Early this month we gathered Futurice designers across Europe to spend one day dedicated entirely to what brought us together in the first place: our shared passion to design and realize impactful digital services.
Aalto’s Startup Sauna in Espoo, Finland, was taken over by our designers from Berlin, Tampere, Helsinki and London to inspire each other through the great work that we have been doing in all four offices across Europe, to identify, articulate and share best practices and methodologies and to envision the future of digital service design.
Solving complex issues
The Design Day provided a fantastic opportunity to talk about our ambitions, our future, what kind of company we want to be and simply how to become the best designers in the world. Showing our work opened up a rich dialog about the types of projects we do and the types of projects we want to do. It also clearly indicated the need to better understand the incredible breadth of skills we have inside the company and the mix of talent needed to do shared forward thinking. Designers at Futurice strongly feel current design approaches are outdated and do not answer sufficiently anymore to the challenges at hand we are interested in solving: increasingly complex issues that can fundamentally change the way we behave and do things, such as voting, health care and education.
Challenging such services require multidisciplinary efforts and commitment that go beyond the traditional models. Futurice Designers, having their individual and unique skill sets, have found ways to better embed themselves more deeply and meaningfully into those ecosystems and understand and communicate beyond their own professional boarders; ways to work in truly multidisciplinary ways and to better integrate our co-creative and empathetic methods. We have identified best practices, tools, methods and an attitude in the way we do our work through really understanding the business problem and defining KPI's, the confidence to challenge briefs, involving user panels, setting up war rooms, working more efficiently through pair design, enabling true team spirit and having the courage to invest and be courageous ourselves.
We have identified and refined a process that allows for the creation of impactful digital services, involving designers, technical expertise as well as delivering on business insights. A process built on faster iterations, building insightful prototypes and validating ideas that must prove a solid business implementation that presents no hand overs and allows for being involved in the process the entire way and ensuring the continuous development of those services. Furthermore, bringing together our design expertise and perspectives from across Europe ensure the development of strategies and methods that work across different cultures and societies.
What we did
- We shared the most impactful digital service design creations we have been producing across Europe in the last few months.
- We identified best practices and methodologies and tools that work for us.
- We shared ideas of how we can be even more lean, faster and more efficient, how to even better integrate with development and better embed ourselves into the problem context.
- We worked on a toolkit and process that is specific to the way we work and that helps us achieve and reproduce those outcomes.
- We worked on process model that will be adopted across the company and published shortly.
What has become clear, is that change is about developing an attitude of confidence and a courageous mindset to do things better and to devote to a shared process in order to replicate success. As there is a growing sense of insufficiency with current tools and processes out there, we are formulating and formalizing a process that we have found working incredibly well in challenging and re-thinking existing service models to go beyond and create even better.
Exactly this is what will bring us together in the future, as we will continue to explore how we can better create, design and implement services that impact the world in yet unknown ways.