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The Power of Design Thinking – Unleashing McKinsey Design Rules

Introduction to McKinsey Design Thinking

Design thinking has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses to innovate and solve complex problems. We can uncover unique insights and develop innovative solutions by incorporating empathy, creativity, and experimentation into our McKinsey design process. This positively impacts our clients’ businesses and drives meaningful change worldwide. Through our commitment to design thinking, we aim to unleash the full potential of McKinsey Design and continue to drive growth and success for our clients.


5 amazing tips to optimize slide design for successful business consulting meetingsMcKinsey Design Principle - Consistency

McKinsey Design Principle – Consistency

Optimizing slide design is a crucial aspect of creating effective presentations. A well-designed slide can capture the audience’s attention and convey the message clearly and concisely. To achieve this, it is essential to carefully consider the layout, colors, fonts, and images used in the slides. The design should be visually appealing and consistent with the overall theme of the presentation.

Keeping the content on the slides concise and organized is essential, avoiding clutter and excessive text. By optimizing slide design, presenters can enhance the impact of their message and effectively engage their audience.

1️⃣ Using uncomplicated methods for improving the design process
  • Efficiency and simplicity are vital components in any successful design process.
  • By utilizing uncomplicated methods, designers can streamline their workflow and produce high-quality designs promptly.
  • One way to achieve this is using design software with user-friendly interfaces and intuitive tools.
  • This makes the design process easier and more enjoyable for the designer and allows quicker and more accurate iterations.
  • Incorporating user feedback and conducting thorough research can significantly improve the design process.
  • By keeping things simple, designers can focus on creating effective and impactful designs that meet the needs of their clients and users.
2️⃣ The Significance of elegance in Visual Presentation

Elegance is crucial in visual presentation, as it conveys a sense of sophistication and professionalism.

  • The significance of elegance lies in its ability to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the presentation and make it visually appealing.
  • It adds a touch of refinement and class, elevating the content and message.
  • A well-designed and elegant visual presentation can also instill a sense of trust and credibility in the presenter, making the audience more receptive to the presented information.
  • In a competitive business world, elegant visual presentation is a must for effectively communicating ideas and leaving a lasting impact on the audience.
3️⃣ Importance of slide sequencing and visual storytelling in slide designMcKinsey Design Principle - Storytelling

McKinsey Design Principle – Storytelling

  • Effective slide sequencing and visual storytelling are crucial in creating impactful and engaging presentations.
  • A well-planned sequence of slides can guide the audience through the narrative and keep them engaged throughout the presentation.
  • This helps to ensure that the key messages are conveyed in a clear and organized manner.
  • Moreover, incorporating visual storytelling techniques such as using relevant images, videos, and graphics can make the presentation more visually appealing and memorable.
  • This not only helps in capturing the audience’s attention but also aids in conveying complex information in a simple and easy-to-understand manner.
  • In today’s fast-paced world, where attention spans are short, mastering the art of slide sequencing and visual storytelling is essential for successful presentations.
4️⃣ Highlight the Significance of Data VisualizationMcKinsey Design Principle - Data Visualization

McKinsey Design Principle – Data Visualization

  • Popular data visualization tools that can save you time and effort.
  • Choose the right charts and graphs for different data types to maximize impact and understanding.
  • Advanced data visualization techniques used by industry leaders to create visually stunning and impactful presentations.
5️⃣ Techniques for Establishing a Cohesive Image Across Multiple Platforms

Establishing a cohesive image across multiple platforms is crucial for any business or brand, as it helps maintain consistency and reinforces the overall message and identity. Applying elements and principles of design brings design consistency. Consistent branding elements such as logo, color scheme, and typography are essential in the design process. This creates a sense of design familiarity and helps customers easily recognize and associate with the brand.

  • Maintaining a consistent tone and voice throughout all communication channels, whether social media, website, or marketing materials.
  • Ensures the brand’s message is clear and cohesive, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.
  • Regularly review and update all platforms to maintain relevance and consistency.

These techniques are crucial in establishing a strong and cohesive image across multiple platforms.


