How Do You Make Business More Human?

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Disruption of established business models lurks around every corner and delivering a quality customer experienceone that helps insulate a business from competitive threats and total disruptionis bottom-line critical. But how do you achieve this? Design researchers bring valuable insights about peoples experience but we also make organizations more human by developing capabilities that enable businesses to thrive. These capabilitiesembracing a holistic mindset, creating shared understanding, and engaging in design-oriented problem solvingare about seeing the whole, aligning the diverse perspectives, and visualizing the future and are crucial to building human-centered organizations for todays networked world. I describe how design research and facilitation techniques bring benefits to business beyond customer understanding, including alignment on complex, multifunctional teams, project scope clarity, and strategies for risk mitigation in a world exploding with change.


  • Humanizing Organizations: Researchers as Knowledge Brokers and Change Agents Robin Beers, Head of Customer Experience Insights Wholesale Internet Solutions SXSW 2015
  • Wholesale Banking serves large corporations, middle- market businesses, governments, and institutions with annual revenues of $20 million and above 2 = 35K employees We design the 89 applications on the Commercial Electronic Office (CEO) portal and CEO Mobile 97,000 active companies 666,000 active users 4.3 million sessions $11.5 billion moved online =
  • 33 This body of knowledge is used to inform strategic business decisions and to influence user experience design. Customer Experience Insights (CxI) Behavioral Analytics Quantitative User Research Qualitative My team brings together quantitative behavioral analytic insight, and qualitative user experience research to provide a holistic understanding of our customers behavior
  • 4 Competitive pressures and more empowered customers have made customer experience a critical strategic imperative for every industry and every company June 2011 Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer Age of manufacturing Age of distribution Age of Information Age of the customer 1900-1960 1960-1990 1990-2010 2010
  • The need for research about people, their experience, and how they define value has increased as businesses change to become more customer-centric 5
  • User-centered Design is a structured, systematic approach to achieving customer experience excellence 6 Make the right thing Make the thing right You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site. Frank Lloyd Wright
  • 7 Customer Experience As A Strategic Imperative Requires Organizations To Develop New Capabilities: Embracing a Holistic Mindset Creating Shared Understanding Engaging in Design-oriented Problem Solving
  • Good Experiences Are Created By Aligning Strategies, Technologies And Processes With Customer Expectations 8
  • Researchers must become more than purveyors of insight - they must also act as knowledge brokers and change agents 9
  • 10 Design researchers are poised to bring the benefits of holistic, systems thinking through mapping the end-to-end customer and employee journeys for a full view of the experience Marketing, User Assistance, Sales, OnlineFront Stage Interactions o Employee Actions visible to the customer Back Stage Processes Technology, Operations, Policies o Employee Actions invisible to the customer Customer Journey Discover Evaluate Buy Access Use Get support Re-engage Leave o Customer Types o Experience Phases o The Steps in the Journey o Touchpoints o Moments of Pain barriers o Moments of Delight - opportunities o Emotional Experience highs and lows o Key to Explaining the Map
  • Opportunity cards simplify complex requirements 11
  • v 12 Collective prioritization using design thinking facilitation
  • Design-oriented problem solving is visual Experience Models are thinking tools
  • Researchers can help organizations transform and succeed in todays connected, social, and people-centered world 14 RESEARCHER Embracing a Holistic Mindset Creating Shared Understanding Design-oriented Problem Solving
  • 15 Thank You!