There is still a lot of work to be done educating the corporate world about Design. By which I mean the design of digital experiences. Every company and their culture needs to embrace it, adapt and evolve but deep down, there are few who really want to change. From that, Design as a mindset, practice and reason for being still isn’t fully understood and hasn’t really penetrated the heart of organisations’ DNA & purpose. 

I’m not going to go into great detail defining Design because there are simply too many definitions for this article and frankly we all interpret Design quite differently in the work we do and the lives we live.

However, I will say this, meaningful Design is human centred and underpinned by empathy for people. It’s not the sole responsibility of one person or confined to a department or business unit. Design is not only about solutions and features, it's also about significance and meaning. In our quest to reach transformational agility, Design is the tool for simplifying and humanising technology, systems and processes, thus bringing people together and bridging the gap.

A truly institutionalised and mature Design culture will continuously shape the way customers experience your brand, product and service, always adapting and always governed by people who foster the need to create and grow all forms of experience driven interactions. Both the digital and physical. This I call the CXDC governance model or the Customer Experience Design Council.

Unfortunately, in 2016 many companies still failed to realise this. 

Over the last 12 months we saw like never before, an abundance of new so called CX and innovation departments become the norm, popping up everywhere inside organisations mainly across the banking, insurance, wealth and utilities industries. We saw an enormous amount of time and money thrown at research, planning, channel strategies and the restructuring of teams, roles and departments only to continue the same operational BAU function as before. 

But that’s not the worst part. When the smoke clears there seems to be a frantic race to deliver. Faster ROI which translates into more product features, apps and websites that don’t universally transform the organisations’ holistic customer, brand and user experience. 

And right there exists a very big problem.

Is this because executives and board members push and prioritise the ROI with a sausage factory type approach to delivery due to money spent Vs time to ship? Or is it because we are seeing confusion, dismay and fear more often than not, brought on by these restructures, redundancies, and new hires? 

Take a step back and think about this for a moment. Customers are now teaching brands what they need to become as experiences are more important than they’ve ever been. So, if you’re not listening to your customers through the lens of Design and at every stage of  your digital transformation, then one could argue you’re not being relevant.

In 2016 only 20% of digital transformation leaders studied the mobile customer journey and many still prioritised technology over human centered design and customer centricity. 

If companies truly want to stay relevant and be competitive they must look beyond the traditional operational and functional means by which they exist. They must go beyond understanding digital technologies and satisfying basic customer needs to anticipating those needs. Even before the customer knows what they desire. 

And the only way to achieve this is through the lens of Design. The Human Design of experiences and the moments that matter. These are always proactive and progressive and are quickly becoming the new standard.