Based on my Personal Development Plan of my Master's study, I would like to develop my skills in designing for multiple stakeholders and developing business models to solve complex industrial issues. Therefore, I decided to join Accenture's Industry X.0 team to cooperate on a project. During this internship, I attempted to combine design thinking with a business consulting mind, to further understand my role as a designer in the current industry. I improved both my professional skills as a versatile designer and soft skills as a team player.

Project in Company 2019 | 5 months
Role: Industry X.0 - Digital Intern
Company: Accenture - Inspiration Center Eindhoven
Skills: business modeling, design for multi-stakeholder, haptic user interface, prototyping, contextual inquiry, interview, user evaluation, expert evaluation
Company Supervisor: Sophie Brenny
Project Coach: Mathias Funk

The Project

"Industry X.0 is a new path enables companies to discover their own most effective combination of advanced digital technologies to empower digital reinvention and expand revenue streams" ———— Accenture

I started this project built on Accenture Industry X.0 vision, with a focus on improving the working experience of the construction workers by exploring the potential application and combination of cutting edge technologies. ​ The project converged from two aspects: 1) Design & Research: Research through Design methodology was adopted (Koskinen, et al., 2011) and a prototype was built and used for usability evaluation. In turn, the results of the evaluation promote the development of the business model. 2) Business Modeling: the business model canvas was used, and the project was considered as a start-up group within Accenture Industry X.0. ​ Accenture Industry X.0 shows interest in taking the project for further development, potentially with a construction company and a hardware creator to provide a new idea or initiative. ​ Due to the Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement, I will not be able to disclose my work. If you are interested in the scope of connected workers and the working culture at Accenture, please feel free to contact me.

This project mainly contributes to my business mindset as a multidisciplinary designer. The mindset shifting from pure user-centered design to integrating the business design method equips me with the working ability to solve complex issues in real work situations. The process is shown in the following figure.

The Takeaways

The journey in Accenture is not limited to my own project, but a whole new working experience for in this international company and multidisciplinary team.

We are a big family! I sincerely appreciate the working vibe in Accenture, especially in the Industry X.0 team based in Inspiration Center Eindhoven. When I just started my internship, I was encouraged to connect with all the people in the team, not only interns but also the senior consultants and managers, who are all willing to show supports and provide help if needed. I admire the equality, which I believe, could make everyone feel welcomed and more willing to commit to their job.

Find my position to assist the team As a design student, it was hard for me to figure out what I can do in this consulting company. I was enthusiastic to help but I was not confident and certain enough. With the help and support from the team, I started to take ownership and assist the team with my strength. For example, I assisted in the demonstration presentation event organization in the Inspiration Center in Eindhoven. I also was responsible for branding design with my design skills.

Missed opportunities I would like to highlight the struggle and miss the opportunities I had in this internship. At the early stage of the project, it was hard for me to find a balance between business value and user-centered design. I was too focused on the value of Accenture and overlooked the design process. Another challenge was getting contact with target users in the Netherlands, due to the cultural difference and language barriers.

Power Ups!

  • The project was conducted in the company and should follow certain principles and timelines. Therefore, I have developed my abilities in project planning and time management. I have learnt how to deal with overwhelming information and finding a specific topic that fits my own vision.

  • I have learnt to express myself confidently and effectively, which could facilitate mutual understanding and promote efficient cooperation in the team. I also developed more awareness regarding building my own professional network for further career development.

  • I gained a better understanding of the mechanism of the business industry, as well as the right tool and vocabulary needed for better communication with clients.

  • As a designer, I am able to find the right business model to launch an innovative design concept. I have learned the essence of the business model canvas, which helps me to create new products and design the business around it at the same time from a holistic perspective.