Turkcell Customer Experience Lab

How might we empower Turkcell’s Customer Experience teams to lead customer-centered transformation and enable the creation of innovative products, services, and business models?

As the leading digital operator in Turkey, Turkcell’s CX department aimed to adopt a human-centric organizational model while developing products & services. Our learning design-centered project focused on educating and empowering the high-potential employees of Turkcell’s CX teams to lead the customer-centered transformation through the creation of innovative solutions.

Project Team:

Aslı Sevinç Daver, Barbaros Kaptanoğlu, Carla Lemgruber, Deniz Dönmez, Erdem Koç, Kerem Alper, Mert Çetinkaya, Nazlı Cangönül, Onat Vural

Project Lead:

Mert Çetinkaya


yşen Kuşoğlu (product design), Berkan Şahan (UX design), Gökçe Yüksel (design research), Halit Soysal (facilitation), Özgür Önurme (videography)


Core77, Design Education Initiative, Notable Mention, 2020

ATÖLYE joined forces with Turkcell, the leading digital operator in Turkey, aiming to help their Customer Experience teams adopt a human-centric organizational model while developing their products and services.

The learning design-centered project focused on educating and empowering the high-potential employees of Turkcell’s CX teams to lead the customer-centered transformation within the organization through innovative solutions. ATÖLYE’s Learning Design practice developed a unique learning program titled “CX Lab”—which is tailored to equip change agents with Human-Centered Design methodologies and skills to plant the seeds mindsets that would result in innovative products, services, and business models.

The transformative learning journey established creative confidence and empathy among participants as they tackled Turkcell’s design challenges through five “bootcamps” over the course of 4 months. After the first 3 CX Lab cohorts, 11 high-impact projects emerged, designed by the change agents themselves. One of the project developed during the bootcamps was further developed and launched in October 2019 and averaged over 5,5 million users monthly.

In June of 2020, the project received a notable mention from the reputable Core77 Design Awards in the Design Education Initiative category among hundreds of entries. This particular award category curates leading-edge projects that utilize the ideals of design thinking in the course of developing an educational initiative.

Each CX Lab entailed a 4-month-long experiential journey and was designed around creating an internal learning lab within the client’s organization—boosting employees from the level of basic literacy on design thinking to the point of being advanced-level practitioners.

The initial scope of the project was to set up a customer experience learning lab, in which employees were to go through a series of bootcamps trying to tackle real life problems provided by the client, so that they are able to apply design thinking against their teams’ own challenges. Moreover, one of the main desired outcomes of the CX Lab program was to transform employees from practitioners to advocates of the process which would then spread through the organization.

The program consisted of six bootcamps, evaluation/reflection workshops, and final presentations. The 40 participants were divided into groups of 10 and then given pre-defined focus areas by their leadership—these challenges were defined prior to the project’s kick off.

The initial bootcamps were focused on understanding the “as is situation” of each team’s focal areas. Then, the participants moved on to identify the user challenges, brainstormed out-of-the-box ideas to form their solution concepts, prototyped and tested with real users, and iterated on their concepts. The teams also received mentorship and guidance on how to relay the stories of their learning journey to pitch the ideas they developed to Turkcell’s senior leadership.

Let us evolve our team first, then we will evolve Turkcell and the outer world.
—Turkcell employee

At the end of this 4-month-long experiential process, 40 change agents who graduated from the CX Lab had gone through transformative learning journeys and designed 11 high-impact concepts. At least two among these 11 projects were further developed and implemented. Later, we worked conjointly with CX change agents to improve customer loyalty on a new scope including two streams of work; training and design. As a result, a product concept, Gift Box, (“Hediye Havuzu” in Turkish) was developed and launched—reaching over 5,5M users monthly.

This transformation and built-in agency of Human-Centered Design was only possible with the deep collaboration among the multidisciplinary team members, coupled with an effective field research process. As the main result of this 4-month-long learning journey, 80 employees of the client company were up-skilled and empowered with Human-Centered Design via its design tools, processes, and mindsets. They went back to their daily work routines fully-equipped with creative confidence and empathy while being transformed into pioneers of change across Turkcell’s departments.

“These teams who went through this program will never be the same.”
—Liz Ogbu, Core77 Jury, Founder/Principal at Studio O