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About us

Our belief is that if more companies  truly put the customer first – and work to understand that customer as a human being, not as a number – the world would be a better place.

This site gives tools, insights and ideas on how to understand people so companies can create products and services that work. It supports our book and tool kit “Building Trust Equity: The secret to creating customer experiences that matter”.


Lea Ward

Lea Ward


Lea is a fervent advocate of understanding the customer to make the world a better place.  She won the 2012 IxDA Award in New York for the creation of a course for 12-15 year olds in Ghana to open their minds to the possibilities about what they could become.  Her work to design a product to get city women to bike instead of drive was featured in the Wall Street Journal.  And her firm’s work on understanding immigrants helped shape a new law in the Netherlands and was published in several papers including the opinion section of the leading Dutch newspaper.  A native New Yorker now living in Amsterdam with her husband and children, Lea is a graduate of Yale and INSEAD business school in Fountainebleau.

Commercially, Lea  has worked for over 30 years creating better customer experiences for major companies like Procter & Gamble, Ahold, ING Bank, Air France-KLM and European municipalities.   In 1998 she founded the the market leading software company Fredhopper with Andy Hong, and built their award winning design team who pioneered Customer Experience for the largest retailers in Europe.  In 2006 she founded  the Amsterdam-based customer experience agency C.Note with Veronique van Cruchten.

Melanie Standage

Melanie is an experience architect and UX strategist who works at the forefront of human interactions with technology. She’s a Principal with Detica Creative – an NMA top 5 Agency and Forrester named Leader in User Experience for the UK – where she’s Head of UX and champions the role of Human Centred Design for both business strategy and technology innovation. She holds a breadth of experience working with clients across commercial, government, and cultural industries. She’s a graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Lea & Melanie worked closely together at Fredhopper and at C.Note and have spent the last year collaborating on their book “Building Trust Equity: the secret to creating experiences customers really want”.