Sian describes what the Jobs to be Done (JTBD) technique is, how it can be used to design products, and presents case studies to illustrate how JTBD has been applied at Intercom.

This is the story of how she spent the last 2 years using a technique called Jobs to be Done (JTBD) to research and design products at a fast growing startup called Intercom. 2 years ago, Sian had never heard even heard of JTBD and was skeptical that it was anything truly innovative. Now, everyone at Intercom is focused around JTBD. In this talk, Sian wiIl take you through what JTBD actually is and how at Intercom it’s been used to design products with great success. Finally, she will share some insights about how you can get more out of the basic technique by learning from Intercom’s experiences.


The Research & Analytics teams conduct user research and crunch data to help teams at Intercom make great product design decisions. Sian gets excited about peering into people’s brains and creating products people find useful.

Before Intercom, Sian was a User Researcher at Google for 7 years. She led research around the world to redesign Google Maps (2012-14) and for Google Mobile Search during the smartphone explosion of 2007-2011. She also ran Google’s first user research in Sub-Saharan Africa to help Google design useful mobile services for the region with and Grameen Foundation.

Sian holds an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction from University College London and currently lives in San Francisco.

Sian Townsend’s talk “Jobs To Be Done – From Doubter to Believer”

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