Companies and customers: two different planets?

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How to reconnect those who design products and services with the people they are intended for to help the “corporate planet” take care of the “customer planet” experience.


“On which planet do those who design experiences so far from my expectations live?”. This is a question I ask myself frequently. I also thought about it last Sunday when circumstances forced me to return to a store that should completely review the shopping experience.

And I could mention many other occasions in which I thought the same thing, from the new touch oven with a thousand functions that I have not yet figured out how to use, to the airport where the directions to reach the gate seem designed to keep me from getting on the plane.

Every day and in every context, from physical to digital, I enter into relationships with products and services that, unfortunately, seem designed to waste my time and complicate my life. Is it possible that there is such a clear separation between those who do things and those who use them on a daily basis?

Over the years I have given myself an answer: companies and customers are on two planets light years apart. On the one hand there are those who do “things” and on the other we, users and customers, who find ourselves using products and services that offer us a user experience that would not be worth living or worse that would be better avoid! In other words, the clear separation between these two worlds generates experiences that, in actual fact, are not worth living.

But who and with what right can afford to steal my time, to complicate my life? It is clearly not an action that companies are premeditating, but taking away time, complicating life, creating stress is toxic. It’s not just about making something work well. A bad experience holds me hostage, it damages me.

What should I do at this point, report the company for kidnapping or for damage due to the stress caused? The defense to all this is to avoid encountering the lived experience again! I’m exaggerating, of course, but it’s the magnifying glass of a real situation, that’s the way it is!

Are companies aware of this? No! Companies continue to do what they have always done, closed in their world and this has been enough up to now … But the real world changes, people change.

How, then, do you manage to unite the two planets – companies and customers – and build valuable experiences that are worth living? Let’s start from the basics: the company must want to take care of the experience that customers have and must try to make it better and better.

The quality of the experience offered will determine the success and profit of the companies (not just the quality of the product). At that point it becomes essential to involve customers in every phase of the design and development of the product / service.

Here, then, is my mission: to help people who live in the “corporate planet” take care of the experiences they offer their customers. Because one day I could be the person who finds himself using that product and because I have always been convinced that company after company, experience after experience, it is possible to create a better world.

The open places of TSW – The Sixth W were born from this thought: physical spaces in which the people of those two planets meet and, finally, communicate. Of this reconnection – which I can guarantee you, it has something extraordinary – we are interpreters and provide companies with methods and tools to collect the experiences, implicit and explicit, of those on the other side.

Christian Carniato

Where is the extraordinary, you will say. It should be touched by hand, living the experience firsthand (and if you like to do so, our doors are always open). To give you even a partial idea of ​​it, I can tell you in words, in these lines, of how I saw managers and CEOs get excited in front of me when, for the first time, they understood the depth of the experiences that their customers shared during experiences (digital and otherwise) with their brands.

To the point that I have seen companies with which we have collaborated for years no longer need us, thus realizing (contrary to what one might think) my great dream: TSW that enters so much into the DNA of a company that it changes forever the ways of working, teaching the involvement of people to give better experiences.

It is then that profit changes its meaning, becoming the thermometer of how much the company is really taking care of what people experience when they use products and services: if it is high, the brand will be giving its customers quality experiences.

And then those two planets will no longer exist, they will merge, and our daily life will be better because everything will be designed by people, for people.

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1 July 2022 Christian Carniato

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TAG: UX and UI experience design The Sixth W approach user testing