4 useful tips for consistent branding in McKinsey design style

Branding is a crucial aspect in the world of consulting slide decks. It is not just about creating visually appealing presentations but also about creating a solid and consistent brand image for the consulting firm. Be it any business, it is essential to ensure that your brand is presented consistently across all platforms and touchpoints. Be it a logo, business emblem, color scheme, online,  and offline marketing collateral, all of your design assets should be aligned to your branding for better reach. 

A well-crafted slide deck can be a powerful tool for establishing a firm’s credibility and expertise. Every element must align with the brand’s identity and values, from the color scheme and font choices to the overall design and layout. Incorporating the firm’s logo, tagline, and messaging throughout the slides can help reinforce the brand design. In today’s competitive consulting market, following your branding in slide decks ensures to build a reputation for your branding design. 

1️⃣ The Importance of Understanding and Defining Brand IdentityMcKinsey Design Principle - Brand Identity

McKinsey Design Principle – Brand Identity

Brand identity is a crucial aspect of any successful business. It encompasses a brand’s core values, mission, and visual representation and serves as the foundation for all marketing efforts. Understanding and defining brand identity is essential as it allows a company to differentiate itself from competitors and create a unique and memorable image in the minds of consumers.

A well-defined brand identity also helps to establish trust and credibility with customers, leading to increased brand loyalty and, ultimately, business success. With a clear understanding and definition of brand identity, a company can avoid appearing inconsistent and confusing to consumers, hindering its potential for growth and success.

2️⃣ Starting with a Solid Foundation of Brand Guidelines

Starting with a solid foundation of brand guidelines is essential for any business looking to establish a strong and cohesive brand identity. These guidelines serve as a roadmap for visual design elements and principles to be followed for consistent branding both in online and offline marketing activities. It includes details on logo usage, color palettes, typography, and tone of voice. By adhering to these guidelines, businesses can ensure that their design for brands effectively communicates its values and offerings to its target audience.

3️⃣ Training your team – adhering to branding

Training your team is essential for ensuring that they adhere to branding guidelines. By providing comprehensive training, you can equip your team members with the knowledge and skills necessary to consistently represent your brand effectively. This training should cover various aspects, such as the brand’s mission, values, and visual identity. Team members must understand the brand’s personality, voice, and desired customer experience.

4️⃣ Monitoring and adjusting

Monitoring and adjusting are vital in any endeavor, whether personal, professional, or academic. By continuously monitoring our progress, we can identify any potential issues or areas of improvement. This allows us to make necessary adjustments to stay on track and achieve our goals. Whether it’s monitoring our health and well-being, tracking the performance of a project, or evaluating our academic progress, being aware of our status enables us to take proactive measures.


We have seen how to optimize consulting slide design and the importance of branding in consulting slide decks. Let us dive deep into McKinsey’s design approach in the following pages.

7 creative ideas to embrace the value of the McKinsey design approach

The McKinsey design approach for consulting slide decks has become a fundamental tool for successful communication in the consulting industry. This approach emphasizes clear and concise visual aids focusing on data-driven insights and recommendations. It enables consultants to effectively convey complex information and ideas to clients and stakeholders in a compelling and organized manner.

McKinsey’s design approach promotes a structured and logical flow of information, allowing for efficient and cohesive presentations. By incorporating this approach into their slide decks, consultants can enhance their credibility and professionalism, ultimately leading to more impactful and successful client engagements.

In today’s competitive business landscape, the importance of utilizing the McKinsey design approach for consulting slide decks cannot be overstated.

Understanding the design values of these slide decks is crucial for effectively conveying information to clients and stakeholders. Clarity is one of the critical design values of McKinsey-style consulting slide decks. Each slide should have a clear and concise message, and the overall flow of the presentation should be easy to follow.

1️⃣ McKinsey design index

The McKinsey Design Index focuses on the principles and practices of design thinking within the context of business and strategy. Comprehensive understanding of how design can be used as a strategic tool to drive innovation, improve customer experience, and enhance overall business performance.

This covers the aspects of user-centered design, prototyping, design research, and design strategy and by applying them, you can come up with professional designs.

