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.” This is an interesting transformation of corporate philosophy that puts customers first in an effort 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 towards a more “user first” mentality. “It allows us to solve real problems for real people …”

This is a massive effort that involves retraining the entire company as well as hiring reams of design talent to lead the “design first” initiative. But if you believe the notion that companies that provide the best experience for customers will win, a commitment to a sound 21st century strategy like this should pay off well.

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