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Human-Centered Design

Some companies seem to have an uncanny ability to build product and service experiences that mean something to their customers, stand out from the competition and allow them to charge a premium.

These companies would say that innovation comes from the quality of the questions you ask, not the number of ideas captured in an ideas box. This is the core of Human-Centered Design.

We provide Human-Centered Design Consulting, Coaching and Courses to help you deliver innovative outcomes and build this capability in your organisation.

We’ve used this approach to get people up to speed and delivering innovative outcomes in large organisations and small.

The Core of Human-centered design


Problem Framing

We collaborate to understand the business context and intent so we have focus and direction.



We then engage and interact with our customers and users to understand the problem we are solving for them.



This will inspire ideas and concepts that will be useful, usable and desirable for them.


Rapid Prototyping

We co-design and test those ideas with our customers to progressively refine the design through a rapid series of iterations.


Launch and Track

We develop a rollout plan and evaluate the value created for the customer and our business.

Our Experts are always ready to work with you

Contact Our Team For a Free Consultation

CASE STUDY: Starting @ RSL Care

A 48% New Employee Failure rate (new employees leaving within 6-8 months of appointment) at RSL Care, Queensland was financially unnerving. It was also unsettling for RSL Care’s clients and existing employees.

The decision to use a Human-Centred design methodology to explore, understand and define the problem through the perspectives of their
customers caused jitters. But the opportunity to move from ‘traditional, knee-jerk’ solutions was enticing.

RSL Care Queensland slashes its New Employee failure rate by over 50% and makes a MASSIVE financial saving

Problem Framing

The Business Problem:

The research undertaken showed the real business problem to be new hire failure. New employees are choosing to leave RSL Care within 12 months of starting. But why? And what can we do about it?

The project team conducted desktop reviews in the following areas:

  • Turnover of new employees
    (< 1 year tenure)
  • Compliance training, level of on time training
  • Staff satisfaction of new employees
    (<1 year tenure)


In-depth Interviews:

Over one month, 27 interviews (face-to-face) were conducted in all areas with new employees, their buddies and hiring managers to determine the real cause of new hire failure with the focusing question in mind.

“How can I create and maintain a PATHWAY into the organisation for new employees that helps them find their PLACE and realise their



The project team and other stakeholder groups developed various ideas that could meet the design principles and address the issues currently experienced by a new starter to RSL Care. These ideas were then sorted and prioritised.

The pathway included:

  • Touch points
  • between RSL Care and the new employee
  • New employee emotional pathway

New Starter Pathway:

New starter pathways were created for a new employee (carer) and new employee (manager) based on the information gathered during the interview process and were mapped to understand what is the experience currently like for new employees, where are the points of pain and points of pleasure, and opportunities to improve.

Rapid Prototyping

The Next Steps:

The steps below allowed the project to move into the Rapid Prototyping phase.

  • Prototype quick wins
  • Prototype priority ideas
  • Build quick wins
  • Implement quick wins
  • Develop business case for priority ideas

Our Experts are always ready to work with you

Contact Our Team For a Free Consultation

Tough Problem helped us rapidly accelerate a corporate integration process. They listened to the brief, responded with a sense of urgency & quality, assembled the right team for our needs & commenced working with us in a true partnership fashion. The proven techniques, processes, training materials and tools they provided, enabled us to quickly get on with it. [Tough Problem] offer a practical, accessible, adaptable consulting service which helped QSuper achieve its objectives through a new and innovative approach.

Tracey McFarlandHead of Integration Program

I knew that tough Problem would bring a pragmatic approach to designing, documenting and implementing our requirements, and that they would be capable of completing this intensive piece of work within the prescribed deadlines... They compiled a response that was both comprehensive & addressed The Rock’s requirements, but they also positioned it to meet the future needs of our organisation. Overall, they delivered a great “fit for purpose” outcome for The Rock.

Stuart McDonaldFmr CEO , The Rock

Tough Problem was engaged by the C&K Association Limited’s Board to undertake a strategic and operational review following the resignation of the former CEO. After working with the Tough Problem team, the leadership team gained a better understanding of the business and the service to our key stakeholders. The guidance and assistance they gave us in developing focused initiatives to improve our total organisation was invaluable. Tough Problem was able to provide key insight on parts of the business that surprised a number of our long standing employees! They are a master of turning complexity in simplicity. With the help of Tough Problem we were able to improve our overall service to the front line staff, our head office accountability to each other and generate the largest surplus in C&K history. It was a great team to have around in our time of need.

Mel ComerfordActing CEO C&K Association Limited