User-centric design for large enterprises



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Ideally, your design process is perfectly user-centric. In practice, it’s hard to keep pace while having a large number of stakeholders involved in different stages of your projects.

So, we had Jean-Marcel Nicolai, Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President of Digital Products and Services for Centric Digital, join us for a webinar to look at the challenges to overcome when you ideate and design for large companies, and how to stay user-centric and nimble in large business environments.

Watch the full recording below, or read on for our short recap on Jean-Marcel’s talk.

Global challenges

Clients interested in innovation and transformation aren’t necessarily ready for innovation and transformation. The following are common global challenges Jean-Marcel covered in his talk.

Challenges in organization
Enterprise companies tend to be large and siloed, with each silo containing dispersed expertise. This means that it’s difficult to bring all of the stakeholders together. Enterprise companies often swing from having trouble achieving consensus in a timely fashion to being too consensual and falling into the trap of designing by committee.

Challenges in culture
Large enterprise companies may lack a product and/or design culture. While the company may have designers or creative services, they’re often seen as a department to deliver assets, not to be embedded into a larger process.

“Shortcuts are never good for a user-centric approach”.

There may also be an inherent lack of agility. Often, the willingness is there, but the structure won’t allow it. Or, the company may be agile, but only in certain silos like development—not globally.

The next one is contradictory: the company may be slow-moving, with a complicated approval process and documentation, but it may also have short and hard timelines. Such a company forces the process to cut short crucial aspects of design. And shortcuts are never good for a user-centric approach.


Case study

Jean-Marcel gave 3 case studies during his talk. Here, we’ll recap the first. Watch the recording above for all 3!

The question:
“How can we build a native mobile experience that revolutionizes the way patients receive care?”
Fortune 500 Healthcare Client

The challenges and constraints
The client was interested in growing a direct-to-consumer product suite, but had few existing capabilities and little experience. A collaborative feature generation process led to a large, inconsistent product roadmap with no unifying user experience.

To make matters worse, following the creation of the roadmap, those working on the project were unclear on the roles and next steps. The executive presentation was approaching on a short timeline, and they needed to gain executive support during that presentation to move forward with the product.

The solution
Centric Digital decided with the team to go with a mobile prototyping approach to bring the experience to life. They didn’t throw away everything that the company had created in the past—they tested those things out with a prototype to make the product tangible for stakeholders, helping them understand the customer journey and the features they could (and should) build.

“Test things out with a prototype to make a product tangible for stakeholders.”

With the help of the prototype, the team secured the internal funding they needed to make the product a reality.

Rapid, lightweight prototyping is a new type of deliverable, changing the way enterprise clients understand products and make optimal business decisions. Going beyond flat comps, you can quickly illustrate user interactions. Doing so builds empathy with target customers.

“Prototyping builds support, consensus, and helps acquire internal funding.”

With prototyping, testing different design options and then iterating based on what you’ve learned is a snap. Prototyping forces you to clearly communicate the value of the product. And ultimately, it builds support, consensus, and helps acquire internal funding.


Margaret Kelsey
Margaret Kelsey leads content marketing at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

Keep up with me on and .

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