Michelle Ou

Experience Design Consultant at Idean, under Brand & Experience of Capgemini Invent.

What is the Capgemini value that resonates with you and why?

Fun – it’s easy to forget to enjoy yourself amongst the hustle and bustle of modern living. I think it’s important to appreciate the everyday joys and small successes in life. I’ve made some great friends from working at Capgemini because we don’t forget to make it fun, even when it’s tough.

What are you passionate about in your role?

I love learning new things about people and human behaviour – especially indulging in meaningful conversations and figuring out how to make the experience better. As an experience designer, I get to feed my curiosity everyday! That’s why my favourite part of the whole design process is the research phase where we’re digging deeper to understand the users, client stakeholders and the problem. I’m also passionate about inclusive design where the design process is used to create products, services and experiences that are accessible for everyone by considering the full spectrum of human diversity.

How have your studies helped you in your current role at Capgemini?

I studied Optometry and Vision Science at university which is a fair stretch from the work I currently do at Capgemini. With a background in health science, I bridged the gap with courses for Customer Experience Strategy and Design, User Experience Design and Service Design. But the skills from a STEM degree are really transferrable for digital consulting and experience design e.g. critical thinking, evidence-based research and creative problem solving.

Above all, the 10 years experience I’ve accumulated in a wide range of customer-facing roles has helped me acclimatise to the client-oriented consulting industry.

For example, in my past role as an optical dispenser, to recommend a suitable set of glasses for my customer I needed to find the sweet spot between: their fashion taste, lifestyle, visual needs, and the structural limitations of their prescription. This involved asking a lot of questions to understand them, observing their facial features, a deep knowledge of the technical limitations and also an awareness of our clinic’s commercial KPIs.

This is actually exactly what I’m doing now – asking a lot of questions and observing users to understand their needs and frustrations, collaborating with architects and developers for technical feasibility and ensuring that we are also meeting business objectives.

So my mantra is it’s okay to be wherever you are now because as long as you are learning and growing, you are still on your way to achieving your goals!

Tell us about your work-life harmony at Capgemini?

This has been a struggle for me personally. I always felt like I needed to do more to deserve a position here because the people around me were so amazing – imposter syndrome. Fortunately, we have a pretty flat culture where people at all levels are encouraging and open for vulnerable conversations. With the support from our Graduate Program Manager, my peers, seniors, mentors and our Women@Capgemini community, I’ve learnt to prioritise my wellbeing and set boundaries while still achieving the results at work.

What have you gained from working at Capgemini from a career perspective?

Opportunities, growth and autonomy. The graduate program at Capgemini is where I kickstarted my pivot from health science to experience design. Since joining, I’ve had the opportunity to work on multiple projects alongside designers, business analysts, strategy consultants, developers and technical architects who have so much expertise. This has really helped me grow my skills across different domains like user research, business process design, workshop facilitation and stakeholder management. This experience and the autonomy at Capgemini to drive your own career enabled me to join the Idean team.

Michelle Ou