Sutherland Innovation Labs Service design to improve customer and employee experiences. Fri, 24 Jan 2020 01:40:32 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Copyright 2020, Sutherland Innovation Labs - Sutherland Innovation Labs Service design to improve customer and employee experiences. Is this the Death of HR? A New Focus on Workplace Experience Thu, 23 Jan 2020 18:46:58 +0000 Is this the Death of HR? A New Focus on Workplace Experience

With 2020 upon us, there’s never been a more auspicious time for the future of HR. But it might not be the type of HR you’re used to.

The HR department, which sits at the heart of most organizations’ people services function, is undergoing a radical transformation – shedding its rigid 20th century model to become a more agile, adaptive and insight-driven team.

Death of HR image

What do we mean? 

Well, let’s take a step back. HR has a crucial role to play in the development and activation of an organization’s employee experience, or EX. Employee experience is simply the sum of all experiences and interactions that candidates and employees have with your company, from searching to onboarding through to developing and exiting.  

Investing in a strong EX across every touchpoint and stage of the candidate and employee journey isn’t just a ‘nice to have’.

Consider this: companies that invest in EX generate 25% greater profitability and drive double the innovation than those that don’t.

EX is intrinsically linked to a brand’s customer experience (CX), and seeks to deliver personalized, authentic experiences that meet the expectations of the modern worker.

This is where HR comes in. The HR function of the future must consumerize the workplace, bringing ‘people’ intelligence to the business. It should act as a trusted adviser that partners with internal departments to create a more consumer-centric and commercially minded approach. As well as, champion EX at C-suite and Board levels.

To achieve this, a new lens and vision is required.

Employee experience is simply the sum of all experiences and interactions that candidates and employees have with your company, from searching to onboarding through to developing and exiting.  

The traditional approach

In typical organizations, HR plays a fairly similar and static role. This doesn’t mean it’s not important; far from it. But this rigid and siloed approach has stifled innovation and imagination. 

Let’s consider the following example.

Ask yourself, “How do most HR problems get solved within an organization?” 

Typically, an HR leader is told by senior executives that there’s a problem with ‘X’ and it needs to be solved. 

The HR leader readily accepts the challenge, and returns to his or her team to brainstorm, ideate and spend months working on a solution. During that time, there’s little communication across departments. It’s understandable; this is an HR problem, right? Why would the HR leader involve marketing or IT? Often these departments have little involvement with HR, so see it as a burden on top of their own daily requirements.

In this mindset, there is little to no sharing of insights, data or strategy. I’m sure you can guess where this is going…

Ultimately, the output is tenuous at best. Why? Because time, money and thinking have been invested into solving a problem that fails to identify the most important piece of the puzzle: what do your employees think?

These off-the-shelf solutions usually work within the limitations of what has already been implemented. To achieve real, lasting success, HR must consider whether the proposed solution is actually the best system for the end user. 

The starting point is talking to your employees.

The HR department of the future

In the ‘old world’ of business operations, it was clear that HR owned the employees, marketing owned the customer and IT owned the technology. Today, however, the lines are blurring.

In a world where experience is everything, all internal business functions need to collaborate. For HR, this means a concerted effort to evolve, adapt and innovate. 

The HR department of the future must embrace digital and deliver on new employee values. This means placing people at the heart of its strategy and focusing on building a comprehensive workplace experience. 

After all, EX is about more than just ping-pong tables and flavoured water. HR needs to account for the entire spectrum of employee experiences, and lead with agility to become a consumerized people function.

Start by considering:

  • Digital experience – Do you have the right digital systems and tools in place?
  • People experience – How human-centric are your managers, teams, and leadership?
  • Cultural experience – How authentic is your employee value proposition and employer brand?
  • Physical experience – Have you crafted an engaging workplace environment with useful facilities?

When it comes to implementation, HR must own EX and champion its application across the business.

The death of HR as we know it

The time for change is already upon us.

In a consumerized HR model, internal departments and stakeholders (finance, IT, marketing, etc.) become ‘customers’, meaning HR switches from a rigid, process-driven department to agile advisers and partners.

