Design Thinking in Tax & Legal

Written by Izmir Shah

Design Thinking is a problem solving methodology that is creative, collaborative, visual and user centric.

Learning and applying Design Thinking is not only applicable to our colleagues in Consulting but also relevant to our professionals in Tax & Legal.

The focus of the Design Thinking approach is the user. Everything that we do revolves around our interaction with the user.

The user group is not limited to our clients but can also be our colleagues and other stakeholders. Application of this methodology is not only used to create a new product, new offering or solving a problem but also can be used in report writing and organizing events or meetings.

Recently, I facilitated a session to Introduce Design Thinking to our new joiners in Tax & Legal.

There is a vast selection of exercises in Design Thinking methodology that can be used to solve different types of problems. I focused on the “5E’s exercise”.

The 5E’s concept looks at the end-to-end process of the user interaction with your offering and thereby designing the best user experience.

These 5E’s concept covers the following phases:

  1. Entice: how do you attract your users to interact with your offerings
  2. Enter: How does your user begin the interaction with your offering
  3. Engage: How does your user interact with your offering
  4. Exit: How does your user end the engagement with your offering
  5. Extend: How your user reflects on the experience with your offering

Before starting the design challenge activity, I introduced the persona or the user that is at the centre of this problem; “James”. The Persona Mapping exercise enables you to understand James as a person. What he sees, hears, says, does, needs, and also his pains and gains.

The design challenge I posed to the teams as an owner of a cafe: ‘’How can you design the best experience for James so that he will go to your cafe again?”.

Any Design Thinking workshop will have a short time allocation per activity. This is to stop our participants over thinking the ideas they have and starting to put barriers on what is possible. It is usually the best, big, bold and fresh ideas which work best in this context.

The team look at designing features of their cafe using the 5E’s phases with having James as a reference. The team draw the journey before James enters the cafe, how James interacts with objects/people in the cafe and what he does when he leaves the cafe.

The fun part at the end of the session is the presentation by the teams. The story telling is a form of prototyping the solution.

Design Thinking offers us the chance to look at a problem with the user at the heart of the solution and has great applicability to how we design services and solutions for our Tax & Legal clients.

Tax Design Thinking Workshop
Tax Design Thinking Workshop
Tax Design Thinking Workshop

Personas Mapping

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