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Learn how Design for Delight can help you create durable, transformative solutions


Innovative ideas rarely, if ever, come from happenstance. Transformational solutions come from centering on the customer, their problem, and little else. When you think about a recipe for success, you might think about research and practice, testing, and then more experimentation – and the same goes for innovative solutions.

Last month, Intuit technologists participated in a three-day workshop with IBM and other partner organizations. Their goal was to see how technology can address one of our most urgent issues – climate change. We used design thinking to create starter kits for the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge. These kits help developers understand the scope of the issues, see an expert-validated proposed solution, and get their hands on resources to start building their own idea for this year’s challenge. Check out the starter kits on:

Here at Intuit, we have our own flavor of design thinking, called Design for Delight, or D4D. This methodology might help Call for Code developers create durable, transformative solutions. So let’s get started!

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First – What exactly is Design for Delight?

Design for Delight (D4D) is a three-pronged concept that focuses on how we can “Delight” our customers. This is a simple and effective method to exceed customer expectations and deliver value to their business. The three principles that make up the triangle of Delight include:

  • Deep Customer Empathy
  • Go Broad to Go Narrow
  • Rapid Experiments with Customers

How to fall in love with your customer’s problems (and not the solution)

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The idea of falling in love with your customer’s problem might sound strange. However, it is the most effective way to build a solution that is customer-focused.

Think about who your customer is as you set out to solve for Responsible production and consumption, Clean water and sanitation, or Zero hunger. Are you solving for the community leader? Or an individual household member? Or someone in policy?

Determining who your customer is and knowing their pain points will focus your ideas. True innovation centers on the customer problem. And in order for that to happen, you need to start with gaining empathy for your customer. A customer is not only someone who pays for your product or service – it’s anyone who benefits from your solution.

1. Deep Customer Empathy

At the very heart of Design for Delight is the customer. Who are they? What problem (or problems) are they facing in their community, business, or life? How do they react to these problems? Observing customers within their real environment offers insight into pain points.

We found that getting to the root of their problem, and the emotion connected with it, provides a starting point, as well as becomes the driver of our innovation. So, how do you get Deep Customer Empathy – through observing and interviewing your customers.

Here are some resources to get you started:

2. Go Broad to Go Narrow

Once you’ve gone through Deep Customer Empathy, and have put together a problem statement that outlines the grand challenge you want to solve for your customer, the next pillar within Design for Delight is Go Broad to Go Narrow. People often fall in love with either the first solution or their own solution. This singular mindset makes a cohesive team and collaborative problem solving almost impossible.

Going Broad is essential. Linus Pauling, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, said, “The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.”

A robust brainstorming session can produce many solutions. Once you have a number of ideas, sort and whittle them down until you find the solution that delivers the greatest customer benefit.

Resources for Going Broad to Go Narrow:

From there, you move on to testing.

3. Rapid Experiments with Customers

Testing the solution on actual users leads to better decisions. Their reaction to your solution to their problem provides the data you need to move forward — or to step back.

To test, you need to have a hypothesis: “If we do this, then we will see this result measured by.”

The Hypothesis Statement includes:

  • If we: (Describe how the experiment will work)
  • Then: (What is the outcome you expect from your experiment)
  • Which we will measure by: (How you will know if it was successful)
  • Success for this metric will be: (The smallest percentage or number needed for success)

You’re trying to determine what the customer wants/needs. If you test the hypothesis and the results are positive, then you know you’re on the right track. If the test results are negative, then you go back to the board. It’s not a failure, it’s more input!

Keep in mind, you should figure out the minimum experiment that you can run to get the data you need. Define your hypothesis first. Then, run your experiment with real customers through the design and development process. Make sure you test after launching to ensure your software evolves.

Rapid Experiments resources

Design for Delight resources

Innovation never ends. And staying rooted in the problem without falling in love with the solution is the key. In addition to the resources linked above, check out the Overview Cards and Self-Paced Intuit Design Thinking Course for further learning.

ABOUT INTUIT: Intuit is a global technology platform that helps our customers and communities overcome their most important financial challenges. Serving millions of customers worldwide with TurboTax, QuickBooks, Credit Karma and Mint, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to prosper and we work tirelessly to find new, innovative ways to deliver on this belief. Please visit us for the latest news and information about Intuit and its brands and find us on social.

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