This isn’t the death of HR. This is its re-birth.

With new roles and responsibilities, the HR department of tomorrow will provide market intelligence, design strategic experiences and think beyond the immediate need of filling vacancies.

The outcome?

Conversations move from static, standalone solutions to agile, strategic visions. 

This isn’t the death of HR. This is its re-birth.

If you’re interested in learning more about employee experience, we’d love to welcome you to our EX event, for more information please contact

Employee Retention is the Wrong Measure for Companies of the Future Thu, 16 Jan 2020 09:56:52 +0000 Employee Retention is the Wrong Measure for Companies of the Future

In the war for top talent, much has been made of strategies and tactics to attract and retain the very best candidates. 

From the rise of employer branding to innovative recruitment marketing activations, companies across the world are engaged in a heated competition to keep top talent in-house for as long as possible. 

But while attracting and retaining talent is obviously a crucial piece of the puzzle, many organizations have overlooked the importance of opening up new talent paths and nurturing employees through a fluid employee workflow. 

What do we mean?

Employees in workplace

Retention is seen by many as a good indicator of organizational health. This is logical. But the truth is far from prosaic – in fact, new ideas and thinking should be encouraged. This allows for innovation and encourages constant change and evolution.

Naturally, this means embracing new talent and allowing for movement within an organization. 

To truly become a company of the future, it’s imperative that you focus on building clear pathways that enable progression, growth, learning and development. This inflow and outflow is not only natural; it’s healthy, too. 

Here’s why you should focus less on retention and more on employee experience.

Rethinking careers: the corporate lattice

Comfort is the biggest killer of growth and innovation within organizations. When people become too comfortable in their roles or too comfortable with the status quo, this attitude stifles change and discourages development.

New thinking and new ideas should always be encouraged into the workplace. But how can you design a system that enables this? 

In today’s world, employees no longer look at career paths through a strict linear lens. Instead, it’s better to think of careers as a lattice network that weaves and twists across industries, companies and even departments.

The ladder’s one-size-fits-all approach assumes employees are more alike than different, and that each employee wants similar things in order to feel happy and deliver the best results.

In truth, employees are incredibly diverse and individualistic. The workplace is changing, and today’s generations require organizations to deliver on their specific wants and needs. 

We call this new trend the ‘career lattice’. In a fast-paced market, the career lattice allows more room and flexibility for growth and learning. Rather than remain tied down to one speciality, a lattice approach encourages internal collaboration, sharing of ideas and exposure to new thinking.

Forget retention, measure employee experience

With change afoot, it’s now more important than ever for organizations to design career paths that suit employees.

Employee experience, or EX, is the sum of all touchpoints and experiences that employees or candidates have with an organisation. Your EX exists whether you consciously design it or not, so it’s vital that you start owning these experiences.

While high retention rates may seem like the sign of a vibrant organization, this isn’t necessarily the case. Instead, measuring EX can actually provide a much more accurate depiction – good or bad – of what it’s like to work at an organization.  

If you want to address EX, start by looking at the systems that make up the employees’ daily experiences. At Sutherland Labs, we view this as the people experience, digital experience, cultural experience and physical experience.

Reimagining the workplace experience for candidates and employees means much more than just installing a new ping-pong table. In fact, EX impacts nearly every facet of your HR and recruitment function. It will help you attract better talent, improve engagement, increase retention, reduce employee effort and boost productivity. 

Reducing effort is a key measure of EX, and companies must work harder to remove barriers and enable seamless experiences.

Qualitative insights can unlock the truth about organizational health

If you want to design career paths that work for your employees, then you need to invest in qualitative learning.

While old-school HR departments are quick to promote generic surveys that investigate topics like satisfaction and engagement, a look into EX provides a much more dynamic and fluid understanding of what your employees truly want and value.

To do this, harness the power of qualitative insights; this can be in the form of voice of employees, in-context research, usability testing or service safaris. Whatever your preferred method, it’s essential that these are done in person. This enables you to uncover the truth about what people really think.