2️⃣ McKinsey design jobs – skill sets, creativity

McKinsey design jobs require a unique combination of skills and creativity. As a global leader in management consulting, McKinsey values individuals who possess a strong understanding of business strategy and practically applying them in creative designing process. Designers at McKinsey must have a keen eye for detail and be able to effectively communicate their ideas visually.

They must be well-versed in various design software and possess a strong understanding of design principles. Collaboration and teamwork are essential skills, as McKinsey designers often work closely with clients and colleagues to bring innovative solutions to complex business problems.

3️⃣ McKinsey’s design thinking approach for problem solving 

McKinsey’s approach to design thinking is a powerful tool for businesses looking to drive innovation and solve complex problems. At its core, design thinking is a human-centered approach that focuses on understanding the needs and behaviors of end-users to develop meaningful and practical solutions.

This process involves a deep empathy for the user, collaborative brainstorming, rapid prototyping, and continuous iteration. By prioritizing the user experience and leveraging diverse perspectives, design thinking allows organizations to create products, services, and strategies that truly resonate with their target audience. McKinsey’s expertise in design thinking has helped numerous companies across industries to stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional value to their customers.

4️⃣ McKinsey design to value

McKinsey Design to Value is a strategic framework to help organizations create customer-centric, value-driven products and services. This approach combines design thinking with business strategy to ensure that products and services meet customer needs and provide a competitive advantage in the market. By incorporating customer insights and data-driven analysis, McKinsey Design to Value enables businesses to make informed product development, pricing, and delivery decisions.

Numerous companies have successfully implemented this framework across various industries, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, improved profitability, and sustained growth. With its focus on creating value for customers and companies, McKinsey Design to Value is a powerful tool for organizations looking to stay ahead in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

5️⃣ McKinsey design for value

McKinsey design for value is a strategic approach that aims to maximize value creation for businesses by integrating design principles and processes into their operations. This approach emphasizes understanding the needs and preferences of customers, as well as identifying areas where design can enhance the overall value proposition of a product or service. By incorporating design thinking and methods, McKinsey helps organizations create innovative and customer-centric solutions that drive growth and profitability.

6️⃣ What is McKinsey design thinking report?

The McKinsey Design Thinking report comprehensively overviews the popular design thinking methodology and its application in various industries. It was published by the renowned global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and is based on extensive research and case studies. The report delves into design thinking principles and critical elements, such as empathy, ideation, and prototyping, and how they can transform businesses by fostering innovation and customer-centricity.

It also provides insights into the challenges and best practices for implementing design thinking in organizations. The McKinsey Design Thinking report is valuable for leaders, managers, and practitioners looking to leverage design thinking to drive their business forward.

7️⃣ McKinsey design leadership

McKinsey design leadership is a highly esteemed and influential approach to driving organizational success through innovative design thinking. With a strong emphasis on collaboration and creative problem-solving, McKinsey design leadership empowers businesses to stay ahead of the curve and continuously evolve in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.


Having covered the idea of McKinsey design leadership, it is time to look into the charts and graphs extensively used in any consulting slide decks. The importance of data visualization using charts and graphs cannot be overstated. We will also look into the think-cell plugin and how it shapes the data visualization for consulting slide decks.

Understanding the importance of data and visualizing them in charts

Data is the foundation of any successful business decision. It provides the necessary insights and analysis to understand trends, patterns, and performance. However, raw data can be challenging to comprehend and easily overwhelm individuals.

This is where visualizing data through charts becomes crucial. By representing data visually, complex information can be easily understood and interpreted by stakeholders. This allows for informed decision-making and enables businesses to identify opportunities and potential risks and make data-driven decisions.

Visualizing data through charts also helps identify correlations and patterns that may not be apparent in raw data. In today’s data-driven world, understanding the importance of data and utilizing charts to visualize it is essential for any organization’s success.

Why think-cell is a go after tool for consultants in building suitable charts?

Data plays a crucial role in any consulting presentation, providing directions for the current state and future projections. Having touched upon some pointers on data visualization, let us get into the transformative consulting process. Think-cell is a powerful and versatile software that offers many features specifically designed to assist consultants in building suitable charts. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive tools, think-cell allows consultants to create visually appealing and data-driven charts in just a few clicks. Its integration with Microsoft Office also makes it a convenient and efficient tool for professionals who rely heavily on PowerPoint and Excel in their consulting work.

