Photo Mar 14, 5 08 18 PM

By: Strategy Director, Tim Dunn

On Monday we ran a two-hour workshop at SXSW for a large room full of people keen to learn more about data-driven experience design.


It’s my first time presenting at SXSW, and I wanted to avoid the errors at some of the workshops I’ve been to, where attendees expect to actually DO something, but find the opportunities for real action are very limited.


As such, our workshop today was designed to be almost ALL interaction. Our ambition was not a small one – to design a complete digital experience for 4 major industry verticals – Health Plans, Sportswear, Cable Provider and Automotive – from scratch.


In the workshop, I laid out the framework for how we reinvent Customer Experience, using a fictional high-end art business as an example. The slides below are worked examples I used for my fictional art business to illustrate the techniques.


Here’s how we did it:



We divided the room into teams based on our 4 industry verticals, and gave each of them a set of business objectives, and a target persona that they were to model.


Sector Brief



We gave groups a user journey into which we had, for each sector, prefilled basic wants and needs, and business priorities, for each phase of the journey. Their task was to select different digital touchpoints that they believed consumers would want to use at each point in the journey, and find the ‘Golden Moments’ where we think really well-targeted communications could play the best part. This was a ‘future-state’ exercise, creating ideal journeys unlimited by the constraints from which most businesses suffer. There’s no point trying to do any kind of reinvention if you aren’t prepared to reorganize yourself around the needs of your actual consumers.


We did all this through the time-honored method of cut-and-stick, beloved of pre-schoolers worldwide, complete with the application of golden stars once our moments had been identified.


User Journey



Having figured out where our Golden Moments were, we then looked at the data we think we’d need to have about each user to make our marketing, on whatever channel, personalized and relevant. The groups, again using a library of icons, defined the new structure for their business data architecture, and wrote down data sources they would use to populate it, and the types of information they would now be able to capture.


We believe this is the first instance of data architecture being composed with gluesticks.


Data schema



Having defined our Golden Moments, and the data that we have available to tailor them, we then defined some highly targeted communications to deliver to consumers. The groups were armed with templates for emails, websites, mobile apps and notifications, and even (to show we are channel-agnostic) direct mail pieces, plus several pages of stock photography to have the perfect impact on consumers.




Having defined our experience and our data, we then defined the platforms we would need to ensure the marketing can be sufficiently aware of the users’ needs and context to deliver the right message at the right time. Tiered through People, Channels, Platforms and Data, they had to define the key properties of each ecosystem component, and critically, how it connects to and influences those around it.





The scope of the workshop was hugely ambitious. I estimate that we squeezed around 20 years of corporate development work into 120 minutes, which is pretty good going.


The workshop attendees were really fantastic, and it was a joy to see the conversations and collaborations around the room as people realized that they REALLY DID HAVE TO DO THIS together.


We do a lot of work in digital transformation, and I truly believe that where people collaborate around a shared vision for the future of their customer experience, we can close the silos that exist in almost any business, place the customer first, and be the leader in any industry vertical.


Thanks to everyone for the many kind words our team has received about the workshop, and here are the slides you asked for.