With all of these learnings in tow, it’s then possible to design human-centred experiences that encourage flow through an organization. Whether that means hiring new employees or encouraging existing talent to take on new challenges, EX will help you maintain a healthy balance of retention and growth.

On a practical level, this will help you structure your organization to operate in a more agile and collaborative way. This means someone from a particular department can use their talents across multiple areas of the business.

If you don’t have collaborative teams or a collaborative set-up, you’re likely not getting the most of a particular individual.

Remember, don’t focus on retention. Focus on designing a human-centred EX that will naturally encourage your employees to learn, grow, develop and flow through your organization.

If you’re interested in learning more about employee experience, we’d love to welcome you to our EX event. For more information please contact

5 Tips to Design a Better Employee Experience Wed, 08 Jan 2020 14:14:07 +0000 5 Tips to Design a Better Employee Experience

With the world hurtling towards a more connected existence, experience is fast becoming the differentiator between brands.

And this trend isn’t just impacting the consumer space, either.

Organizations are quickly realizing the value of strategic and well-designed employee experiences, or EX.

Employee in workplace

Today, nearly 90% of talent say a positive or negative candidate experience would change their mind about a role or company. In short, every single experience matters.

If you haven’t heard the term EX before, don’t panic. EX is simply the sum of all touchpoints and experiences that employees or candidates have with your company.

But let’s be clear: EX doesn’t mean buying a few ping-pong tables and running a weekly social (although that can be a component). Fundamentally, EX is about designing experiences that reduce employee effort and spark delight.

The benefits are wide and varied. A strong EX can help you attract better talent, improve engagement, increase retention, reduce effort and even add value to your customers.

Don’t just take our word for it. Organizations that invest in EX generate 25% greater profitability and drive double the innovation than those that don’t.

If any or all of that sounds enticing, then you might be wondering how to design a powerful EX for your employees and future talent.

Here are five practical tips to help you build a strong and impactful EX.

1. HR must lead internal collaboration

The HR department of the future must become more agile and adaptive. This means partnering with each internal department to own the EX and champion its application across the entire business. Acting as more of a ‘consumerized’ people function, HR should take on a greater role and responsibility within the organization to champion EX. Whether it’s designing specific experiences or driving company-wide transformation, HR can lead internal collaboration and effect change at scale by operating as a business partner, not a siloed department.

2. Design for humans

As Margaret Mead says, “What people say, what people do and what people say they do are entirely different things.”

Most organizations do run internal polls, surveys and questionnaires, but these quantitative analyses fail to address the real issues at play. Instead, focus on speaking with employees in a face-to-face setting. This allows you to dive deep and discover the why. In other words, why people make certain decisions and why they feel that way.

This could involve voice of employees, in-context research or focus groups. Whatever your approach, the truth is simple: designing a great EX always starts with understanding your employees.

3. Focus on reducing effort

While much has been made of engagement and productivity, one of the most overlooked and essential measures of EX is employee effort.

Reducing effort means working to remove barriers that result in disjointed or difficult experiences. When there’s a moment of friction in an employee’s workplace experience, it often leads to feelings of pain and frustration.

Whether it’s the company hardware or an outdated digital system, every experience should be accounted for, and made as easy and seamless for employees as possible. Employees agree. In fact, two thirds of them think unnecessary effort is preventing good EX.

4. Love the problem, not the solution

To really deliver an exceptional EX, you must solve problems that matter to people in real-world, situational moments.

Quite often, HR teams solve problems by focusing on the solution. Typically, this is a new technology system, an app or some other technical fix. Designing for humans, on the other hand, means learning from them first so you can better define the problem and then initiate collaborative solution building (which may or may not involve existing or new tech).

5. Look at the end-to-end experience

One of the most common causes of poor EX comes from taking a siloed look at the overall candidate and employee experience. At Sutherland Labs, we find it’s useful to view EX through the lens of six stages: Searching, Applying, Onboarding, Performing, Developing or Exiting.

Each of these comes with its own unique challenges. But don’t fret – you don’t need to start by trying to fix everything at once. Instead, conduct valuable employee research and pinpoint the most pressing friction points that need to be addressed.

