we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our offerings, from major steps like a total rebrand in 2020 to smaller but important steps like team development workshops. 


Continually assessing ourselves and our process, we decided it was time to officially add a 5th ‘D’ to our process of Dig, Define, Design and Develop. But while this new ‘D’ will now become an official addition, it is actually something we’ve been providing for years, just without the branding it. Now with more brands coming to us for this kind of key insight and actionable research, we decided it was time to make it official. 

So here, we want to introduce you to our newest Design Process: Directioning

Not every project starts with directioning, but every project that does is set up for success. Designed for clients just starting out, or clients who want to do something new, in this phase we use workshops, market and brand research and design sprints to determine what kind of product a brand should make or what kind of brand they should be.

Leveraging industry know-how and conscious planning, we dig, define, design and develop your product as an extension of your team.


In this phase, we dig up, rather than simply assume, what the problem is. This involves understanding your business, brand, users and technology. But, we also take time to speak to people who are directly affected by the problem at hand and experts who have key insight.


With the insight from the digging phase in hand, we will help you define the challenge. By narrowing down our insights to establish the project’s main objectives, we will steer you past ‘interesting’ ideas and take you on the twists and turns that lead you to fresh and exciting opportunities.


We’re blurring the lines between you and our team. Through consistent collaboration and in-studio workshops with designers, users, partners and you, we’ll have open discussions and exchange ideas that spark innovative solutions. To bring us closer to the final product, our team also builds prototypes. This gives us the opportunity to discover intuitive appeal, test customer experience, foresee obstacles and design solutions more quickly.


We don’t just design a product, we help you make it a reality. MODYN will step in as your engineers or work alongside your in-house engineering team to refine the model, liaise with manufacturing, streamline elements and ensure the character of the product remains intact throughout production. 

Great question. At first glance, the two might seem similar. But Digging is always around a product, whereas the Design Process: Directioning is about creating context for an abstract product idea. For example, if a client comes to us saying they need help designing a children’s bike we would start with the digging phase, helping the client define their positioning in the market, and assessing the current technology, where the market is at, how they’re being used right now, and so on.

But, if a client came to us asking to help them expand their current product line into the children’s market, we would start with Directioning. In this case, the client needs help defining what kind of product would work well for their brand — and we would take everything into consideration, from their current manufacturing process to their market position and what holes they might be able to fill in the market. In the Directioning phase, we steer the client toward a product direction type that will work for them. 

Proven examples on the market today


Expert Guidance for Success

Directioning has been a service we’ve provided for years. Sometimes we build brands from the ground up. Other times, we define a new design identity or validate ideas. Unlike creative agencies with lofty ideas and no real plans, our expertise as product designers gives you real insight.

Real Insight and Actionable Results

We set you off in the right direction with the right product to bring to market in the near future. The results from our Directioning phase are always tangible and actionable. As a mobility design agency, we provide unparalleled insight and expertise into your new mobility product or brand.

After Design Process: Directioning

From Directioning, our team can stay on board through the rest of the phases. These include Digging, Defining, Designing, and Developing. Below, we highlight a few of our biggest Directioning success stories, which we’ve had the pleasure of seeing through until the end.

By understanding our Design Process: Directioning, you can appreciate the value of our expert guidance and the tangible results we deliver.

Well-known in the Netherlands for its high-quality kid’s products, like trampolines and go-karts, BERG Toys approached us to help them create a new toy and enter a new market. But while BERG has had a lot of success designing their own products, when it came to the scooter, they admittedly got a bit stuck. There wasn’t a lack of ideas and designs, but direction. So MODYN came in to help BERG steer the initial design process through Directioning, using a series of design sprints to get the ideas flowing, alongside a deep dive into the scooter market to determine how BERG could really make its mark. 

Starting in the Directioning Phase

The Yepp is undoubtedly our most iconic product ever. It started in the Directioning phase. When GMG CEO Michel Krechting approached us, his company had been making children’s bike seats for decades. But Krechting wanted to create a novel product that would reposition them as market leaders.

Design Process: Directioning

In the Directioning phase, we helped Krechting and his team define the product and its market impact. At the time, children’s bike seats were bulky, heavy, and uncomfortable. We aimed to create something safe, lightweight, and comfortable while being innovative and design-forward.

Innovative Design Process

Working with GMG throughout the entire design process, we created the Yepp Original. Made from lightweight, supportive, and colorful EVA material, it was a major market innovation unmatched at the time.

Market Success

The Yepp Original gave parents an option where form truly met function. It quickly became the best-selling child’s bike seat in the world. This success story highlights the power of the Directioning phase in developing market-leading products.

Expanding into the Bus Market

As a successful family-run conglomerate, VDL has an ambitious legacy across various industries. In 1993, they began expanding their portfolio, acquiring and consolidating five different bus companies over a decade.

Partnering with MODYN

In 2008, VDL approached MODYN to help them enter the bus market as a cohesive, innovative, and market-challenging brand. While we knew buses were the end product, we had the opportunity to start from scratch.

Designing a New Identity

MODYN designed VDL Bus & Coach’s corporate brand identity and design DNA. We helped them quickly become industry innovators. The foundation established during our Directioning phase provided a roadmap for a 10+ year strategic partnership.

Achieving Market Leadership

We developed both public transport buses and luxury coaches, designing innovative solutions along the way. Our efforts helped VDL capture market leadership in the electric bus segment.

By understanding the strategic partnership between VDL and MODYN, we see the power of a well-executed Directioning phase. This collaboration has driven VDL’s success in the bus industry.

Get in touch with Ruben, Maarten or Gert-Jan today to learn more about the Directioning process and how it can boost your business. 

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