Design for the user experience to maximize new technology ROI

Businesses today have become all too familiar with terms such as digital transformation, innovation, and disruption. As information becomes more readily available to consumers across an ever-expanding number of channels, many businesses recognize that they must adapt in order to stay competitive. These companies are now working to become more agile and make digital a core competence within their organizations.

In a rush to institute change however, businesses often turn to the deployment of new technologies to facilitate this transformation. While these technologies offer many benefits, they often fail to fully deliver the intended ROI. In fact, it is all too common when assessing a business’s processes to find a dozen different digital tools in place, all adding up to less than the sum of their parts.

Designing for the user experience can help avoid these issues. Each new technology implementation typically has a solid business case behind it, but they often lack a clear vision of how they will come together to create a compelling experience for customers and employees. During a recent client engagement, for example, it was discovered that employees had to utilize more than a half-dozen different tools daily for tasks such as case management, reporting, document upload, appointment scheduling, lobby management, and case tracking. This created inefficiency for the workforce, which in turn resulted in a diminished experience for customers.

Whitlock-client-workshop-full

Client workshop to present research findings and collaborate on potential solutions.

The way to circumvent this scenario is to begin by defining the user experience you want your customers to have, and then work backward to identify the technologies that will make that experience possible.

In the example above, we conducted employee interviews to surface how they currently performed their work and where they experienced pain points. We also gathered their ideas on how they felt their workflows could be improved. From that feedback, we used a journey map to document the current employee experience and identify pain points, opportunities, and tools used at various points along the journey. We then collaborated with stakeholders to define how that journey should change in order to provide both customers and employees with the best experience possible.

As a result of this effort, we identified quick wins and strategic enhancements, leading to more efficient workflows and increased customer satisfaction. This included surfacing areas where the number of digital tools could be streamlined while still enhancing efficiency. The journey map also served as a benchmark to measure how much impact the enhancements were having on the experience from a qualitative perspective.

By taking this approach, the stakeholder group shifted from using technology to solve for isolated business challenges to instead focus on creating the right experience.


Nick Whitlock headshotNick Whitlock is an Experience Design Director at DXC. He has over 11 years of experience in user-centered business process, research, design strategy, and digital innovation. By working to form a deep understanding of business goals and user needs, he has helped Fortune 500 and Global 500 companies articulate service strategy and define experiences that benefit customers, empower employees, and achieve business objectives. Nick has lead teams and designed solutions across a diverse set of industries including health care, education, finance, and e-commerce. Nick also works to strengthen his clients’ utilization of design to inform business strategy, create sustainable competitive advantage, and enhance innovation. He has lead the establishment of design practices for large international organizations and startups, as well as taught Service Design, Design Strategy and Design Thinking to hundreds of learners across all organizational levels.

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