Amber Case advocates for designing calm technology in Delight 2015 closing keynote

Delight speakers share real-world challenges for driving change

A common thread across the Delight Conference over the years is the openness in which speakers share their real-world challenges to create meaningful experiences and drive change inside their organizations.

This, of course, is intentional.

We seek out speakers who bring an honest and real perspective to design and technology-led initiatives. We want to give the audience a peek under the hood of the glossy case studies and “seamless customer experience” narratives.

What we do is messy, and the organizations that embody Delight and take risks bringing disruptive new ideas to market have unpredictable paths. Paths that others can learn from, compare notes with, and find comfort in—because they are not alone.

I was happy to see Forrester Research recognize these unique aspects of the Delight Conference in its new research brief, The Things That CX Designers Worry About, published January 11, 2016.

“Rudderless digital customer experience innovations will lead to frustrated customers, disenchanted employees, and failed projects,” writes author Andrew Hogan, a Forrester Research analyst serving customer experience professionals. He also writes, “You don’t have to let digital CX innovation work this way.”

Andrew focuses on themes that numerous speakers discussed, including the way designers look at interruptive technology and how connected devices constantly alert us to irrelevant information. Or how excessive focus on screens and unnecessary interfaces keeps customers from doing what they want to do.

He also included one of my favorite quotes at the event from Intuit’s Suzanne Pelican who said, “If you’re here to delight your customer, you have to think about the culture and the environment from within.”

For me, Suzanne’s opening keynote embodied the spirit of the event in describing how an organization as large as Intuit brought design thinking into its teams and got the leadership to buy into the change that needed to happen. Intuit’s internal program is actually called “Design for Delight” with a definition of Delight that helps infuse the practice deep into their organizational DNA.

This great collection of insight from the 2015 Delight Conference by Forrester Research comes out as we’re deep in planning for the 2016 event, scheduled for Sept. 26-28 in Portland, Oregon. We’re again looking for speakers who will share inspiring stories of bringing new experiences to life, while not holding back on the realities of what it took to get there.

If you haven’t experienced the Delight Conference first-hand, we’d love to have you join us in Portland this year. Super early bird tickets are available now. It’s going to be another phenomenal line-up with some new surprises planned. And yes, what you see on Portlandia is mostly true.

Who would you like to hear from at Delight 2016? We’d love to see your speaker suggestions in the comments below!