McKinsey Design Principle - Chart Visualization

McKinsey Design Principle – Chart Visualization


Below, we give a few tips on adopting a transformative consulting process, and by applying them, businesses can see the changes reflected in the setup, working for change management.

9 Expert Tips for Transformative Consulting Process
1️⃣ Envisioning Strategic Plans

Envisioning strategic plans is an essential aspect of successful business management. It involves setting long-term goals and creating a roadmap to achieve them. To effectively envision strategic plans, one must clearly understand the company’s mission, values, and strengths. This requires thorough research and analysis of the market and competition. It also involves identifying potential risks and developing contingency plans to mitigate them. 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your organization’s internal and external environments to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Set clear, measurable goals and objectives aligning with your organization’s mission and vision.
  • Develop strategies and action plans to achieve your goals, including identifying key initiatives and allocating resources.
  • Implement effective monitoring and evaluation systems to track progress and make necessary adjustments to your strategic plan.
  • Engage stakeholders and communicate your strategic plan to ensure buy-in and support throughout the organization.

The strategic plans being created are effectively reflected in consulting slide deck designs. The action plans are conveyed into milestones and goals, spreading across the months in a particular year. This action plan can also extend to many years each year, spanning different months for each sub-goal.

Consultants use Gantt charts to represent the milestones and project progress. A Gantt chart is a project management tool that illustrates work completed over time and the time planned for the work.

2️⃣ Enfold Clarity and SimplicityMcKinsey Design Principle - Infographic

McKinsey Design Principle – Infographic

Enfold Clarity and Simplicity is a concept that prioritizes the importance of clear and concise communication in all aspects of business. In today’s fast-paced and complex world, it has become crucial for organizations to convey their message straightforwardly and understandably. Enfold Clarity and Simplicity emphasizes using simple language and visuals to convey ideas as a cool design. One can succeed by following minimalistic designs and balancing visuals and content strategy.

3️⃣ Master Think-Cell Chart Types
McKinsey Design Principle - Think-Cell Charts

McKinsey Design Principle – Think-Cell Charts

Master Think-Cell Chart Types is a comprehensive and versatile collection of chart templates designed to elevate data visualization in business presentations. With a wide range of options, from basic bar and line charts to complex waterfall and radar charts, this tool allows users to showcase their data visually appealing and impactfully effectively.

  • Create visually stunning charts – Think-cell offers eye-catching charts communicating your data and insights.
  • Customize chart elements – Explore different ways to customize chart elements, such as axis labels, data labels, colors, and fonts to match your presentation style.
  • Implement advanced chart features – Dive into advanced features like trendlines, data-driven shapes, and waterfall charts to enhance the visual impact of your presentations.
  • Incorporate interactive elements – Add interactive elements such as drill-downs and animations to engage your audience and make your data more interactive.
  • Troubleshoot common chart issues – Gain practical knowledge on troubleshooting and resolving common chart-related problems that may arise during your presentations.
4️⃣ Smart Layouts for Efficiency
  • The principles of visual hierarchy and apply them to your presentation layout.
  • Different layout techniques and when to use them, such as the grid layout, the diagonal layout, the asymmetrical layout, and the modular layout.
  • Tips for choosing the right fonts, colors, and images to enhance your layout and convey your message.
  • Create a cohesive and professional look throughout your presentation slides. 
5️⃣ Layout for Branding Consistency

Effective branding is essential for any business to stand out and establish a strong identity in a competitive market. One crucial aspect of branding is consistency, ensuring all materials and communications reflect the same image and message. To achieve this, a well-thought-out layout is vital.

  • Understand layout design principles and how they contribute to a visually appealing and consistent brand image.
  • Develop a branding style guide that includes guidelines for color schemes, typography, spacing, logo usage, and overall for consistent branding and design. 
  • Adapt your layout design for mediums like print, web, and social media while maintaining brand consistency.
  • Follow the expert tips on choosing and utilizing brand assets like logos, icons, and images effectively within your layouts to reinforce brand identity.
  • Enhance the readability and engagement of your layouts, including strategic placement of text, graphics, and whitespace.
6️⃣ Integrate Data Labels and Legends

Data labels provide specific information about the data points, such as values or categories, while legends are crucial to understanding the colors or symbols used in the visualization. By seamlessly incorporating both elements, readers can easily interpret the data and draw meaningful insights. By effectively using data labels and legends, one can convey insights and tell a compelling data story.

