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The Zenda® difference

We are fascinated with the way people work

We know that the human context is as important to defining how teams solve operational challenges as it is to discovering transformational insights.


We're pioneers, always have been

We were there in the earliest days of software development, designers pushing their way into the invention of business software and operating systems, before the birth of the personal computer. At the time, other designers didn't understand why we wanted to work in this space. And business and technology folks couldn't understand what a designer would add to their projects. Decades later, design and technology are inseparable. Zenda consultants are breaking ground again by expanding the influence of design beyond the computer screen to the way we understand business operations and the event of work.

We see people​ where others see users

When you are a "UX” or "UI” designer, the world is full of users and design's influence lives on the screen. We see things differently. People exist in a context that may include technology, but also other people, cultural influences, environmental factors, equipment, policies, procedures, and information. Zenda consultants know that WorkDesign™ means seeing people as more than users and shaping an event that is larger than a computer screen.

We define and measure impact

Zenda client partners are bold. They choose to design business operations differently than they have been designed in the past. And they choose to do so because we define quantifiable impact targets from step one. By providing our partners with a clear picture of why they should innovate, we make their decisions to do so easy.

It is no longer good enough to deliver systems that are capable and reliable; from Finance to Healthcare, Zenda focuses on business technology to drive exceptional levels of efficiency and productivity.

— CIO, Consumer Products Company

Fortune 50 Company

Work Design

What is WorkDesign?

Work Design focuses on the event of work — how people, policy, tools, and data come together to most effectively achieve business goals.

Distinct from service design or continuous process improvement, WorkDesign is a balanced understanding and arrangement of all aspects of a work event: the human context; the full scope of business concerns; technology, tools, and infrastructure; and data and information.

Human as Inspiration

When seeking better ways to operate, the human context of work is a rich source of insight and opportunity, no longer a hurdle of ineffective change management and training expense.

Business in its Entirety

Looking to the larger operating landscape of policy, regulation, and organization opens the door to business opportunity that exceeds efficiency and quality alone.

Technology and Infrastructure in Concert

When hardware, software, tools, infrastructure, and equipment are deployed with careful consideration for human operators, business objectives, and the influence of data, risk is mitigated and opportunity is found.

Data as Participant

Seeing data as a minute-by-minute participant in business operations provides insight into how it shapes the execution of work, elevating it from a place of mere record or model for forecasting.

We can’t chart our post-pandemic operations strategies without placing the worker and our workforce front and center in those plans.

— VP, Innovation

Fortune 50 Insurance Company

Seeing Business®

What is Seeing Business®?


Traditional enterprise process diagrams do not accurately reflect how work really happens. Our consultants visualize the event of work across all four dimensions of work: business, human, technology, data. Stakeholders can see how work truly transpires, understand why, and design transformative futures.

Zenda’s operation models become

  • A blueprint for transformation
  • A source of evidence and validation
  • A project communication nexus among all stakeholders
  • An actionable roadmap for the design of improved tools, methods, and technologies that reimagine business through a deep understanding of the human context of work

Work happens differently than you think, Zenda is unique in that they sit with the people doing the work and actually see what they are doing. Zenda discovers opportunities in the human context of business.

— Global Head of Legal, Compliance and Regulatory Systems, Financial Services

Fortune 100 Company

Our Services

What We Do

Problem Validation

Zenda consultants see into the white space of a work event, forming a deeper understanding of the human workforce that drives your business and grounds a roadmap for transformation.

Workers often create subroutines in order to get work done, masking underlying problems. Zenda deploys behavioral scientists and designers into the physical work environment to identify patterns of human behavior, to detect and define the root problems that cause process breaks.

Operational Modeling and Process Optimization

Zenda consultants create a visual model that details all dimensions of your work environment in a single picture. Seeing the relationship among business processes, technology, data, and the human workforce drives the discovery of opportunities, the identification of risks and the exploration of new operating strategies.

Our clients have never seen their enterprise like this before: a single expression of business operations that goes beyond swim lanes, process flow diagrams, and journey mapping to bring the multidisciplinary team into one clear explanation of the multi-dimensional work event.

Digital Tool Design

The best digital experiences happen when designers focus on the person for whom a tool is intended. Zenda consultants balance human insights with an appreciation for the capabilities and limitations of platforms and systems. We work side by side with technologists to make the most of each situation. 

