What is the CX Report?

What is the CX Report?

The CX Report gathers trends related to how business now happens in the computational era. It has been delayed to late May 2020 (due to the global pandemic), but the special appendix on Remote and Distributed Work is now available:

2020 CX Report Appendix


The 12-question survey remains open to May 1, 2020. If you participate there’s an option to put your name into the final report.


Appendix to the CX Report has been released.

Full CX Report will be released late May.

Due to the global disruption of COVID-19, I am rethinking the full CX Report. Stay tuned!

The CX Report got started as the Design in Tech Report.

Today’s most beloved technology products and services balance design and engineering in a way that perfectly blends form and function. And as a result, over the short span of a decade there’s now a few tech industry players that tower over long established non-tech industry players — specifically the ones who have not managed to compete at the speed of Moore’s law alongside their tech counterparts. Think Amazon versus Walmart. Think Uber versus the taxi companies. Think self-driving trucks versus truck drivers. The net result is a degree of unprecedented prosperity by tech companies running at exponential speeds and with no sign of tiring. Massive computational machines working alongside the technorati have left in their wake many traditional industries that are literally dying to keep up. In March 2020, John Maeda will provide a data-driven examination for how this new reality all came to be and how it can change for the better for all players. Maeda draws upon his experience working with organizations at all scales in his careers spanning the entire lifecycle of tech, business, and design ecosystems.


The full report releases in late May 2020. A pre-release appendix on Remote Work will be up on March 19. Last chance to contribute to the survey is May 1, 2020.

The CX Report’s Expected Takeaways

  1. Why should businesses care holistically about “experience” at the organizational level?
  2. What are the biggest trends in experience for established companies (i.e. “endups” or non-startups)?
  3. What are the biggest changes in how tech and design have impacted the experience wars positively and negatively?

What is CX?

“CX” is Customer Experience as transformed by Computational Experiences. The “C” to care about the most these days is Computation because it’s profoundly impacting Commerce, Culture, and Community. Read How To Speak Machine to get the basics of computation, to start — and then come back in March 2020 to see what this report all becomes!

Why should you care about CX?

What we consume today as customers is being impacted by computational forces at the speed of Moore’s Law. Business is needing to transform faster than it has ever needed to achieve before. And organizations are trying to figure out how what it all means — and it’s a bit messy out there.

How does CX relate to #DesignInTech?

Design in the technology industry, or “Design in Tech” as we’ve called it, has vastly transformed how businesses translate value into experiences. Whether in the WOW of how digital marketing can synthesize interactive, customized content at the individualized level, or whether in the “after WOW” of a digital product’s post on-boarding flow where many weeks later you whisper to yourself with proud admiration, “Wow.” Tech startups have historically had an easier journey to success in crafting both the wows and the after wows because they’ve been advantaged by building mobile-first, cloud-first, and Millennial-first. And let’s not forget that startups have little to lose when they’re starting up, so they have tremendous latitude to experiment and “fail fast.”

The ability to give consumers a holistic experience is challenging, if not impossible, when you’re bigger than a startup. Bringing design into the early phases of technology startups resulted in billions of dollars of unexpected value creation for companies like Airbnb, Pinterest, and Lyft. And for the established tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook who later invested heavily in design through acquisitions and massive talent acquisitions, their continue domination was fortified. Apple will remain unmentioned because they represent the anomaly of having started with design from startup all the way through maturity, and look where that’s gotten them.

When you’re instead a non-tech “endup” company running at full scale with thousands of people bearing the pressure of serving millions of customers, making a delightful experience will naturally end up at the bottom of your list. Why? Because so many parts of an organization need to be involved in creating and maintaining these newer, realtime integrated experiences-as-services. So there’s a need for new mindsets, new skills, new dreams, and new budgets with which a few new bets can be made. And these new directives need to have the permission to fail — which is often never really given. Because the stakes are significantly higher in endups (or “grownups”), so consciously picking bets from the high-reward/low-risk quadrant are always vital for gaining momentum.

Whose site is this?

This is my side project and doesn’t represent the opinions of anyone except myself. My day job is serving as EVP/Chief Experience Officer of Publicis Sapient where we bridge strategy and engineering with design. I recently explained what I do at Publicis Sapient on CNN, if you’d like to learn more:

—John Maeda

Design in Tech Report

The CX Report got started as the Design in Tech Report.

Watch the 2019 Design in Tech Report on YouTube.