TechnoVision 2014 – Think Design

Design For Digital #7 – Think Design

Customers and employees interact, transact and work with organizations through a growing myriad of channels. Their experience during these interactions make them loyal to an organization or cause them to leave forever: it’s a key differentiating element. And indeed, for consistent positive experiences to happen, they need focused attention from you. To create the right stage for customer and employee experiences, turn to Design Thinking. Make sure that you apply Design Thinking in your Digital Transformation efforts, including the design of your services and processes. Build the right consciousness, desire and capability to design and deliver compelling experiences, from a radical outside-in perspective. Delight!

Let’s start with a definition: ‘Compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others’ needs and experiences, together with a desire to fulfill the needs while creating a positive experience’ (Webster dictionary, with some twists). How is compassion doing in organizations? Research, including from Capgemini/MIT, shows that customer experiences are far from optimal. In addition, research shows that many employees are disengaged. It is only logical that these two findings relate.

Yet most organizations truly have a desire to fulfill the needs of their customers and employees. The key issues they encounter:

– Most services and processes develop stepwise, without looking at the whole and without being sufficiently conscious of the needs and experiences of customers and employees.

– It’s not easy to design and create integrated and consistent customer experiences over various functional units and channels.

If you want to differentiate, turn to Design Thinking as a key, foundational element in your Digital Transformation.

A number of essential elements make up Design Thinking:

– Purposeful – Customers and employees have needs and want to fulfill them. In their own way. The steps they take for this are often referred to as the ‘Customer Journey’ (but don’t forget the Employee Journey). During this journey, they will typically interact with many of your channels, functional silos and IT solutions. And they will go through various emotions. You need to understand their end-to-end journeys and their emotions, and you need to understand how to respond to them with an integrated design.

– Human centric – Forget ‘customer,’ ‘user,’ ‘employee.’ We are all humans, not pegs to fit an organization’s services or internal processes. Everybody has various needs and  emotions, different beliefs and values. If you want your customers and employees to have great experiences, you need to understand them (personas), and even better: collaborate and co-design with them.
– Iterative – Customers and employees can’t tell you precisely what they want. As understanding humans and designing optimal experiences can be complex, you will need an iterative approach, in which you mix research, creativity, intuition and experimentation. Take a fresh, outside-in perspective on existing websites, mobile applications, other digital channels and the other moments of truth. Apply a mix of craft, art and science, to come to the right answers (designs) and new insights to improve them.

Building a capability for Design Thinking requires new skills (human research, creative design, concept testing, co-creative dialogues), new roles (UX designer, service designer) and new innovative approaches. Invest in Design Thinking and use it to reshape your services, channels and your Business Technology landscape. Your first step: start with piloting Design Workshops for defining and designing new products, services and enabling IT capabilities.

Trust us, it will give you a new experience. And don’t forget: it’s all about compassion.

This contribution by Roeland Loggen  

Part of Capgemini’s TechnoVision 2014 update series. See the overview here.

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