Sponsor Spotlight

Another company we wouldn’t be here without is Intuit. We spoke with Cesar Villegas, vice president of Intuit's Consumer Group Design team, so he could fill us in about how Intuit came to be SDDW's founding sponsor and give us info about its robust design department based here in San Diego. Cesar grew up in Encinitas and got his design degree at San Diego State University. While he’s worked for big names like Apple and creative agencies like Razorfish and Blast Radius, his San Diego roots kept calling him back.

Why did Intuit decide to be the event’s founding sponsor?

Like San Diego Design Week, Intuit has a broad definition of design, including design research and insights, design technology, content design, visual design, UX design and more. The experiences comprising San Diego Design week are so rich and varied, putting an appropriately bright spotlight on the design community that is in our own backyard.

We’re also looking forward to strengthening our connection to the local design community and celebrating San Diego’s pioneering and inspirational design talent. And finally, one of Intuit’s core values is that we care and give back to the communities where we live and work. Supporting San Diego Design Week is one way we live that value.

Consumers might not immediately think about design when they think of Intuit and its products because it’s a financial platform company. How do you describe the way Intuit approaches design?

We think of design as the engine to create delightful end-to-end customer experiences through products like TurboTax and Mint, and intense customer empathy and obsession is our fuel.

Just think about taxes – one of the most complex and gut-wrenching tasks you’ll deal with each year. Our objective is to empower our TurboTax customers and give them the confidence that they’ll get their biggest refund possible. We do this by leading them through a seamless series of questions and supporting and celebrating them throughout the process. Making it feel effortless on their part is not an easy task on our part, especially when we’re serving tens of millions of customers each year and each customer is a snowflake – every one is unique.

By focusing on the customer problem and applying our own brand of design thinking that we’re calling Design for Delight (D4D), we’re able to create highly personalized experiences at scale.

How big is your design team?

Our Intuit Consumer Group Design Team, based here in San Diego, has about 100 designers who work closely with our Marketing, Product Management, Product Development and Customer Success partners. We also have design teams in Mountain View, CA, who drive our QuickBooks customer experiences, as well as a corporate design team.

What type of design roles are available at Intuit?

Our design craft capabilities are broad, but they also align to our customer behavior, so we’re intensely focused on design for mobile web and app design. Because of our customer obsession, we spend a lot of time testing and talking to customers, so design research is an important craft. Visual design, interaction design, design systems, and content design are crafts that bring our brand voice to life. And behind it all is design technologists who also code. Within all our crafts, we are especially interested in early career designers who bring fresh perspectives to our team.

What will Intuit be presenting at SDDW?

Intuit has a very specific design thinking process that drives everything we do. For San Diego Design Week, we’ll be walking attendees through a fun and in-depth case study live with a small business owner, and applying our design thinking to help her define her customer problem. Then we’ll walk through some of our design crafts to show how we apply that design thinking to create a customer experience that drives brand loyalty and creates distance between her business and her competitors.

People who attend will get that behind-the-curtain look at our design thinking process and they will walk away with ideas about how to apply it to their own products and services.

We’d love to hear what inspires you about design in San Diego, in your own words.

I love the vibe of San Diego – and the vibe of San Diego designers. We have such a generous, collaborative, chill, and fun-minded team of designers and that’s reflective of the culture here. There is so much beauty in San Diego and so much to experience. It’s the people who can be in the moment and pause to appreciate the joy in small things who will be inspired to create similar moments for our customers.