My Roles at EGGS
I began working at EGGS in 2013, two months after I arrived in Norway. They needed someone with experience designing for healthcare. It was only supposed to be a few months, but a year later I was still there. After a few extensions, we realized I had been doing the work of a full designer, and not an intern. This position was made official in January 2015.
I was part of the service design team and worked on projects in different sectors such as retail, healthcare, and telecom, and others. On the marketing team, I wrote content for our website and drew illustrations for offers on future projects.
Designing the process
The first thing that gets designed in any project is the project itself. Will we need a long research phase? Who will we talk to? Should we dive into testing quickly? These things need to be considered carefully. With all that, there needs to be just the right workshop or interview set up, or conversation starters, which may not exist yet.
I enjoyed having the opportunity to make my own tools as they fit the project. Whether that meant "responsibility cards" to help kids talk about life at home, or "service parallels", a tool we used to draw connections between the service we were working with, and others that conveyed the emotions we wanted the users to feel.
Gaining client trust
As a designer, I am providing a service, and the client is my user. If the client doesn't trust you, then how could their user? Do they have important internal deadlines? A sensitive company culture? It's important for each project to know where they stand and what their needs are.
I form relationships with my clients. I have no desire to bury myself in studio and return at the end with solution in hand. I work with them, which makes everything from kick off to concept decisions to implementation much smoother.
Why I'm a designer
I love to learn new things. That is why I'm a designer. Or, that's as simple as I can make it. This field lets me step into all sorts of weird new worlds with every project. People open the doors to their homes, offices, even their cars. Most of my work has been in healthcare. But even in this one field, there are endless new things to learn. There is always something new and exciting. My design process is very much about discovery. The more we understand about a problem, the better the solution will be. This sounds simple, because it is. If you really understand the root of an issue, the solution will present itself.
I like solving puzzles and I like working with people, so I am a designer.
sharing the stories
I like to borrow Brené Brown's title of "research storyteller". I love listening to other people's stories, learning about what works and doesn't work, what inspires or terrifies them. Then, and this is the important part, I try to find the center of their stories. I connect dots. I pan for gold. Please choose the metaphor that applies best. I do my very best to communicate the parts of their story that they cannot, either graphically, or with video, or a slide deck. Their stories are my design material. Communicating what we find to the rest of the project team, the clients, even to other users, that's what brings out the richness of a project. I design for human beings. Understanding their narrative tends to be pretty crucial.
I love telling stories, which is maybe why presenting my work never scared me. It's just storytelling.
Workshops with clients and users
There is nothing quite like watching a client meet their user face to face for the first time. There are always surprises in store for both sides of the table. End users get the time to tell them how much the client does or doesn't impact their lives. The eye opening experience of a service provider speaking with their user face to face is irreplaceable. There is never a need to explain the value of meeting your customers after the fact.
Working with teams from the client side can be a source of terror or delight. Sometimes political, sometimes contentious, hopefully always with a healthy portion of perspective and understanding. After hours of planning and plotting and correcting and setting up just the right agenda, it is all worth it for that magical moment when the whole team suddenly finds themselves, for the first time, looking at the same problems, the same landscape, the same project.
I spent part of my work at EGGS as a member of the newly formed marketing department. I was mostly concentrated on creating new layouts for our cases, and restructuring the EGGS portfolio. I also wrote cases and organized content for their new website. In addition to marketing needs, I also worked on several internal projects, including creating new company values, which were exemplified in a short video.
To see the full video and the process behind it, click here.
To learn more about EGGS Design, click here.