In the course of the past six months, I have been privileged to be invited to attend two national conferences for one of HatchWorks’ clients – Capital Choice. For context, Capital Choice is a financial services firm based in Georgia. With over 600 associates nation-wide, the company has found tremendous success in helping its clients improve their overall financial well-being through client consultation and a portfolio of offerings ranging from life insurance to annuity products.

The two conferences were very different. The first was a smaller-scale conference attended by select leaders and high-producing sales teams. The second was open to participation by associates at all levels of the organization. Both conferences provided the HatchWorks team an opportunity to get to know our client from a unique and personal perspective.

At the leadership conference last October, HatchWorks was in attendance as the Capital Choice team discussed a myriad of strategic topics for the company. While the MyCapitalChoice digital platform we designed and developed for Capital Choice was one agenda item, the majority of the conference was spent discussing topics ranging from training and professional development, marketing and branding, and other specific industry trends and financial product development. We had the opportunity to listen, ask questions, and spend quality time with many folks we had never met before and to understand the challenges and opportunities facing the leaders of the company.

Fast forward to February. HatchWorks attended Capital Choice’s larger-scale national conference. It was impressive to hear consistent themes from the prior leadership conference persist to this larger audience. HatchWorks’ portion of the agenda was simply to provide an update on the latest status of the MyCapitalChoice platform. We again took the opportunity to get to know associates who were both long-term and new to their careers with Capital Choice. We saw optimism in their eyes, we heard their day to day challenges and enjoyed capturing some of their big ideas.

I share this story because we, at HatchWorks, firmly believe that good design is rooted in empathy. Some of the worst system designs I have ever seen were implemented by teams who never took the time (or were not empowered) to engage with the actual end users. When we began the process of designing MyCapitalChoice, it started with a few simple whiteboard sketches in a room full of Capital Choice’s top-performers. We iterated on the design and the rapidly-produced prototype ensured end users could experience the design of the system before it was even coded. Before we built the product, we empathized with the current state situation of the end users.

After the product was built, we continued to listen and empathize with day to day realities – all in order to build a better system. We believe that design does not end when the product goes live: we have continued to listen, participate, and partner with Capital Choice to ensure the product meets all users’ success criteria. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue observing, listening to and meeting the end users of this terrific product.

– Justin Culliver