Design Thinking at Edmunds.com

Breaking down silos and decision-making hierarchies, understanding customers better, bringing products to market faster — these are imperatives for many companies today. But it can be tough to make these changes and embed them into the fabric of an organization. A company that has tackled these challenges head on is Edmunds.com, the leading site for car shopping research. Avi Steinlauf, the company’s CEO of Edmunds.com, explains in this article how he used design thinking to allow his team to listen to their customers and work through their challenges in using the firm’s website, while also providing better employee engagement and participation.

Before Edmunds.com embraced design thinking, it was a culture of “guru-dom” where product ideas were generated by executives, and the execution was left to their teams. Now, interdepartmental teams are brought together to figure out how to solve vetted challenges together. The company’s leadership team learned the power of employee buy-in.

In the past, most customer feedback came in word form, either via the web site or in focus groups. Now Edmunds.com gains insights by proactively interviewing customers in their native environments and watching how they use the website.

This means Edmunds.com is now much more focused on developing new solutions based on real car shoppers’ needs, whereas before its team suffered from the “curse of knowledge” – where someone who knows a lot about a topic takes for granted that others do, too, leading to confusion.

Read full article » blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/08/design…

 

Image: Hand Holding Globe from Shutterstock.com

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