2014 Year In Review

Analysis jungle

There are times when you just feel lost in a sea of data…

There was a day in late May where it seemed, no matter which way you turned, you faced a wall of research data. There was no real structure to it (yet), and no end to it.

2014 felt like that on any number of occasions. We had a fantastic string of opportunities right throughout the year to get immersed in the lives of everyday people, going about their lives. We had the privilege of being invited into their homes, their workplaces, the places they shop, eat, bank, get insurance, attend court, receive an education.

Out of those experiences we learned a lot about them, and people like them. And we learned a lot about the organisations who try to serve them, the ways in which they look to create value and utility. But this is just the beginning of our journey…

Prototype

Prototype

Insights into people and organisations create a foundation on which we’ve been able to produce some interesting designs – new services for the State Library of Victoria; a new Student Admissions service for a tertiary institution; a customer experience vision for an aged care provider; new ways for enterprises to engage with one another in B2B relationships; new retail experiences; large-scale telecommunications services; helping IT divisions reimagine their role within enterprises to become strategic partners to the business; redefined the marketing dynamics for an entire industry; and more. One of our projects listed on the ASX earlier this year, raising $376m.

These service organisations help millions of Australians. Through them, our work has made some small difference to many of them.

The studio has become a little fuller over the course of the year. There have been up to 18 people working on some days, up from 10 this time last year. We’re at the limits of our current studio and, as much as we’ve come to love it, 2015 will see us move to a new space. We even think we’ve found that space, but more on that another time.

Telling our journey as one long story on the whiteboard wall.

Telling our journey as one long story on the whiteboard wall.

We’ve been able to travel quite bit for our work this year. Our designers have been on the ground in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. Singapore as well. We’ve seen a lot of regional NSW and Victoria. We’ve travelled to conferences, too: Amsterdam, Wuxi, Lisbon, New York, Toronto. And we’ve travelled just to see the world – in Europe, Asia, North America. Getting out into the world in this way, out of the studio and our everyday, helps broaden¬†our perspective and our experiences.

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated our 5th birthday. It has been an incredible journey, full of all the richness life can bring. This gave us the opportunity to reminisce, reflect, and give thanks. And it has allowed us to reaffirm what we value, and the value we hope to bring. That provides us with a solid foundation to face the challenges and opportunities 2015 will bring.

Next year you’ll see us begin to publish some of thinking in book form, with at least two publications in the works, exploring design and services. We’re also excited by the trends we’re seeing in customer and staff engagement, mutually-beneficial strategic partnerships, and the impact of digital technologies on the retail landscape. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with a great group of people, some great clients, and kicking off some new client projects¬†early in the new year.

We’ll be resting up over the Christmas break, closing down for a few days, and back on deck January 5th. We wish you all the very best for the holidays, and look forward to a fantastic year ahead.

Jo Hill photographs a retail journey map - one of 20 produced in 6 weeks during an intensive project in November.

Jo Hill photographs a retail journey map – one of 20 produced in 6 weeks during an intensive project in November.

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