Human-Centered Design + Designing Exceptional Customer Experiences with Lis Hubert and Diana Sonis — DT101 E101

Diana Sonis is a passionate believer in holistic 360 strategy and design, with extensive expertise in UX and CX design, service design, and design thinking. Lis Hubert is an acclaimed design and strategy thought leader, writer, and speaker with extensive experience in digital strategy, customer experience, information architecture, and design. Together, they founded CX by Design, a human-centered design company that helps businesses design people-centric products, services, and organizational systems in order to create exceptional customer experiences.

Listen to Learn About

  • Customer experience design
  • Near- versus long-term strategy
  • Helping organizations make design thinking part of their internal processes
  • What exactly is innovation?
  • Systemic innovation
  • Designing for customer intent

Our Guests

Portrait of Diana Sonis
Diana Sonis
Diana is a passionate believer in holistic, 360 strategy and design, with extensive expertise in UX Design, CX Design, Service Design, and the Design Thinking methodology.

As founding partner of CX by Design, Diana’s mission is to identify nuggets of opportunity within an organization, reorient its existing systems and structures to improve the human experience, help others extend their thinking, and drive material business advantage.

Having designed, built, and successfully sold several companies, Diana works to help businesses shape abstract concepts into concrete online and offline experiences that respond to the needs and motivations of real people.

When she’s not solving strategic challenges, Diana can be found in pursuit of good coffee everywhere.

Portrait of Lis HubertLis Hubert
Lis is an acclaimed design and strategy thought leader, writer, and speaker with extensive expertise in Digital Strategy, Customer Experience, Information Architecture, and Design Thinking.

As founding partner of CX by Design, she has made it her mission to help companies meet their strategic goals. She does so by making the invisible visible through research, making the complex simple through her unique perspective, and bringing understanding and meaning through expert facilitation.

With over a decade of designing successful products and strategies for clients of all sizes, her passion lies in helping her partners think holistically about driving, and enacting, real change. Lis helps businesses not only increase their bottom line, but also their longevity through customer loyalty.

When not tackling complex strategic problems, you can find Lis traveling the world enjoying the human experience to the fullest.

Show Highlights

[01:18] Diana and Lis talk about their paths into design and customer experience.
[07:04] How Lis and Diana approach systems design.
[08:11] The three components of a business ecosystem.
[09:03] Gauging the health of the business based on the components.
[11:27] Lis’ and Diana’s business backgrounds and how it’s helpful for the work they do now.
[12:37] Near-term strategy versus long-term strategy.
[13:40] Strategy is no good without a roadmap and a process.
[16:25] Working backwards from the goal to create the map to get there.
[18:38] Why CX by Design starts their weekly client meetings with a few minutes of non-work-related chat.
[20:58] Helping clients see the potential of design thinking as a problem-solving method.
[24:32] Getting an entire organization to shift into thinking like a designer.
[26:47] Creating a culture of innovation.
[27:39] CX by Design’s “sweet spot.”
[28:24] What is innovation?
[29:26] The importance of language in an organization’s innovation culture.
[31:56] The concept of systemic innovation.
[33:40] Design for customer intent.
[35:32] Looking for ways customer intent and a business’ core values interconnect.
[36:08] Diana and Lis use the company Patagonia as an example.
[38:48] How CX by Design uses information architecture tools in their work.
[43:43] Books Lis and Diana recommend that have influenced their work.


Diana on LinkedIn
Diana on Twitter
Diana on Medium
Diana’s website
Diana’s articles on UX Booth
Diana’s articles on boxes and arrows
Lis on LinkedIn
Lis on Twitter
Lis on Medium
Lis’ personal website
Lis’ professional website
Lis on Women Talk Design
Lis’ articles at UX Magazine
Lis’ articles on boxes and arrows
Lis’ articles on UX Booth
CX by Design – sign up for their newsletter
CX by Design on Twitter

Book Recommendations

Who Do We Choose to Be?: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity, by Margaret J. Wheatley
Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences, by Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati
Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, by Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, and Brian Quinn
The Compass and the Nail: How the Patagonia Model of Loyalty Can Save Your Business, and Might Just Save the Planet, by Craig Wilson and Kyle Tait
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, Third Edition, by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, and Emily Gregory
The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage, by Roger Martin
Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers, by Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie
This Is Service Design Doing: Applying Service Design Thinking in the Real World, by Marc Stickdorn, Markus Hormess, Adam Lawrence, and Jakob Schneider

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Civic Design + Innovation Ops + System Design with Ryann Hoffman — DT101 E62
Employee Experience by Design: How to Create an Effective EX for Competitive Advantage with Belinda Gannaway — DT101 E75

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Resources — Thinking and Solving Like a Designer


Ask Like a Designer — Monthly articles with design ideas, methods, frameworks, templates, and a question-fueled approach to design-driven innovation. Discover new ways to think and solve like a designer.

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Download Fluid Hive's Innovation Shield: a guide to avoiding innovation traps by asking 9 of Fluid Hive's Design Thinking Questions.

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