This will help you identify essential short-term pain points, so you can fix these and take one step closer towards a seamless EX.

Whatever stage your organization is at on its EX journey, use these practical tips and strategies to demystify the idea and keep things simple. In turn, you’ll be able to design powerful experiences that address real problems and issues for real people. It’s a win-win for your staff and for your organization.

If you’re interested in learning more about employee experience, we’d love to welcome you to our series of EX events in 2020. Contact to find out more.

The Fastest Way To Improve Customer Experience Isn’t What You Expect Tue, 17 Dec 2019 16:53:42 +0000 The Fastest Way To Improve Customer Experience Isn’t What You Expect

In a culture defined by experience, today’s companies are embroiled in a heated competition to deliver the most seamless, intuitive and valuable customer experiences.

And for good reason, too.

According to research from PWC, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for an exceptional customer experience. This cultural ethos transcends the consumer world; in fact, it’s now directly impacting the employer world.

Employee in workplace

Commonly referred to as employee experience (EX), this term is used to encapsulate all of the touchpoints and experiences that employees (or candidates) encounter with your organization.

But here’s where it gets really interesting.

EX is intrinsically linked to a brand’s customer experience. Improving one has a positive net effect on the other. And that effect can be highly significant in a world obsessed with experience.

Get this: companies that invest in a powerful EX generate 25% greater profitability and drive double the innovation of those that don’t. So, if you’re looking to enhance your customer experience, maybe it’s time to try something different.

This is why designing seamless experiences for your employees could be the differentiator that makes your customer experience best-in-class.

What is EX and why does it matter?

EX has evolved to mirror the changing nature of the global workforce.

Increased transparency and shifting consumer demands have blurred the line between professional and personal. With social media, mobile apps and seamless user experience in the consumer world, employees now expect those same experiences in the professional environment.

These new expectations, in combination with a shortage of top talent and the need to plan for the skills and capabilities of the future, mean it’s more important than ever for companies to invest in EX.

Designing a strong EX means accounting for all aspects of the employee lifecycle – from searching to onboarding through to progression and exiting. Doing so will impact nearly every facet of your HR and recruitment function; it will enable you to attract better talent, improve engagement, increase retention, reduce employee effort and boost productivity.

And of course, you can leverage EX to enhance your customer experience, too.

The link between EX and CX

Let’s take a step back.

It’s no surprise that many companies suffer from structural issues that lead to siloed internal departments.

These silos and rules of engagement limit internal collaboration. As a consequence, gaps and problems can appear in the EX that create unnecessary effort for employees.

When there’s a moment of friction in an employee’s workplace experience, it will often lead to feelings of pain and frustration. While most companies measure engagement to determine the strength of EX, Gartner has equated experience with effort, which is a much more meaningful approach.

Two thirds of employees agree, stating that unnecessary effort is preventing good customer experience.

It makes sense. If something is hard for an employee to do, these pain points and frustrations will trickle down to the customer level.

For example, if your IT system makes it difficult for marketing teams to manage social media platforms, don’t act surprised when your social experience lets customers down.

In a sense, customer experience is as much about planning for the customer as it is designing for the employee. When you consumerize the EX and build seamless day-to-day employee experiences, you can create a better and more productive environment for employees to work in. When efficiency and productivity increase, so too does employee output.

In short, when you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.

The value of a strong EX

The most innovative companies have recognized this shift and are already adopting an agile approach that consumerizes the EX. This will help deliver personalized experiences to meet new workplace needs and expectations.

But when we look to quantify the link between EX and customer experience, can we put a value on it?

Well, studies are under way to demonstrate just how closely connected the two are.

Companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5 times more engaged employees than companies with a record of poor customer experience.

What’s more, supporting what employees’ value, not just what they need, increases employee performance by 20%.

EX, then, is more about removing friction and pain points than simply delighting the employee. In fact, a focus on reducing unnecessary effort will lead to increased loyalty and better performance.

Clearly, the world is moving towards a more digital and agile future where experiences are the ultimate commodity. If you can get a head start on your EX, this will give you the competitive edge needed to spark your customer experience and come out on top.

