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  • Writer's pictureMichael Firsich

Who Doesn't Love a Good Story?

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

Genesys hires Delv Design to put workplace user experience front and center.

Written by Dawn Olsen

Photography by Michael Firsich

Images play an increasingly important role in today’s digital world. They capture your attention and reach deep into your hearts and minds. And they do this within 13 milliseconds. How then, can your company create visual cues for your employees and customers?


Hear me out: Visual storytelling is as important as verbal storytelling. Our brains don’t process text as fast as they do images. That’s why a brand identity is essential. It includes logos, typography, graphics, templates, websites—everything you need to communicate your brand. But a brand identity is more than office materials and external marketing—it includes your company’s physical space, too. Here’s where DELV Design comes in.

For DELV, an Indianapolis-based architecture and interior design firm, storytelling is a value. They work with companies like Genesys, KSM Consulting, and Lessonly and learn their stories. Once DELV understands a company’s mission, vision, background, and needs, they get to work. They ensure a company’s values are apparent in the design of their office. For Genesys, a global tech company, that was empathy, trust, innovation, and flexibility.

After acquiring Interactive Intelligence, Genesys inherited a campus of existing buildings. They had plenty of space, but no idea how to create a contiguous one that reflected the beliefs and goals of their company, employees, and clients. How can we enhance our culture? How do we increase our employees’ efficiencies? How can we incorporate our brand identity?

So many questions. That’s why Genesys hired DELV to map out a multi-phased renovation project. The first phases, completed in 2018 and 2019, tackled the base building and stitched together two adjacent buildings. Total cost? $2 million.

The project used large abstract graphics to unify the buildings and the Genesys team. It also incorporated icons from Genesys’s branding (look for the orange “X”s and the upward pointing arrows). It’s easy to orient yourself in the space, thanks to flooring patterns, bold bulkhead colors, and thoughtfully placed signage. In other words, the 33,000-square-foot project puts user experience front and center.

Or, in the words of DELV founder Amanda Welu,

“The wayfinding is an extension of the global brand. So now, when employees walk into the space, they don’t feel like [their business was acquired]. They feel part of a global team.”

But what does this have to do with visual storytelling?

Great question. Think of it this way: The graphics and colorful wayfinding tell the story of Genesys. They explain the growth and expansion of the company, and the unification of employees. DELV knew it would be challenging for Interactive Intelligence employees to make the switch. So they approached the project from a point of empathy—one of Genesys’s values. They made sure every employee felt comfortable in the new space, and excited to get back to work.

“You have to ensure you are communicating the right message,” says Welu. “It adds positive momentum and gets people excited about the change, instead of viewing the change as ‘scary.’”

After the renovation, employee engagement increased. Vivid, visual cues drew employees into amenity spaces and collaboration zones. And thanks to moveable furniture and a variety of work modes (communal tables, stand-up desks, etc.), the space feels flexible. (Another one of Genesys’s values.) By incorporating these values into the design, DELV materialized Genesys’s story, made it tangible. And when storytelling becomes a way for people to connect and collaborate, it resonates. And who doesn’t love a good story?

Michael Firsich is an architectural photographer based in Indianapolis, specializing is creating magazine quality images. He has spent nearly his entire career working with architectural firms and their industry partners. Michael pairs architectural photography with client testimonial video to dive deeper behind the design of a project and create a visual story. Learn more here.

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