7️⃣ Animate with Purpose

When creating animations, it is crucial to have a clear purpose in mind. This not only helps to keep the animation focused and engaging, but it also allows for a more effective communication of ideas and concepts. Whether for entertainment, education, or marketing, animations should serve a specific purpose and convey a message to the audience.

  • Storytelling techniques – Craft compelling narratives and develop characters that resonate with your audience.
  • Visual communication – Understand design principles and how to use visual elements effectively to convey your message.
  • Timing and movement – Master the art of timing and create animations that flow seamlessly, capturing the attention of your viewers.
  • Emotion and expression – Explore techniques for animating emotions and expressions, adding depth and realism to your characters.
  • Sound and music integration – Discover how to synchronize your animations with sound effects and music to enhance the overall impact.
8️⃣ Highlight Key Takeaways

Effectively highlighting key takeaways is a crucial skill in any professional setting. It involves identifying the most critical points or lessons learned from a particular presentation, meeting, or project and succinctly summarizing them for others. By doing so, it allows for a better understanding and retention of information, as well as a clear direction for future actions.

  • The importance of identifying takeaways and how they enhance your understanding of the content.
  • Tech is crucial for effectively highlighting and summarizing key points in written texts, such as underlining, using bullet points, and writing concise summaries.
  • Strategies for extracting critical information from audio and video content, including note-taking methods and active listening techniques.
  • Organize and structure your highlighted vital takeaways to make them easily accessible for future reference.
9️⃣ Visual Hierarchy for Focus

Visual hierarchy is an essential design principle that helps to guide the viewer’s attention and create a clear focus in any visual composition. It involves organizing and prioritizing design elements based on their importance, creating a natural flow for the viewer’s eye to follow.

  • Understanding the principles of visual hierarchy – Learn about the elements that contribute to visual hierarchy, such as size, color, contrast, and placement. Gain insights into how these principles can be applied to various design projects.
  • Prioritizing information – Discover techniques for determining the most essential information and how to emphasize it visually. Learn how to create a clear visual hierarchy that guides the viewer’s attention to the critical elements of your design.
  • Creating balance and harmony – Explore strategies for achieving balance and harmony in your designs. Understand how to arrange visual elements to create a sense of order and coherence, allowing the viewer to navigate the information presented easily.
  • Using typography effectively – Learn how to use typography to enhance visual hierarchy and improve the readability of your designs. Discover techniques for selecting appropriate font sizes and styles to convey hierarchy and emphasize essential information.
  • Applying visual hierarchy across different mediums – Understand how visual hierarchy principles apply to various design mediums, including print, web, and multimedia. Learn how to adapt your designs to different formats and platforms while maintaining a clear visual hierarchy.

We have covered the basic steps of the transformative consulting process and some design ideas for presenting those steps in the presentation designs. By adopting these steps and designing consulting slides on the McKinsey design principles, a consultant can see his slide decks and know that business audiences will receive their content.


Before we conclude, let us see the key advantages of how this McKinsey design approach improves the overall business strategy for effective transformation.

5 key advantages of applying McKinsey design principles
1️⃣ Enhance innovation and problem-solving

McKinsey Design is committed to enhancing organizational innovation and problem-solving through its rigorous and strategic design thinking approach. Through collaborative workshops and thorough research, they generate creative and practical solutions that drive business growth and success.

