Designing the World of Digital Experience

The Rise of In-House UX

User experience powerhouse, Adaptive Path recently announced their partnership with Capitol One. This move, while confusing to many, marks two significant changes.

  1. Companies are taking user experience design seriously and making key investments to improve their product strategy.
  2. To do this right, they are bringing creative talent in-house.

And why not? It makes sense for brands, talent and customers.

The Brand Perspective

Brands must create truly remarkable experiences to attract customer attention and win their loyalty. Customers expect to find value not only in the product, but in the brand experience.

The advantages of bringing talent in-house is faster speed to market and greater gains through institutional knowledge and brand expertise — two things outside agencies rarely achieve.

Meaningful changes to customer experience is guided by continuous progress with the sensibility and methods of a designer. Tim Brown of IDEO explains it as the ability to “match people’s needs with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short, design thinking converts need into demand.” 

The Talent Perspective

Agency life moves at a frantic pace with staffers usually juggling several accounts while keeping a constant eye of the “next big thing” to pitch their clients. Same goes for freelancers but without all the people around.

For digital talent, it makes sense to work on the client-side. Greater satisfaction can be found by diving deep into the customer experience of a product. Think about all the wasted creative energy spent on building pitches, proposals and RFPs. While being in-house has it’s own challenges, knowing that you are truly delivering your best work is hugely rewarding.

True change can’t rarely comes from “outside-in” thinking. Genuine, substantial culture shifts come from within an organization that’s an exciting challenge for the brightest and most-driven talent.

The Customer Perspective

This is the most important reason why talent is moving in-house. With rapidly changing consumer behaviors and expectations, the urgency to get the digital experience right is more critical than ever. “Customer experiences with a brand or organization span so many channels — both online and off” says Gartner’s Laura McLellan, “that customers have come to expect consistent experiences, no matter where an interaction initially takes place.”

Smartphones have intertwined digital and physical life into one experience. Every touchpoint with a company impacts the customer’s singular impression.

The experience must be seamless across devices and channels. It doesn’t matter how much complexity goes on behind-the-scenes in a company -deliver the good stuff or your customers will leave.

Ultimately, the value of the Adaptive Path / Capital One collaboration will be proven in the marketplace. But make no mistake; this is a very intentional decision by both parties that have weighed all options for success. And their choice was to bring the best customer experience design team inside for the most creative competitive edge.


Recommended Reading: “Change by Design” Tim Brown (Amazon Link).
Photo credit Luca Mascaro. Used under Creative Commons License

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