The Customer Management Practice is proud to announce the Design & Innovation Awards. The awards celebrates and recognizes innovation and human-centered design (HCD) accomplishments across communities and organizations. This year’s awards categories have been selected to reflect the three conference themes of Design Thinking 2019: 

Design Transformation
ROI of Human-Centered Design

Applications are free of charge, and stories will be shared anonymously with our panel of judges. Within this we will select 3 finalists. Our first place winners per category will be recognized on April 17, 2019 at Design Thinking.

Empathy is the first step of design thinking and a core principle of human-centered design. Empathy, for both customers and employees, builds the foundation to user-centric innovation. This category looks to highlight the power of empathy in creation of products, services, cultures, and project outcomes. 

The winning case will display:

1. The highlighting factor of the case study is the use of empathy as the greatest impact to the outcome

2. Multiple methodologies/tools i.e. use of data, ethnography, journey mapping, etc., are used to empathize with the client(s).

3. A direct tie to the voice of the client is demonstrated throughout the entirety of submission


As design thinking and other human-centered design methodologies permeate through the market, we see a larger impact on overall organizational structure, culture, and ways of work. The Design Transformation category pays homage to the larger impact of design thinking and its transformative effect on the people, process, and products of an organization. 

The winning case will display:

1. A clear “transformation” defined and demonstrated through the use of HCD—whether this be cultural, organizational, digital, experiential, etc. 

2. Collaboration or breakdown of silos between departments, teams, and/or management.

3. A level of scale in the application of HCD through a journey or project that impacted the organization at large.


The ROI of Human-Centered Design continues to emerge as an interesting case, challenge, and inquiry to the design community and beyond. With the adoption of HCD on the rise, its perception as being solely fuzzy front end has transformed to a specific, measured, and tangible discipline across organizations.

The winning case will display:

1. A successful application of HCD.

2. The measured impact across an organization/business unit or a specific project, product, or team due to the use of HCD.

3. Defined and quantifiable measurements of success in profits, cost-savings, efficiency, KPIs, and/or other metrics.


  • Entry deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2019
  • Please note the entry deadline, this date is final and there will be no extensions provided. The system will automatically prevent entry submission after the deadline.
  • Finalists announced: March 20, 2019
  • Awards presentation ceremony: April 17, 2019 at Design Thinking


  • All applications must be submitted through Award Force.
  • There is no application fee. This protects the integrity and prestige of the CMP Design & Innovation Awards.
  • There is no limit to the number of categories for which you can apply within your respective “end user” or “vendor” classification.
  • The CMP team will not release or provide any information associated with previous year’s awards applications.
  • All finalists are required to be present at the Design Thinking 2019 conference (April 17-18, 2019 in Austin, TX) to win.
  • You will be required to fill out a summary of your submission if you are a finalist to share with our media outlets.

End Users vs. Vendors

  • Each category will award ONE “end user” and ONE “vendor”.
  • Vendors are defined as any company that offers human centered design services. This includes but is not limited to Design Technology, Outsourcing Services, Consulting or Agency Services. It is at the sole discretion of the CMP staff to determine end user vs. vendor status.
  • If a vendor and end user apply with the same submission, the first submission received will be qualified for their respective category. It is at the sole discretion of the CMP staff to determine if there is a duplicate submission.
  • Vendor submissions must validate and be able to share client name publically.


  • The judging panel includes Customer Management Practice Analysts, Design & Innovation Advisory Board Members, and select Industry Influencers. All judges abide by a confidentiality agreement.
  • Awards categories are allocated in a way where neither judge bias nor conflicts of interest exist.
  • Applicant’s contact information will remain confidential throughout the entire awards process.
  • Judging of each application will be based on criteria listed per category and the ability to demonstrate the impact and application of human-centered design.
  • Please note that in order to be contacted if you become a finalist, you will have to have your notifications enabled.


If you have any questions on the entry process, please contact the organizers by email to