Realizing total experience transformation in your business

The RSM approach to human-centered design

Jan 12, 2024

Today’s businesses face an exponentially changing marketplace. Any organization that tries to keep pace using yesterday’s processes will quickly fall behind. Instead, you must change along with it—or even proactively adapt in anticipation—by embracing new ways of working, thinking and engaging. 

Human-centered design can help organizations like yours understand how user interactions drive business outcomes and gain a competitive edge in an evolving market. 

By bridging the gap between your business and your most valuable resources—your customers and employees—you can create a total experience transformation that meets the real-world needs of people. In turn, you’ll be able to better achieve your key business objectives, including:

  • Increased top- and bottom-line growth
  • Higher employee efficiency and productivity
  • Greater business profitability

What is human-centered design?

Human-centered design is a strategic approach that aligns your products, processes and services with how your customers and employees interact with them. It’s not a one-time activity but an ongoing process. You should continually leverage new information about how your customers and employees interact with your organization to create more personalized and valuable experiences.

A human-centered design approach brings behavioral science, user research and analytics together to gain a deep understanding of how a customer or employee currently interacts with a process, product or service, uncovering opportunities to make engagement more intuitive and impactful. Human-centered design also helps your organization create a culture of iteration capable of evolving along with the needs and preferences of its users. Using these insights, designers can generate new thinking that fully takes user behavior into account while enabling a more adaptive and responsive design ethos.

Human-centered design is a strategic approach that aligns your products, processes and services with how your customers and employees interact with them.

By eliminating ambiguity, real-world pain points and friction in customers and employees’ daily lives, you can turn the human experience and user expectations into a dynamic driver of business outcomes. In addition, you can generate more empathy from your teams for the needs of users to create a forward-thinking work environment focused on solving real-world problems. Human-centered design can also help you better understand the human element of your business problems so you can incorporate the right technology solution in the most effective manner possible.

Leveraging human-centered design to overcome key organizational challenges

RSM delivers tools and services that enable your organization to leverage a human-centered design approach to improve your most pressing customer and employee experience challenges, ensuring alignment between business objectives and user expectations.  

Customer acquisition and retention

The challenge

Almost every business faces a saturated market with fierce competition from larger, well-funded enterprises on one end and agile startups on the other. As a result, many organizations either struggle to stand out or find themselves in a race to the bottom to compete solely on price, limiting their ability to create a customer experience that inspires ongoing loyalty and word-of-mouth.

The opportunity

RSM enables your business to understand the true needs, motivations and behaviors of your customers so products, solutions and marketing strategies can be designed to drive revenue growth. By digging deeply into the mind of the customer, your organization can create a sustainable, defendable market position that lays the foundation for inspiring repeat purchases and recommendations.

Employee recruitment and engagement

The challenge

Many organizations struggle with a tight labor market that continues to shrink due to retirement at the same time that a younger generation is demanding more engagement from their work. As modern workplace dynamics evolve, organizations need to rethink how they can meet employee demands for meaningful work, an inclusive culture and opportunities for personal growth.

The opportunity

RSM enables your company to uncover, understand and improve the daily experiences that most influence recruitment and employee retention. By identifying the core issues that may be hindering employee engagement and retention, your organization can create a work environment that resonates with your current workforce while enhancing your brand as an employer.

The RSM human-centered design approach

RSM uses a proven framework to design and implement human-centered design strategies that improve the customer and employee experience. This structured process ensures that your products, services and work processes are tailored to meet the real-world needs of prospects, customers and employees to maximize impact and drive business outcomes. 

Design the right thing; design things right


Our multidisciplinary team engages in extensive research, user interviews and site observations to gain a deep understanding of the needs, motivations and challenges of the people you want to reach. This creates the foundation for insights by ensuring a multi-faceted exploration of the user’s needs and preferences, helping your organization transcend surface-level ideas or misleading metrics.


Taking the initial learnings, our team synthesizes and distills findings into clear user insights that pinpoint the exact issue to be addressed. By precisely defining the problem at hand, your organization can better focus on solutions that resonate with the user, ensuring a higher probability of success.


Once the issue is defined, our team leverages collaborative ideation, rapid prototyping and iterative testing to design, create and validate a solution. This approach ensures that the right solution is found quickly and is then refined until it meets the exact needs of the user.


We work side-by-side with your organization to develop and launch the most effective approach and then leverage post-launch feedback to continuously adapt the solution. This process helps the solution stay relevant to the changing needs and expectations of your audience, helping ensure that it’s sustainable over the long term and delivers maximum ROI and impact. 

How RSM human-centered design services support your total experience transformation journey

Here’s how our team gives your company the tools and insight to realize total experience transformation within your business through differentiated strategic thinking, poignant experiences and deeper engagement.

RSM works with you to navigate an exponentially changing world and accelerate your business objectives by reimagining and co-creating a new future through more meaningful user interactions. Services include:

  • Strategic planning, alignment and prioritization
  • Future-state visioning
  • Service design blueprinting
  • Experience transformation
  • Business canvas modeling
  • Systems mapping
  • Innovation workshops

From digital interactions to the physical on-site experience, RSM leverages design focused on defining user wants, needs and drivers, and providing valuable insights that deliver unparalleled experiences for your customers and employees. Services include:

  • Digital product design and build
  • Application development
  • Website design
  • SEO and analytics
  • User interface and digital experience
  • Physical experience design

RSM uses its deep understanding of your unique environment to bring your message and market to life with engaging visuals and targeted campaigns that build brand loyalty and conversions. Services include:

  • Content strategy and copywriting
  • Marketing strategy
  • Campaign execution
  • Brand strategy
  • Visual identity
  • Design on-demand
  • Digital production
  • Agency of record

The RSM difference

RSM is a proven leader in helping organizations overcome their most pressing challenges using a human-centered design approach. With RSM, you get:

Unparalleled experience

RSM’s human-centered design practice has more than two decades of experience working with leading businesses around the world. As a result, we’re able to help organizations navigate even the most complex challenges while offering best practices and lessons learned from a wide range of client engagements. 

Multidisciplinary team

With more than 70 in-house advisors, RSM fields one of the largest and most capable human-centered design practices within the market. Our team has deep experience delivering the full continuum of research, design and execution, all under one roof. This inclusive environment ensures we draw from a full range of diverse perspectives when considering potential solutions. 

Collaborative approach

We work as an extension of your business, gaining a granular understanding of the challenge space, crafting a solution that meets the needs of your market, and executing a solution that drives results.  

Rapid response

Thanks to our experience, size and thoughtful approach, our team is built to solve your most pressing issues faster, allowing you to respond to the ever-evolving business landscape and the changing expectations of customers. Our agile approach helps you go from problem identification to solution quickly and effectively so you can stay ahead of the market.

Nimble delivery

Our open, iterative process is designed to meet the specific needs of leading organizations so you can outpace enterprise competitors and react faster to agile startups. This flexibility also ensures that our clients can adapt to changing market conditions and user feedback to ensure long-term effectiveness.

Technology support

Strategic relationships with the world’s leading technology providers allow us to support the complete life cycle of a solution, including evaluation, purchase, implementation, training, customization and follow-on support. This helps ensure that any technology leveraged meets the needs of users while fitting seamlessly within your larger IT strategy and environment. 

Holistic approach

RSM is uniquely positioned to consider a human-centered design approach in the context of your tax, compliance and operational challenges. As a trusted global business advisor for organizations across all industries, we can help you drive customer and employee experience performance to meet your broader business goals.  

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