Six Best Practices for Creating a Design-Integrated Organization

By Ian Stokol, CCXP posted 06-08-2020 11:28 AM


If you're ready to learn more about building a design-integrated organization, be sure to register for CXPA's webinar with Limina on October 29th--Design Integration for Exceeding Customer Expectations.


As Customer Experience Professionals, experience design and improvement is one of our core competencies. The CCXP Certification Exam Blueprint says that we must “establish and follow a well-defined design process each time an experience is created or changed, as well as use iterative ideation and prototyping (e.g. design thinking) to engage customers and employees in the co-creation of enhanced or innovative experiences.” 

 CX leaders who have oversight of end-to-end experiences often don’t have the time or know-how to establish and get value from UX best-practices, while they focus on the other CX criticals. This function is typically left to UX professionals and designers or, in many organizations, to the product manager and technical team who focus on functionality over usability. UX is a discipline that’s integral to successful experience design, but often misunderstood by the C-Suite and senior management.

 A recent study by Limina, a US-based UX design consultancy, exposes what “design-integrated companies know that others don’t.” According to Limina’s co-founder and principal, Jon Fukuda, a UX practitioner with over 20 years in the field, During this COVID-19 pandemic, people are forced to use digital services every day – from remote education and telehealth to online grocery shopping and banking. Human-centered design is more important now than ever before, as the majority of interactions and transactions are happening online.Yet, the study reveals how little is invested in the design of digital touchpoints compared to investments in business analysis, implementation, testing, and maintenance.Service Design

 In this study, Limina identified the six best practices for creating a design-integrated business. When I reviewed the findings of design best practices, I was struck by the alignment to CXPA’s CX Competency Framework: 


  1. Embed a human-centered design culture in every corner of the company, starting with the C-Suite. The CXPA domain of nurturing a customer-centric culture aligns nicely with embedding a human-centered design culture in every corner of the company.
  2. Communicate for the common good of the business. Building VoC, customer insight, and understanding loosely aligns with communicating for the common good of the business (assuming the common good is customer-centric).
  3. Integrate design resources into relevant business functions. Driving change and developing organizational adoption and accountability correlates, in part, with integrating design resources into relevant business functions.
  4. Capture specific metrics and manage to them. Creating and reporting the measures of CX success with metrics, measurement and ROI directly correlates to capturing specific metrics and managing them.
  5. Create reusable artifacts and repeatable processes. Implementing practices and approaches for experience design, improvement, and innovation will typically include creating reusable artifacts and repeatable processes.
  6. Invest in artifacts, then processes, then systems. Developing a customer experience strategy can incorporate the approach of investing in artifacts, then processes, then system,


It’s also time to acknowledge that Service Design plays a critical role in the CX ecosystem. Part of the value of Service Design is to help identify those interactions with our organization where customers make critical go/no-go decisions. We think of these touch-points as moments where we win or lose an opportunity to engage further with a customer. However, customer journey maps and service design blueprints don’t address the challenges and complexity of UX Design and its management in the delivery of a touchpoint’s mechanics. 

 In this modern business world, the design of each touchpoint’s systems and processes is complex and transient. Things don’t stay static for long, so organizations are compelled to embrace continuous improvement just to stay competitive, let alone be innovative. This can be a costly and self-defeating treadmill if design isn’t used to its full potential - not only to produce desirable products and services, but also to make them cost-efficient and viable to maintain. 

 In my next post, I’ll more closely examine the relationship between UX and CX. In the meantime, you can download Limina’s study here.

About Ian Stokol CCXP, PMP, PMI-ACP, AgilePM

With a blend of CX management disciplines, UX Design and project management skills, Ian has worked with organizations and led teams to understand their customers’ desired outcomes and then plan, align, create and deliver customer-centric experiences. As one of the 2019 CX Impact Award Winners, Ian continues to work in and study Customer Experience Management, Human-Centred Design and Project Management, bridging the gap between organizational strategy, its implementation and evolution. Ian is the Senior CX Manager in Monash University’s Strategic Marketing and Communications Team and a design league coach at the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF). 

About Limina

Limina is a user experience (UX) and technical design consultancy that helps Fortune 500 companies and government agencies simplify complex human-to-computer interactions by designing more intuitive, integrated digital user experiences. Limina’s discovery process helps clients uncover the needs and wants of their customers, rather than create a new product or service that they think customers want. Founded in 2003, Limina is based in Longmont, CO.