October 12, 2017 by Darren

Organisations who use ‘good design’ as a driver to inform their business strategy reap the benefits. Organisations like Barclays, for example, take design to a new level. How many banks have an in-house design department to work across the entire organisation? How many banks have a Chief Design Officer? Barclays has both. They see design as a strategy to transform their value proposition and Customer Experience. They launch new products, taking full advantage of digital channels to leverage big data and analytics.

These organisations are willing to invest and reinvest in design to create human centred and emotive Customer Experiences because they understand that it leads to impressive business results.

So, why wouldn’t you apply the same approach to the way you interact with customers and your people?  How would it look if your people were as emotionally connected to your organisation as your most loyal customers?

Applying this same design-focused approach is essential to creating an Employee Experience that makes your people feel valued and clear on the part they play within the organisation. Incredible things can happen when people  feel emotionally connected and empowered to make a difference.

So, it’s vitally important to not underestimate the value of aesthetics and good design. It’s not just about the look and feel, equally important is the creative thinking behind it. Think about how you feel after you’ve been to a great restaurant or seen an amazing film that stays with you for days after. In design, the little touches are as important as the overarching message. If every part of that experience is aligned to the core message, if it feels relevant to you as an individual. The magic happens all the way from the initial comms teaser campaign that intrigues the audience, right through to the actual experience itself. Well-designed experiences have an impact on you – the memories stick because it connects with you on an emotional and unconscious level.

How do you make this happen?

To perfect a designed experience, you need to create surprise and wonder. You need people to say “I wasn’t expecting that!” It needs to go far beyond receiving an email asking you to be at this location, at this time. Having someone stand in front of you with a deck of static slides, attempting to drill mind-numbing information into you, can only make you say “when’s the next tea break?”.

Truly great design adopts a blended approach across a number of touchpoints and channels. The science behind this is clear: the human mind makes the majority of its decisions on an unconscious level. We’re only taken off autopilot when something unexpected happens. That’s when we are open to taking on new information and have our conscious mindset shifted. It’s the surprise that makes the message stick. We can be surprised through any of the tools we use in a learning environment, from a tablet to a VR headset, physical environment, film or gamified tool. The important thing is that everything knits together to tell an emotive story and bring the message to life – working with our conscious minds to shift thinking and change behaviour.

At NKD, we think of ourselves as experience designers. True collaboration between our Consulting Team and Creative Team is essential. We use a design process that allows teams to collaborate, get under the skin of organisations, and create experiences that create value and meaning for people. Our approach gets the conscious mind ticking, and provides people with the motivation to learn above all else. That’s what creates real change in organisations, embedding it through people who are inspired to sustain it.