IBM Embraces Design, Puts Customers First

IBM has embraced design as a core value to the extent that they’re retraining the entire company to “think design” — an interesting transformation of corporate philosophy that puts customers first to create more value.

“Designers bring [an] intuitive sense … and understand the power of delivering a great experience and how to treat a user as if they were guests in their own home,” says Phil Gilbert, chief design evangelist. The design program allows the $143 billion company to be more strategic and shift away from the engineering-driven “features-first” ethos toward a more “user first” mentality. “It allows us to solve real problems for real people …”

It’s a massive effort that involves retraining the entire company and hiring reams of design talent to lead the “design first” initiative. But if you believe that companies that provide the best experience for customers will win, committing to a strategy like this could well pay off.

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