Experience transformation: design-driven business transformation

By Nicholas Weber

Design has a unique and critical role in experience transformation. Here we explore the nature of that role – and why experience transformation is essential for sustainable business growth.

If you missed our piece on the business value of design – or still need convincing that design is a strategic priority – then feast your eyes on these numbers:

These figures speak for themselves, but you might be wondering what we actually mean by ‘experience transformation’. 

Simply put, we’re talking about design-driven business transformation – something that’s absolutely essential for sustainable business growth.

What is experience transformation?

Experience transformation combines digital transformation with design as a strategic process to achieve sustainable, business-wide transformation.

Where digital transformation focuses on improving the digital technologies behind your processes and customer experiences, design provides a strategic process for finding the right user and business problems to solve.

In a world where customer experience is the key brand differentiator, experience transformation ensures that your end goal is meaningful digital customer experiences that continually deliver value – even as your customers’ needs and perception of value evolves.

But many organisations are struggling to realise experience transformation, because design is still not being used as a strategic process, and does not have a seat at the leadership table:

The negative impact of excluding design from strategy is felt throughout the entire organisation – and it directly impacts the digital experiences you’re able to provide, and the value you can create for your customers.

So placing design at the right level, and demonstrating its measurable impact against strategic goals, is key to unlocking the value of design in your experience transformation.

The role of design in experience transformation

Design is essential to experience transformation as a process for finding and solving the right user problems (that support your strategic objectives).

When strategists and design leaders are true peers at the leadership table it can lead to fundamental changes – in the strategic questions the organisation asks itself, and in the answers this uncovers.

A great example is Brompton Bicycles

Design helped Brompton find the right user problems to solve, fuelling the company’s transformation from manufacturer to thriving D2C lifestyle brand.

This journey started with qualitative user research which uncovered the need for a fundamental change in the business model and strategic direction.

Today the brand has a globally-aligned customer experience that delivered a 122% rise in digital revenue and is converting Brompton customers around the world into lifelong fans.

‘Design’s purpose is to find and solve problems. When teams and individuals align on those problems, together we can bring our skills to bear on transformation’

– Gavin Edwards, XD consultant

Your views on experience transformation

In a recent blog post series we explored how to elevate design as a strategic priority by:

This is a topic we’ve explored in more depth at our next virtual conference: CXcon: Experience Transformation on October 7. You can access the playlist of all the recordings here.

In the meantime, we'd really value your input! 

If you’re a design leader or practitioner, please take our short survey to help us:

  • Curate the best possible event for you
  • Understand where organisations are in their experience transformation journeys
  • Spotlight the role of Design Thinking in business success

We’d love to hear your perspectives, so please do take a look!

Take the survey

Wrapping up

Design is a business imperative – and it’s essential for long-term business success.

Here we briefly explored how combining digital transformation initiatives with design as a strategic process is key to realising experience transformation – unlocking superior digital experiences and sustainable business growth.

For some related reading, do check out:


CXcon: Experience Transformation