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Tuesday January 26 2021

Using Service Design to Drive UX

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Written by Alex Holderness

September 14, 2016

How Did You Get Into UX?

I’ve been a designer in many guises since university. Initially, I worked in print design and art direction before moving into the digital space as the industry evolved.

Learning and practising user-centred design has been a real eye-opener for me, focusing on more than just making beautiful interface design by crafting the entire journey a user has, making it seamless and free of frustration. Like any good design, it goes far beyond appearance and style. It needs to be practical and functional as well as look amazing.

How has the Tribal Team Changed?

We’re in the middle of a transformative journey, repositioning from traditional digital creative and production to focus on innovation using a Service Design led approach.

Essentially we’re creating experiences by putting the customer at the centre of the design process. When we respond to a client’s problem now, it may not result in the creation of a new product but perhaps the addition of a new service or an improvement to an existing one. It’s a much more holistic approach which is exciting, especially with the advancement of emerging technologies as you could be designing absolutely anything.

The DDB Group, Melbourne

Have You an Example?

Recently, we’ve been working with a University to engage more with their Alumni community. Rather than jumping straight into building a new product we first looked at what they were currently doing for their community and discovered how to improve upon that. To kick off, we ran a workshop where we brought the client and project stakeholders together and mapped out the customer journey from start to end; from a new student to alumni, to see where we could add value at each touchpoint.

Being a small multi-disciplined team within a larger agency group has its benefits, If the solution sits within our remit we’ll take that all the way through from concept to execution. If it needs an external resource, we can partner with other departments.

The key thing is making sure that what we offer taps into insights, whether that’s data or speaking to customers and users.

Mark during a workshop discovery

What Have Been Some of the Key Challenges You’ve Been Faced With?

As a new discipline, it’s constantly evolving so each project’s a different ride! In our part of the industry, it’s largely untouched so I’m doing a lot of investigation to see how other people have adopted using a Service Design approach.

There’s no roadmap to follow as such, I keep my ear to the ground to find out what’s working.

Since moving to Melbourne from London 4 years ago I’ve found the Meetup scene to be really inspiring. There’s a definitive passion here for design thinking and innovation through technology. I try to go at least once a week to hear what other projects people have been working on, share my thoughts and learn something new.

How Would You Describe the Culture of the Team You’re Looking to Build Out?

We’re in the middle of this transformation and although it’s challenging, one of the benefits is that we’re bringing in people who are experienced in all these different areas. We’ve become nimble enough to take on lots of different types of projects, which keeps things fresh and interesting.

We’ve got a pretty relaxed culture here where people can be themselves. I’m trying to create transparency and a flat structure where you’re encouraged to share your ideas. Collaboration is super-important to us, as is skill sharing and mentorship.

Of course being an agency you’ll quite often see people walking around in thongs and shorts in summer and we have the traditional beer cart, foosball and table tennis tables too.

In all honesty, we’re just looking for people who are ambitious, friendly, honest and happy to talk with some real passion. We’re constantly looking for new smarter ways of working and how we can make things more streamlined, It gives us more time to focus on the exciting stuff.

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Written by Alex Holderness

September 14, 2016

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