BX and UX

I regularly run courses in Brand Experience and User Experience.

Over the last few years I have been running a seminar on User Experience in the cultural sector with great groups of students studying on the Msc in Creative Project Management, Culture & Design in Rennes Business School.

Just before the pandemic we focused on the FRAC Bretagne Art Gallery at Rennes. A great week with some really interesting solutions. Above are some of the Design Thinking techniques. used during the week. This year, we worked with la Criée Contemporary Art Gallery who were exhibiting, The Sun is My Only Ally, by Charbel-Joseph H Boutros – a very interesting exhibition but a challenging one for staff and visitors as there were particular rules for viewing the work and the way staff had to move around the gallery. Here’s an example of a group which wishes to improve the User Experience in la Criée with an audio/visual guide.

Group work undertaken by Camille, Clotilde, Maud, Sarah and Lucile. September 2022.

Having worked with service industries over a large number of years, in the UK, Europe and now in France, we have developed 2 special workshops for both companies, Design Schools, Business Schools and Universities to help them with their approach to service design and Customer Experience.

Our approach to both subjects, firstly, and most importantly is to think about the customer or user.  To put your customer/user at the heart of everything you do. The workshops are based on the principles of Design Thinking. Who are your customers? What lives do they lead? What things are important to them?

Yes, I realise of course, companies need to make profits, and need to be profitable. Yes, I know that training and finding the right staff is difficult too, and I understand the outside pressure from shareholders. But, unless you have happy customers, and happy staff, who understand your values and what your business stands for, you will find it harder to succeed, they are the lifeblood of your business and are usually considered somewhere in the mix of things, but are not always a priority.

So our approach is a “step-by-step” one. Considering of course your brand values, the values and benefits that your products and services bring, and at the same time really getting you to really understand and know your customers. Things can be honed down later in terms of details, cost and efficiency, but the BIG idea at the start is the most important one.

So, next, what do you want your customers to experience at every step of your service?

What do you want them to see? Feel? Hear? Touch? And more importantly remember? How do you want them to talk about you afterwards? What messages do you want them to send their friends and peers on social media? Do you want them to come back for more? Are there any “painful” moments in your service at the moment? Queuing, waiting, lack of sales staff, service not always on time?…

At this step also, we usually do some empathy mapping and interviewing. Here’s a video from Stanford University which clearly explains this process.

Empathy Map developed by David Gray of Xplane

Then we normally map out a Customer Journey step-by-step, of your existing service, and highlight the difficult moments and the moments that we call ‘magical’ the moments that can delight the user/customer.

If we are developing a totally new service, we imagine the typical journey map (as below), which of course will be developed and tweaked along the way. This example was developed at concept stage.

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 14.53.09

Journey Mapping for a new Educational work bike called “Green Fingers”developed during a Design Thinking Workshop on the Masters Programme at Nimes University in Design, Innovation
and Society

Whether your experience or service is an ephemeral one or a long-lasting one, you want to delight and engage with your audiences at every step of the way and if it feels like their could be some “painful” moments you can design for them and change them to more pleasurable ones.

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 14.52.27

The students had to imagine new uses for work bikes in the future. This concept was to educate schoolchildren in parks. After undertaking interviews with the park’s gardeners it was evident that they wanted a more educational role with both children and adults.

Using techniques gathered from the best thinkers and strategists in the world. We have developed 2 unique workshops which can be specifically tailored to your business or your student disciplines. One focuses on Design Thinking methods, and the other is focused around Empathy methods. Putting yourself in the place of your customers.

dirty prototype experience design
Bringing a new experience to waiting in the long queue at the University Café at Nimes at lunchtime. Quick and Dirty Prototype developed by students on the Master Design, Innovation and Society.

Want to know more about how to bring your brand to life and make your services really meaningful to your customers? Contact Sue Alouche today on 0667452888 or send an email to creativiteconsultants@orange.fr

audencia experience
A new imaginary theme park experience for the brand NUTELLA acted out in class by students (and me) on the Masters MDC (Management, Design and Creation) at Audencia during final presentations on our Creativity and Innovation Course.

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