Customer Experience V – Design Thinking for Innovation


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Did you read about the good doctor who modified the MRI machine to look like pirate ships so that kids won’t be scared of it? Or about how IDEO reinvented the shopping cart? With efforts from thinkers like David Kelley, organizations like Sense Worldwide, institutions like Stanford’s and analysts like Forrester, Design Thinking is becoming mainstream tool for innovation.

At the heart of the Design Thinking, lies the core principle of “Customer Empathy”. But empathy alone is not sufficient to deliver a great experience. Like the master of all product experiences, Steve Jobs said, “Customers don’t know what they want”. So no matter how much you empathize with them, if they don’t know what they want, neither will you.

Which then brings the next core principle of Design Thinking into forefront – the “Creative Confidence”. It is this principle which allows individuals to fearlessly propose innovative solutions to known problems.

And this is where the rubber hits the road – defining the end experience.

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around – Steve Jobs

A lot of organisations want to leverage customer experience to increase sales, reduce costs or derive competitor differentiation. But these are outcomes of having a great experience. For e.g. Apple does not set off to design the customer experience for a billion dollar product. It starts off by trying to deliver the best mobile experience.

So Design Thinking as a tool can be used to innovate customer experience in your organizations regardless of your industry. The key is in correctly and accurately defining the problem statement and then deploying the principles and methodology of design thinking to deliver on tangible outcomes.

Companies like Infosys are using it coupled with technology innovation for several key clients including Telstra and National Australian Bank. Leading academic institutes like SP Jain School of Global Management are providing professional training in Design Thinking right in your backyard.

All the best!! Happy Learning and designing innovative customer experiences.

Abhishek Singh
Currently, Abhishek holds the responsibility for conceptualizing, implementing and managing the IT product strategies for Infosys subsidiary, EdgeVerve, in the Digital space. Prior to this, several years at Singapore Airlines as well as his years of entrepreneurship ingrained in him the importance of customer experience.


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