Our experience in software design extends back more than thirty years, before terms like UI, UX, XD were coined. Before users were called users, we knew them as people — human beings working in a human context.

Product Evaluation

Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solutions are typically evaluated based on functionality, without an understanding of how the product will actually perform in the hands of employees. Effective use usually requires training and change management investment and the risk that comes with it.

Zenda brings new evaluation criteria into the COTS selection process, allowing our clients to mitigate the risks associated with excessive customization, inaccurate configuration, and poor workforce adoption. Our clients get greater value and better service from COTS vendors by bringing a concern for the human context of work to their platform purchase, configuration, and adoption strategies.

Capability Building

Every project is an opportunity for our client partners to learn and grow. Zenda consultants work shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, providing the unique opportunity for client-side team members to learn new skills and methods.

Every engagement is an opportunity for Zenda's client partners to transform how they understand problems, discover opportunities, and explore solutions. Through our clients’ newfound ability to positively impact their own organization long into the future, the impact of any Zenda engagement extends long into the future.

Increase the Consulting Firm’s Value

Zenda's consultants have worked in concert with the largest consulting firms out there, even those that have acquired and built their own design teams. Clients find Zenda consultants to be a powerful bridge between their consulting partner's “best practices” and their own company's unique challenges, opportunities, culture, and workforce characteristics.

Our methods

How we do it


Leverage Client Expertise

"In what verticals are you specialized?" We hear this a lot. Businesses are used to seeking guidance from consulting partners whose latest project has become their "expertise" in that vertical. At Zenda, we know that our clients' experiences in their business makes them experts. We combine our expertise in understanding the human context of work with our clients' expertise in their business. This is a powerful combination, and we have paired with our clients in verticals ranging from energy grid management and investment banking to food service, healthcare, government, and more.

Plan, Observe, Listen

Zenda's social and behavioral scientists observe business operations to gain a clear understanding of both what workers are doing and why? Zenda's fresh, objective perspective, paired with our clients' expertise, reveal discoveries and insights from within the context of work, reframing problems to create transformational opportunities. Zenda's consultants deliver expanded opportunities to the creation of new business processes and systems.


The foundation of everything we do at Zenda follows a sequence of problem definition, solution exploration, testing, and execution. Unlike popular and over-simplified Design Thinking trends, Zenda's consultants bring clients into a comprehensive design process that delivers tactical results. Working with Zenda consultants, the engagement may include


- Contextual Inquiry / Ethnographic Research 
- Behavioral / Cognitive Assessment 
- Workshops and Co-design Sessions
- Agile / Rapid Solution Exploration 
- Operation Modeling 
- User Interface / Experience Design 
- In-context and Lab-based Testing


The human aspect of a business process is much more complex than a persona. Understanding the ‘workarounds’ our employees invented provided a roadmap to a transformation plan. Change management is a band-aid, not a solution.

— Business Process Owner, Finance Vertical

Fortune 50 Company

How We Engage

Flexible and Impactful

Zenda's role in the evaluation and definition of enterprise operations is a new concept in many organizations. For this reason, we must be flexible in how we engage and deliver value in every engagement.

Let us earn your trust

Our longest client relationships began with small budgets and a promise to deliver impact. We'll work with you to identify a proof-of-concept and show you the unique value our consultants deliver.

Engage at any point

 Whether the project is in planning stages or the train left the station months ago, we bring client partners into their work and deliver measurable impact.

Leverage our range

From 3-day workshops to 24-month transformations, we understand what real impact requires and welcome the opportunity to unify disparate voices and agendas. We routinely collaborate with diverse client stakeholders, workforce teams, and consulting partners.

How We Engage

Flexible and Impactful

Design's role in the deployment of usable software within the business enterprise is well understood. Design's role in the evaluation and definition of enterprise operations is a new concept in many organizations. For this reason, we must be flexible in how we engage, and deliver value in every engagement.

Let us earn your trust

Our longest client relationships began with small budgets and a promise to deliver impact. We'll work with you to identify a proof-of-concept and show you how we work and the value that designers can deliver.

Jump right in

Whether the project is in planning stages or the train left the station months ago, Zenda's designers know how to employ the right techniques for every situation, to effectively bring client partners into their work and to deliver measurable impact.


The best designers are great communicators who welcome the opportunity to unify disparate voices and agendas. Diverse client stakeholders, consulting partners and workforce members are welcome project partners and collaborators.