I worked with a team of three other Bentley HFID students, collectively called "Pelican XD," to brainstorm, craft and implement a research plan, and combine findings from user research with insights from social and behavioral science literature into a comprehensive presentation for the Intuit team, complete with a set of comprehensive customer journeys, and a list of overarching design principles for emotionally transformative product experiences.
The design leadership at Intuit wanted to know what elements can take otherwise negative or emotionally challenging experiences—such as those that many of us face when dealing with personal finances—and turn them into surprisingly positive, perhaps even delightful, experiences that encourage changes in behavior.
Initially, the team got stuck on the research question. How was the idea of "delightful experiences" related to paying taxes? After debating it for some time, we came up with the idea to focus not on experiences that delight, but on experiences that suck. What are some things that we know we have to do, but we absolutely hate doing?
Once we had a number of experiences to choose from, we focused in on an experience that was common to a few members of the team—going to the laundrymat. We had those members storyboard their typical experience going to the laundrymat, and reviewed them as a team. Looking at the storyboards, we realized that for each experience, there was a tipping point—a moment in the experience where things turned from "fine, I'll deal with it" to "I will do anything I can to avoid having to do this again." We knew at that moment that we had our research question: What can we learn from product or service experiences that transform negative expectations into positive emotions?
From there, the team conducted interviews with dozens of people in our personal networks, to learn about experiences that turned out unexpectedly pleasant, even delightful. We mapped the most interesting stories into a journey map, that showed the user's emotional path over time.
Examining the journeys in more detail, we were able to see a clear pattern emerge: a set of four design principles that would help Intuit create emotionally transformative customer experiences.