The design crew–watch out.

It’s time now to start the second act: My new job at Intuit.

I am delighted to share that I have moved within Intuit and now work in the QuickBooks Self-Employed business unit!

I spent my first 2 years as the service designer for the QuickBooks Online customer care organization. My 3rd year was with the central design tools and services team. I now start year 4 as an end-to-end service designer for Self-Employed!

So what is different here? Let me tell you!

The QBSE product and team started up very organically over the last 18 months as an “internal startup” inside of the larger QuickBooks group, and has operated as a small team that is self-contained between design, development, product management, and customer care.

⬆️ The floor where the magic happens. The design group getting ready to review ⬆️
CEO Big Brad Smith at a hilarious recent hot-seat Q&A session

In those 18 months, this intrepid group has gone from an idea around “how can we help a different audience, the self employed and solo entrepreneurs in ways that are more tuned to their needs?” to a full fledged mobile and web product, growing from just a handful of people to over 100.

With much of the self-employed workforce in the US and internationally being a mobile-first/only crowd, we’ve got a big focus on serving people through their phones as much as possible — hopefully 100% of the time.

Mobile first experiences

It’s a different type of product. Instead of the full-featured QuickBooks Online bookkeeping software for small businesses, Self-Employed is very narrowly targeted at serving specific needs that someone going solo has.

The customer experiences of someone who is on their own are unique and distinct. This is a type of customer I am especially interested in. How can service design look end-to-end help us provide and perform service? How can I help that value co-creation at the moment someone pulls that phone out of their pocket.

Service design in QBSE

I am a true believer that any organization that has things to offer fits into the JTBD construct of being hired to help make progress towards a goal; the job the customer wants to accomplish.

Having said that–where does a service designer fit into a mobile and web app product offering? Is it possible to enter into an organization like this and find a place when you’re designing for service that happens across the screens and touchpoints, but not exactly within them? It’s the pressing question of “Where does service design fit in the UX world?” (⬅️ more on this real soon…)

Undaunted, I am confident that anything that helps a person reach a goal is a service. The real trick is using service design to help transform how we look at what we build. If I believe we are being hired to help with job, then a service designer is a welcome addition to any product group.

⬆️ Note the box full of printed blueprints. My desk. My window. ⬆️

My goal is to help take a step back and look at the holistic way Self-Employed as a concept performs and provides the service as we are hired to do. The job title is immaterial in a place this quick and small; I am here to help progress customers towards their goals in whatever way I can.

Looking to the future

A wise design friend once said to me, “I don’t worry at how things work today, I worry about how they can work tomorrow.” Like every emerging service design job, how it all works out is a future I can’t predict. I have many axioms I live by, though, one of the top being:

“Pull the boats onto shore and burn them.”

Only look backwards if that’s the direction you plan on going.

It’s new approach and ongoing experiment at Intuit – how can service design help design for and deliver better customer experiences across touchpoints and channels?

Same way as everything else. Grit and determination. 😏

The zen room where I go to get all my best ideas.

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