Are you interested in learning more about employee experience? We are launching the white paper ‘Employee Experience: Win the War for Top Talent’ and hosting a series of events on the topic in 2020. To register your interest contact

5 Ways D&D Makes Me a Better UX Designer Thu, 28 Nov 2019 13:12:18 +0000 5 Ways D&D Makes Me a Better UX Designer

You are sat around a boardroom table, surrounded by your coworkers. On the opposite side of the table sits your client. The room is dark and the glow of the projector threatens to drag you into a deep unforgiving sleep. Roll a d20… It’s a 1! 

Your eyes close as you are softly swept away to the warm embrace of the land of sleep. Suddenly something or someone calls your name and you are dragged back to reality, greeted by the room staring at you as your client asks you again,

“What do you think?”

Luckily real life isn’t controlled by the cruel roll of a die, but there is something about the hugely popular tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) that can really change the way you tackle your day to day work life.

All image credit: Jamie Blackett

All image credit: Jamie Blackett

I have only recently fallen into the world of D&D. As a gamer I’ve always been aware of the game but never felt brave enough to learn all the rules or find enough willing people to form a group. However, this year I have played in a couple of different groups and become well versed in all the joys and pains of a great D&D session.

Over the past few months I’ve started to realise how all these roleplaying skills I had learnt in order to run a successful game of D&D have become an integral part of my work life.

Here are the 5 ways that D&D has made me a better UX Designer.

  1. Improvisation
  2. Planning for every potential outcome
  3. Roleplaying personas
  4. Telling a story with your senses
  5. Learning from your mistakes


The cornerstone of tabletop roleplaying games. Learning how to improvise has meant I can quickly adapt when a project doesn’t go the way I was expecting. Could an impromptu meeting with a client turn out they wanted something completely different, or feedback on a project drastically change the original idea? Improvisation teaches the skills needed to adapt and keep a cool head in these unexpected difficult situations, like when my recent D&D group decided to derail my 3 hour action packed campaign by playing as pacifists. 

Planning for every potential outcome

Part of being a good Dungeon Master is about preparing the adventure for your party in advance. What locations will they visit, who will they meet, how many goblins will there be in the dungeon? Much like preparing for a big workshop, you plan the activities that you will run and the outputs you’d like from them. D&D also teaches you how to prepare for the unforeseen. As your players can do anything they damn well please, it’s important to prepare for those scenarios. If they don’t choose to help the town by ridding the local mine of those troublesome goblins, where else can they go? This works in the real world too, if a workshop activity doesn’t quite work out the way you hoped what else do you have up your sleeve?

Roleplaying personas

Part of being a good UX designer is walking in your users shoes. It can be hard to build empathy for someone who’s opinion doesn’t match your own. D&D is a great way to learn how to pretend to be someone else, what decisions would my character make in this situation? Particularly if your character has a set of flaws, they may not always agree with how you’d like to tackle a situation. Our office D&D group has a Dragonborn Fighter whose flaw is he won’t pay attention to any plans and will actively choose to instead do the opposite, this doesn’t work well for team play but creates hilarious situations. Also, if you choose to be a Dungeon Master you’ll need to roleplay potentially hundreds of unique characters.

In the UX space your product users may not always choose to use your product in the way you want them to, and being able to preempt that and keep their actions in mind as you design is a fundamental skill.

Part of being a good UX designer is walking in your users shoes. It can be hard to build empathy for someone who’s opinion doesn’t match your own.

Telling a story with your senses

Creating campaigns for my regular group meant I had to quickly learn how to be more descriptive. D&D is a game run 95% in your imagination (and 5% frantic dice rolling) so I have to clearly communicate to my group where they were and what people or monsters are there. To do that effectively, requires not only descriptions of what a place looks like, but also what it smells like and what they can hear. As a UX designer, it’s important to be more descriptive about your designs, communication is an important factor to convey the reasoning behind your design decisions and any extra tools you have to explain ‘why’ the better.

