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dmi: 2017 Design Value Award Winner
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Autodesk is global corporation that makes software for customers in architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, and entertainment. Their AutoCAD Mobile app lets users create, edit, and share drawings on mobile devices. To fuel growth in subscriptions to the software, the team embarked on a Dual Track Process to make customer experience improvements to the product while minimizing business risks.

It was clear to the team from the start that they needed to understand their customers in a more intentional and structured way. One of the biggest challenges was, at first, convincing managers to let key employees “out of the building” for site visits. It’s not trivial to let 4 developers to take time away from coding to meet with customers.


Surprisingly, throughout an extensive discovery phase that included building a research community with over 1500 users, persona development from customer visits and over 160 customer responses, and detailed customer journey maps based on contextual inquiry at 27 customer sites and over 50 user interviews – they found how much users have in common. They share similar goals, needs, apps and workflows. That insight helped the the team become more focused, knowing what features and flows to invest in. During the project they exposed every single employee working on AutoCAD Mobile to customers and their insights.


Since its launch, there has been continuous quarterly growth in subscriptions, with the higher priced yearly plan showing strong results over the monthly subscription offering.


But perhaps the most valuable effect was culture change. They innovated processes and engaged resources both top-down and bottom-up to build a more customer-centric analytical culture based on data and validation, not opinion.



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Kevin BethuneKevin Bethune is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life

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