2️⃣ Drive customer-centric solutions and strategies
  • This approach involves putting the needs and desires of the customer at the forefront of decision-making processes.
  • By prioritizing the customer experience, companies can better understand their target audience, anticipate their needs, and drive sales and loyalty.
  • Implementing customer-centric solutions and strategies requires a deep understanding of consumer behavior, market trends, and effective communication techniques.
3️⃣ Empower teams to think creatively 
  • McKinsey Design is committed to fostering a culture of creativity and innovation within our teams.
  • McKinsey Design team members are encouraged to challenge traditional ways of thinking and approach problems with a fresh perspective.
  • Our Ex-McKinsey designers think creatively, including McKinsey’s design thinking approach, and use cutting-edge technology for designs.
4️⃣ Increase efficiency and effectiveness
  • McKinsey Design is constantly striving to increase efficiency and effectiveness in its services.
  • With a strong focus on utilizing cutting-edge technology and innovative strategies, McKinsey Design can streamline processes and deliver high-quality solutions to its clients.
5️⃣ Elevate the overall user experience
  • McKinsey Design is dedicated to elevating the overall user experience for their clients.
  • With their expertise and innovative approach, they strive to create seamless, intuitive designs that enhance user satisfaction and drive business success.
  • Their talented designers, researchers, and strategists work collaboratively to deliver impactful solutions that meet the client’s objectives and exceed user expectations.


We shall see the 5 stages of design thinking process and by applying them logically, one can improve and deliver impactful results through design thinking process.

Understanding the 5 stages of the design thinking process
  1. User Empathy – Thoroughly Investigate User Needs and Requirements.
  2. Problem Definition – Clearly Articulate User Needs and Challenges.
  3. Ideation – Question Assumptions and Generate Innovative Concepts.
  4. Prototyping – Begin Developing Tangible Solutions.
  5. Testing – Validate and Evaluate the Viability of Solutions.



The power of design thinking cannot be underestimated in today’s constantly evolving business landscape. As McKinsey’s Design Rules shows, incorporating design principles and processes can lead to innovative and successful solutions for complex problems. By embracing a human-centered approach, companies can design a product and offer services that genuinely meet the customer needs. As we continue to navigate an ever-changing world, it is clear that design thinking will be a crucial tool for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and drive meaningful impact.

At Visual Sculptors, we offer design as a service, including but not limited to Word processing, PowerPoint presentations, PowerPoint template creation, Visual enhancement, graphic design, Google Slides, logo design, and designs of online and offline marketing collaterals. We deliver top-notch consulting slide decks matching the standards of McKinsey, BCG, and Bain-type presentations.

We take immense pleasure in offering our esteemed clientele world-class Management Consulting Presentation Services spearheaded by our team of Ex-McKinsey Presentation Designers. Our team boasts an impressive portfolio of designing visual aids, including PowerPoint presentationsCanvaGoogle Slides, Graphic Design, and Adobe Acrobat. We are renowned for our exceptional ability to craft top-notch presentations that resonate with audiences worldwide.

Why not unleash the potential of a design agency following McKinsey design rules and see your slides transform to great decks of prominence?


1. What is unleashing the power of design thinking?

Designing brings forth novel creations with intentionality, introducing a fresh realm into existence. Harnessing the potential of design thinking entails rousing the innate design intuition and methodologies within corporate leaders and institutions, particularly those we have not traditionally collaborated with.

2. What is the McKinsey design thinking approach?

As per the insights provided by McKinsey’s Design Practice, the McKinsey design-thinking process comprises of two pivotal stages: Delving into the intricacies of human behavior and needs, transcending the current state to anticipate future requirements, and discerning optimal methods to effectively cater to those needs.

3. What is the power of design thinking?

Design thinking is an innovative framework tailored for resolving intricate challenges entailing elusive pathways toward resolution. This dynamic methodology revolves around the core tenets of empathy, creativity, and iteration, wherein it diligently comprehends users’ requirements and endeavors to generate substantial value in response.

4. What is the McKinsey thinking process?

The McKinsey approach to problem-solving commences by employing systematic frameworks in order to generate data-driven hypotheses, which are subsequently subjected to rigorous data collection and analysis to validate or refute them. During this phase, intuitive judgment assumes a critical role as the paucity of factual information necessitates its application.

5. What is the McKinsey model of problem-solving?

The McKinsey problem-solving methodology encompasses a sequence of cognitive transformations and methodical methodologies for analyzing and resolving intricate predicaments. This approach is highly effective for individuals operating within the knowledge and information-driven sectors, who aim to effectively convey concepts to their peers.

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