Learning from your mistakes

This is a big one for designers in general, it’s okay to not get it right every time. It’s important to have time to reflect after a project is done and learn from what worked and what didn’t as part of a collaborative process. I make sure to quiz my D&D group after every session to understand if they enjoyed it. If they haven’t, I know going into my plan for the next session to change things up and hopefully get a little bit better.


If there is an opportunity for you to try Dungeons and Dragons I hope you say yes. There’s more to it than elves and trolls, you may even learn something.

Reimagining Graduate Hiring in Healthcare Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:59:44 +0000 Reimagining Graduate Hiring in Healthcare

Our client wanted to rethink their entire approach to hiring graduates.

The global healthcare and pharmaceutical brand was investing in graduate programmes in EMEA, but a low proportion of these graduates converted into full time positions.

Graduate insights report

The Challenge

Leaders were questioning the effectiveness of graduate hiring in EMEA, and wanted to see a more strategic approach that would better serve the needs of the business. The hiring and retention of new capabilities is critical to the long term health of the organization and for building a talent pipeline for the future.

We devised an approach to help our client understand pain points in the current graduate experience, identify opportunities for innovation, and to build a strategic roadmap for the future.


Research activities

The Approach

Voice of the Customer Research

We knew that exploring graduate needs was important, but to improve internal confidence and create a shared vision for the future we wanted to view the challenge from many different perspectives. To gain a wide view we began with a ‘voice of the customer’ study, during which our teams carried out over 150 in depth interviews and focus groups with business leaders, HR and Talent leaders, graduates and hiring managers from 5 key sites across the organization.

Strategy Workshops

Next, we analyzed and unpacked these insights in collaborative workshops with the client, mapping out graduate journeys and creating behavior based personas. These artefacts were used as communication aids internally, and also helped to illustrate design recommendations to create a more user friendly user experience.

All activities fed into and culminated in a clear and executable strategy for graduate hiring, which was tailored to be delivered to different levels of the organisation.


“When you’re designing workplace systems to support graduates you need a deep understanding of their needs, behaviors and expectations.”

Anton Artemenkov – Creative Director, Sutherland Labs

The Results

Strategic Roadmap

We helped to develop a holistic, multi-year, EMEA-wide strategy for graduate hiring and development which received full leadership support.

Key insights were translated into workstreams spanning Planning, Attraction, Selection, Onboarding, and Development stages of the graduate journey.

The client has since launched a Planning Toolkit to help capture capability and business needs and ensure they are hiring strategically for the future. As well as, a  new ‘go to market’ approach on campus and a marketing campaign to enhance their Attraction strategy.

“The VOC Research has really helped us to accelerate this initiative and ensure we have the customer at the centre of our approach – thank you!”

Vice President HR EMEA, Global Healthcare and Pharmaceutical brand 

]]> An Employee Led Digital Workplace Strategy Wed, 23 Oct 2019 14:43:23 +0000 An Employee Led Digital Workplace Strategy

Our client had ambitious plans to improve the daily working lives of employees.

The financial institution had a workforce and working practices were disparate and varied, spanning 7,000 employees in 25 countries. They wanted to build a strategy for digital channels and workplace tools that would increase productivity, build community and lead to more contented employees overall.

The Challenge

To develop a strategy to meet these aims and increase the likelihood of employee adoption, we needed to ground ourselves in the needs of their employees. Our goal was to understand employees day to day challenges and pain points, their preferred tools and workarounds, and to do this at scale to account for employees in multiple locations across the world.

Exploring employee needs

The Approach

To capture insights from a large number of employees we began with a survey, which helped us to refine the focus for subsequent rounds of immersive fieldwork. Over the next 2 months, our team travelled to six countries to interview and shadow a range of employees in their own work environments to understand their workflows, day-to-day working practices, tools, and obstacles. We also used remote interviews to reach employees in another six countries, and to ensure we covered a representative range of roles and responsibilities.

I used to think innovation was in motion here, but I just don’t see it happening as quickly as it should be. Or it’s change for no apparent reason.

