Increasingly, companies that excel at serving customers are turning to unique approaches to find value propositions that continue to move the needle. Intuit, a leader in the development of personal and small-business software, is one such company. It is at the forefront of using design thinking to inspire innovation that delights customers.
Since Intuit’s inception, founder Scott Cook emphasized creating products that were easy for customers to use. Despite this, the company began to observe a narrowing gap between competitors’ product performance and their own offerings. Sensing an opportunity, former chief executive Steve Bennett pulled together a small team of several senior operating managers, their chief strategy officer, and Kaaren Hanson, Intuit’s design innovation head, to address the question of what was next. What lay beyond ease?
The team’s answer was delight, and they identified design thinking as an important strategy for getting there. Design thinking’s ability to uncover customers’ unarticulated needs and its processes for testing potential success with small inexpensive experiments provided the framework they needed. The team ultimately focused on three core design principles: “customer empathy,” “go broad before narrow” and “rapid experimentation.”