Design

How to design for delight—just like Intuit

4 min read
Stephanie Gonzalez  •  Nov 15, 2018
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You don’t think of mileage logging and tax assistance as the most enjoyable activities in the world, but Intuit has built a user base so delighted by—and loyal to—its products that they receive mountains of feedback just by experimenting with new interface colors.

The company uses customer insights and research coupled with a robust design system to create high-impact products—like TurboTax and QuickBooks—that users trust to face some of their biggest business challenges. Designing for delight helps Intuit build products that make their customers feel empowered and connect on a deep level with their small business and enterprise clients.

In our latest Design Genome Project report, we explore how designers at Intuit lean not only on customer empathy but also on their storytelling powers to create experiences that delight their customers along the way.

“For me, the biggest benefit of storytelling is what takes you from thought to action. Ideas and insights are great, but how do you create enough of a connective tissue through execution so intent stays intact?”

— VP of Design for Innovation Practices Lionel Mohri

How to design like Intuit

  • Design at the top: Design has a seat at the C-level table. Chief Product and Design Officer Diego Rodriguez was brought on in 2017 in a newly created role, leading the company’s product management and design capabilities, and reports to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brad Smith.
  • Design and marketing walk hand in hand: “We’ve purposely structured ourselves so there’s no line between product and marketing. When you’re selling software as a service, a lot of the separations of what was marketing and product come from more traditional business models. That’s not how our customers experience what we produce, so we made the call to purposely structure teams end to end.” Design Director for QuickBooks Online Joe Preston
  • Storytelling through customer insights: Customer research is critical to building good products, but VP of Innovation Practices at QuickBooks Lionel Mohri says research is more powerful if it’s actionable and shared across the organization. It needs to go beyond the slide deck and plant stories in the company that go viral and become shared mindsets.

“Storytelling without customer insight fails. Storytelling becomes a translation of those insights.”

— VP of Innovation Practices at QuickBooks Online Lionel Mohri



The Design Genome Project, which explores the DNA of the world’s best design teams, gives you concrete examples of what drives the success of the companies you admire and helps you build a body of evidence for investing in design. Check it out!