Sample participant

Employees in the workplace

The Output

The insights from all rounds of research gave our client a rich picture of how employees really work, including the organisational culture, tools and processes, and current challenges. This fed into their overall digital workplace strategy, with more specific outputs including:

  • Behavior-based personas as a tool for creating empathy for employees amongst stakeholders making strategic decisions.
  • Digital channel strategy recommendations including collaboration tools and internal communications, broken down into quick wins and long term goals.
  • Employee experience best practices which were rolled out as use cases across the business.
Design thinking to improve candidate experience Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:21:26 +0000 Design thinking to improve candidate experience

Our parent organization, Sutherland, asked us to experiment with new ways of approaching existing recruitment challenges through a Design Thinking approach.

talent acquisition workshop


In an extremely competitive marketplace, how might we better attract the right talent? How can we improve retention by better understanding the end-to-end recruitment and employment journey of our employees? These are some of the questions Sutherland Labs have been tackling in our own organization – working alongside our Talent Acquisition teams.


We used immersive research to ‘walk in candidates shoes’ to understand a candidate journey throughout the recruitment process. We created behavioral personas, helping to segment, identify ‘star’ target audiences and better understand their idiosyncrasies. We also created journey maps that gave a visual representation which help to articulate pain points and crucial insight that often lead to ideas for improvements and solutions.

Talent acquisition journey maps


The insights helped our colleagues to reframe the story during the recruitment process, which in turn impacted their messaging, advertising and social media activity. The results have included a significant increase in social media followers and engagement, following a reworked advertising campaign. The project also contributed towards wider strategic goals of improving employee engagement, and aided a change of mindset within HR functions.

Rethinking in-hospital entertainment Tue, 14 Jun 2016 10:17:09 +0000 Rethinking in-hospital entertainment

Our client, global provider of hospital entertainment systems, asked us to analyze customer experience of their current system and inform the design of a cleverly user-centric new one.

TV remote and tablet


TV, radio, games, other interactive content: hospital bedside entertainment has the power to positively transform patient experience. But many patients in this study were not engaging with our client’s current system and opting instead to use their own devices. We were called on to conduct deep analysis of patient needs. Our findings then inspired the design of a revolutionary new system – to make hospital stays infinitely more entertaining.


From registering for the first time, to tuning in to the radio or finding a good film, we first identified key user tasks. We then conducted interviews with staff, patients and family members across different wards – Elderly, Stroke, Children, etc. – to find out how these tasks could be carried out most efficiently. Insights from discussions, interviews, focus groups and a visit to the client call centre were then translated into different personae and journey maps. The outcome? As many as 50 different propositions to guide development of the new system.


These propositions included: a friendlier, more accessible user interface; a promotional loop on the homepage to raise key feature awareness; a simplified VOC library structure to enable easy browsing; and extended account management features for families to enable them to make purchases on a patient’s behalf.

Hospital ward
Designing a better patient experience Tue, 07 Jun 2016 13:37:57 +0000 Designing a better patient experience

From billing and online payment to registration and insurance, effective healthcare requires effective administration. And, for a joint study by Sutherland Healthcare and its non-profit partner, this was a starting premise.

User on iPad


Our globally renowned healthcare client asked us to observe administration across its facilities and decipher what was working well, and where there was room for improvement – with a focus on billing, registration, online activity, signage and numerous other non-clinical issues.


Our starting point was to closely observe over 100 patients and staff in a variety of settings across its two hospitals and contact centre, considering factors such as environment, education and general operations in order to enhance day-to-day experiences. Our six main areas of exploration were as follows: transition from paper to online processes; online self-service; medical payment issues; education and awareness of costs in relation to healthcare; healthcare insurance; and the possible overuse of brochures and posters in medical environments.


Our research enabled us to identify pain points in the customer and staff journeys and to offer inspired solutions. These included: a new patient portal providing self-service registration and access to clinical information; text message reminders and late running notifications; a mobile app updating family members on patient status; cost estimator tools to make costs more transparent; online application and payment for financial aid; a loyalty programme; and a new strategy to increase awareness and uptake of health insurance exchanges.

Doctors walking in hospital