Merry XMas and 2012 in review

It would be a bland understatement to describe 2012 as a roller-coaster. As a relatively small design studio we have been buffeted about by large market forces, and it has taken its toll. And yet as we approach the end of the year and take stock, we find ourselves in a remarkably strong position.

General Happenings

Over the course of 2012 we have worked on a very diverse range of projects. We’ve done a lot of work in travel, retail banking, superannuation, education, insurance, investment, and telecommunications. And they’ve covered some ground in terms of the type of work, from relatively simple UX design activities (improving a registration process, for example) through to large-scale, complex service design and strategic design work.

We’ve been sorry to see some staff move on to other things during the year, and we know they’re bringing a lot of experience, passion and skill to their new companies. So to Alison Sharp (Westpac), Santiago Ruiz (Fox Sports), and Lauren Argenta (Wilson Fletcher): thank you for everything you did for us during your time at Meld Studios. We wish you every success.

We’ve been fortunate to work with some really great organisations, and to begin working with some wonderful new ones. 2012 saw us work for our first non-Australian clients, in NZ, the US, and Switzerland.  This introduced a number of challenges – temporal and spatial – but all involved were pretty happy with the results.

Some of the work we’ve done for the NSW Department of Education and Communities won a Gold award at the 2012 Intranet Innovation Awards. We continue to enjoy the work we’re doing for DEC, and the award is a nice recognition.

Community and Industry

2012 has seen various members of the Meld Studios team participating in conferences near and far: Interaction 12 in Dublin, AgileUX in Sydney, Service Design in Melbourne, UX Australia in Brisbane, Intranets 2012 in Sydney, XMedia Labs in Sydney.

We have also been continuing our strong association with the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), with Steve taking over from Janna as President in February. You will also have seen us attending some of the local events with IxDA Sydney. And we’ve been regular attendees at Service Design, Design Thinking and the GroundBreaker events.

We’ve also been honoured to participate in the Good Design Council and the Australian International Design Awards; and our continued involvement in the Interaction Awards.

It has been exciting to witness and participate in the global design community. The initiatives here in Australia, and in Sydney particularly, give us a great sense of optimism. So many very passionate people are coming together to promote and grow the practice of design in its multitude of forms, it is a great time to be a designer.

Articles and Posts

During the year we’ve been posting regularly to the Meld Studios blog, covering issues and ideas that crop up in our day to day work. In 2012, the most-read (and most-commented) article came from very early in the year – Service Design, Interaction Design & Design Thinking – some working definitions for these three areas of our work. The next most popular post was the creative commons release of a diagram we use internally to visualise the scope of service design projects – resulting in a lot of downloads of the diagram.

We’ve also been working on a few series: the Innovation Success tips, and the Business of Design posts have been very well received, and we’ve enjoyed writing them. Expect to see more of these – and others – in 2013.

And then there are our articles that have been picked up and published elsewhere.

Happy Holidays

As we take the opportunity of the Holiday season to rest, reflect and recharge, we hope that you are able to do the same. We thank you for your heartfelt support and encouragement throughout this challenging year, and we look forward to the year ahead with a sense of anticipation and excitement.

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