Driving Customer-Centric Design
Pella's senior industrial designer on windows and doors made for consumers
Did you open your front door this morning? Did you open it with your hands full of items? Why did you open your front door? These are the questions and multiple interactions that Jennifer Tuetken, a senior industrial designer for Pella’s Strategic Innovations Team, studies every day.
She strives to elevate innovation and in her words, “think super out of the box.” Pella has always been known as an innovator and with Jenn’s user-centric design expertise, the company is pushing its processes even further.
Design is not just to make something pretty. Design is to create and reimagine how a product could be used, its purpose, what it looks like and what it feels like.
Jenn is on the front-lines, working through window and door functionality challenges, and strives to stay true to the voice of the customer when creating products focused on them. “In our process, we observe customer pain points and then generate ideas or concepts to solve for those. From the beginning, I’m part of concept ideation.” Jenn is a vital team member who brings ideas to life and gets them in front of consumers for testing. She works with engineers in Pella’s own Innovation Lab to develop prototypes that are then tested using face-to-face research and surveys to understand better how consumers react to the concepts.
“When we take a concept out for testing, we usually get a lot of great feedback from customers about concerns that they have, things that they liked, things they would love to see, and then there are always surprises that we hadn’t even considered in a use case.”
A graduate of Arizona State University, Jenn always knew she wanted to work in design. “We all know from experience that going from one idea to one answer isn’t always best, and it is our team’s responsibility to really challenge the organization and the consumer's perceptions about windows and doors. And that is what I’m passionate about.”
The addition of Jenn and the formal user-design thinking is just one way that Pella is adding more value to the customer. “Pella has a really amazing foundation of high expectations and quality, so now we are building off of that and reimagining what innovation looks like here. With our formal Strategic Innovations Team, we are taking quick risks and learning from our failures to ultimately create better products for our customers.”