Can Design Change the World?

James Helms, Vice President of Design at Intuit

Can Design Change the World?

Intuit’s mission is to Power Prosperity Around the World.

It’s a big, ambitious mission – and Intuit believes Design Thinking is the key to unlocking this ideal future state. In his XD presentation, James features case studies showing how Empathy, Leap of Faith Assumptions, and Experimenting with Prototypes are making measurable impacts.

Watch the video now:

Following are a few highlights from James' XD talk:

There are three things that I've seen that get in our way of doing the big work of making things that matter.

One of the easiest ones is mistaking business objectives for customer needs. Another one is diagnosing a symptom and missing the underlying system. Everything we're doing is part of the system, especially as we think about design that changes the world. You have to understand that everything we're working with is about a system probably in another system probably inside another system. So, we can address little pieces of problems and miss the context in which those problems live and therefore not truly get the impact we need.

I think another big mistake we make is, what can we do now? What can we do today? As we do those things, we shortchange our ability to make long-term impact because we're sort of chasing our next monetary goal. So design has ways to deal with all of these things.

... Empathy is a thing you do. Empathy is not sitting at your desk and Googling who your client is and trying to figure out what's the next thing that we're going to make for this guy that I've just done a bunch of quantitative research on.

It's not a target. It's a person. You have to go meet them. You have to go feel what they feel.

... When we go and we get this empathy, we don't just send the designers. We send engineers, we send product managers, we send marketing. We go observe these problems together because we need to have that context.

... Use that empathy to uncover the real problems, the traits of your customers. Don't trust that the thing you're already making is necessarily going to solve somebody's problem. In order to get that empathy, go there. Don't just do research at your desk.

Photos from the event

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