Our Design Thinking Journey

March 22, 2019

Jade Salazaar

I began my career at Rogers eight years ago as a web strategy coordinator on the marketing team. Over the years I transitioned to various digital product roles and it wasn’t until two years ago that I found my passion – bringing people from all disciplines together to challenge the norms, foster new ways of innovation through observation, reflection, and action, and to drive positive change.

One of the biggest challenges in my role was trying to turn a list of product requirements into a best-in-class digital experience. To help ensure the customer is always at the centre of the digital experiences, we adopted Design Thinking.

Our senior leadership allowed me to stretch into this new space, create a new team, and it’s now being adopted in other areas of the business. To introduce this new way of working, we ran workshops that brought cross-functional teams together and forced conversations that put the customer at the centre. Once we had a shared vision, only we started to design the experience.

So what is it? Design Thinking is a mindset within the industry that puts the customer at the centre of the design with 3 key components: a customer 1st approach, cross-functional participation, and iterative design.

Here are some ways that we have implemented Design Thinking in 2018:

1. Onboarding Program

Last year, a 90-minute module on Design Thinking was added to the onboarding program for new employees. We want our commitment to taking a customer-first approach and fostering innovation and collaboration amongst teams to be one of the first things that new employees learn at Rogers


2. Service Design Principles

We went through an exercise identifying key sentiments from great customer experiences (e.g., personalized, easy) and from poor ones (e.g., shifty, frustrating). Based on these sentiments, we introduced 5 Service Design Principles to ensure customer-centric thinking is driving both short and long-term business impacts while improving the lifetime value of our customers.

  • Be Proactive & Personal
  • Be Consistent, Fair & Transparent
  • Always Simplify
  • Be Reliable
  • It’s Our Problem, Solve it

In 2019, the team will further define the roles of our product and program owners to include accountability to these principles and ultimately to the customer experience.


3. Three Hallmark Projects

We selected three highly visible Hallmark (pilot) projects, all varying in scale and complexity, to illustrate the value of using the Design Thinking methodology. We stepped into our customers’ shoes, forgot everything we know about how our business and systems operate today and designed from the point of view of our customer. Only then did we move into conversations about viability and feasibility for the business.


Design Thinking and Service Design are methods we’ve been practicing in pockets throughout the organization for years, but in 2019 (and beyond) we’re making a big push to raise our design literacy and universally adopt these practices.


Jade Salazaar
Senior Manager, Design Thinking & User Experience Research
Rogers Communications

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