How the University of NSW used a Board Game to become Customer Centric

Posted by Jayson Wright on Mar 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM
Jayson Wright


Most organisations are reasonably good at gathering data on their users, but it often fails to communicate the real frustrations and experiences of the customer. A story can do this better, and one of the best storytelling tools in business today is the ‘customer journey map’.

Storytelling is not just a tool to engage users, it’s also a powerful way to teach organisations more about their customers. A ‘customer journey map’ puts the user front and centre in the organisation’s thinking. It encourages people across the whole organisation to consider the user’s feelings, questions and needs first. This is especially important when developing digital products and services.

There is no right or wrong way to produce a ‘customer journey map’. Normally, it will be some form of infographic with a timeline of the user’s experience. But it could just as easily be a storyboard or even a video.

In a recent project for the University of NSW, we were faced with the challenge of communicating a multitude of scenarios to a myriad of stakeholders. We wanted to highlight the pain points and inefficiencies of the current state, as well as the many improvements and benefits that would arise from the implementation of a new online experience for the future.

With over 155 pain points documented through the various workshops, we decided to create two fully interactive board games (Current State and Future State). Both games allowed the players to truly experience the end-to-end ‘Apply Online’ process within both the current and future flows.

The board game required the players to roll a die and navigate their way through a numerical pathway in order to receive an ‘Offer of Enrolment' at the university. The players' journey was influenced by messages they received on the tiles they landed on. Some tiles required the player to pick up chance cards - explaining ‘Pain Points’ (Current State) or Enhancements (Future State) which were relevant to the Online Application process. The first player to reach the UNSW logo (final tile) received an ‘Offer of Enrolment' and was deemed the WINNER!

We all know customers want the fastest path to their journey’s end. The best way to give customers an “ADVANCE TO GO” card is by understanding and addressing their frustrations. Just like in the game, they'll get to skip a few non-productive steps and you’ll be credited as the one who got them to their destination faster!

If you are taking the first steps to becoming Customer-Centric Download this ‘Insiders Guide to Design Thinking and explore the potential for your organisation.

So, next time you need to gain some insights and a better understanding of your customers, contact SMS to engage your stakeholdes. We guarantee you will truly experience things from a customers’ perspective and you may just have some fun along the way!

Take a look Inside a Design Thinking Action Lab, you’ll get a feel for just how collaborative this space is and how they foster innovation within your team. It's a space where you will learn new ways to generate innovative ideas, understand new techniques for building empathy to understand your customer expereince and design solutions to complex, real-world business problems. Click on the image below!


Inside the Design Thinking Action Lab

Topics: Design Thinking and Customer Experience