For the past 30 years, I’ve been actively designing in print, online and physical spaces--from digital products, marketing and advertising to interiors, exteriors and my own personal art collection. I’ve also been building teams of designers for nearly that same amount of time, in agencies, publishing houses, across TV and cable companies and even a few start-ups.
I came to Comcast in 2005 to head up a small web team tasked with bringing our online presence up to date, to streamline and simplify, and make it easier to become part of our customer’s everyday routine. It was an idea that sparked a conversation, a compelling start to a bigger story about the future of customer-focused design. And as these early efforts gained momentum, they kicked off a series of events that would mark the beginning of the UX evolution.
Our team, a collection of local talent, quickly grew to include some of the country’s best designers, IAs and UX professionals. These people knew something interesting was happening at Comcast and they were up for the day-to-day challenges of solving, building and transforming.
So the web was our proving ground. We helped simplify, fostered a more customer-centric approach, developed processes and disciplined designed experiences. We didn’t recreate the wheel, Comcast’s websites were already highly trafficked, but we helped take it to the next level, for our customers and ourselves.
Next, our team managed through the emergence of the smartphone, apps and tablets…as well as social media. I distinctly remember when I got a call from my boss, "Tom, we need an app on the tablet that works like a remote." Some really smart developers had figured out a way to use the tablet to speak to a set-top box, which was a pretty cool idea and the kind of thing designers live for. We took on the challenge of building the app and assembled a lean, agile team made up of developers and designers. In about 10 weeks, we were able to demonstrate the app, showcase our evolution and prove that our leadership was investing in our talent, our vision and most important, our customers.
We took our learned expertise and started applying it to different customer touch points, not the least of which was TV. I’ve told the X1 Platform story in a previous blog so I won’t repeat it here but it was an exciting, invigorating process that helped further solidify our vision and reach. We’re now extending ourselves into new areas—hardware and packaging design, self-install kits and remote controls. We’ve got a roster of internal clients and have partnered with our Customer Care team to ensure this evolution is holistic and that we deliver frictionless experiences and the best quality of service for our customers.
Our team has grown in maturity and in size, with offices in NYC and Silicon Valley, yet our dedication to making our customers love our products has never wavered. While our UX team is small by many company comparisons, we have the diversified talent and skills to help enhance every product touch point. And we’ve only just begun! We are delighting a lot of people right now and plan to do so well into the future. It’s a great time to be a designer at Comcast.