Inside the head of a designer

August 29, 2008, 4:38 pm
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I secured a trial shift at grassroots, 4th year is going to be fun!



Would you trust us with your service?
August 27, 2008, 3:44 pm
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So me and Iain are finishing off some work for LDS, and we managed an attempt with Mr Richard Donaldson as photographer to do a wee photoshoot.  I think I got dressed backwards today.



We try and make it look as fun as possible. 

Booklet is going well, just time consuming!!! 

anyway I need sleep, coffee, more work int that order.

sarah x

We can give you this…and more!
August 26, 2008, 12:09 pm
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Brilliant.  We can give you a bus, every 10 minutes, but we can do even better.

This is what we provide, but we can give you more.

Sorry, just made me chuckle!

Taken on a visit to a sme with learn direct.  Can’t remember the exact location, a business park in Scotland somewhere…

Communication breakdown
August 25, 2008, 3:06 pm
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I know they give me money on loan but come on, I8 minutes 57 seconds to sort out a query that only took 30 seconds, surely I should be reimbursed for my phone call. thats ridiculous!  Even the information I gave could have been typed from my phone.


If only everyone who worked in call centres looked like a young spritely version of annika rice and ran around the office trying to complete your task in less than 18 minutes we’d all be a lot more happier.


then the second call to the other company, I kept getting put on hold because the girl had no clue how to take a phone call.  It wasn’t until I said shit by accident when I dropped my card that she relaxed.  I loved this fact, she giggled, relaxed, knowing that I was probably a bumbling young thing also (she was having difficulties understanding my accent, I think its the Irish twang) and I was getting frustrated by her lack of speed at taking my details that I suddenly realised, hey, this is another human on the other line, and now she thinks I’m ok, she’s going to give me the time of day.

im going to post a link here from something I saw at engine about empathising with a service even though its faceless/not human.

she then proceeded to offer me advice from a similar situation she had been in (I’m not hiding it, I’m a poor student with nothing better to do than buy expensive old vinyl and jeans from Topshop, throw in the purchase of a new laptop and yeh you see where it’s going) but there was better interaction. she seemed chirpy, and wanted to actually help me.  It got me to thinking (SATC link number two, im so sorry) about faceless interaction.  Do we respond better when we are face to face with someone, should we have this option of being able to see who is providing us with information. 

Not giving too much away but myself and Iain, when working on our latest project, looked into online helpers who have profiles and can talk to you via a messenger style device, in the current way technology is advancing, will this be our primary mode of communication? will we ditch the telephone and start video messaging one another?  the whole face of service, can/could/will be changed with the advent of new technology and changing generations.  hmmmmmmmm again, its early afternoon and I’m pondering way too many things at one time. i also have to make a call to the bank.


I’ve had it with red tape and different services.



banks and holidays.

poor customer service, uninterested staff, bad experiences, unhappy customers, less business.

KA BOOM! Business gone.

wow that sounded like my really bad service design drunk chat, beware do not approach me or certain others in pubs after 3 pints.  we are very dull. at least I am.


New Live|Work website
August 21, 2008, 3:51 pm
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So I noticed the other day a new and more open LiveIWork website.

Previously I had found it difficult to try and see what type of work they did but the tweeked website offers case studies and a few examples of how they work, understandly not 100% images, they can’t give everything away but yes, the case studies are better reperesented now.

theres a link on the left hand side, of which I am building up more so follow that to have a gander.

I am particularly interested in the case study on ‘hard to reach’ youngsters.  Myself and Iain ran a couple of focus groups working with similar users and found it very difficult to engage them and extract information.  We pulled it round but I don’t think they were as successful as they could have been.  Now we know though!

Anyway, still enjoying blissful unemployment and imersion into birthday plans and website issues.  Unemployment is a funny one, I’m very not used to being lazy.

oh well.

enjoy it while I can.

signing off

Sarah x

Being Visual
August 20, 2008, 5:47 pm
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I just realised my writing skills are pretty rubbish. This is sparked by an amazing sets of videos I remember from the lovely people at common craft and a conversation I just had with my friend about my drawings and inability to say what I mean unless I sketch it first.



signing off



An inspiring set of topics
August 20, 2008, 5:39 pm
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Call me a loser (awaiting comments)

but I’m very excited about the RSA project.  Although (un)fortuneatly I am attracted to the the design directions plus, plus meaning probably more work/time input but what the hey, I enjoy working far too much.

Anyway some quite inspiring topics.  Ageing population/The Prison visit.   The post office project also gets a look in, quesioning the role of the post office (rural ones in mind).  I think though the prospect of sitting down and drinking tea with lots of old people sounds pretty exciting.  In all seriousness though I think the preliminary work should be interesting, also the techniques to extract information (that sounded a little scientific, my bad) to gain insights into what the ‘users’ will need from a service/product sounds like a challenging task.  And the best thing about the ageing population project is that I have no idea how it might turn out which I think is a great way to approach a project. well the only way really.  For the prison and post office briefs I’m already starting to get preconceived ideas of what I might want to design and that is, for me personally, not good because I get bogged down and self obscessed with what I think might be good.

I really need to fix my camera so I can finally start putting photos on this darn blog!

signing off


Here’s to a beautiful blogging future
August 16, 2008, 5:27 pm
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Well, where to start?

I am a resident in Glasgow.

I drink too much coffee.

And I study at GSA. I’m a 4th year product design student.

I am in love with service design.  I’m quite a geek.


So just to recap the last wee while.  Over the summer I have been working as a designer for learndirect scotland/ skills development scotland.  It was a continuation of a project undertaken at GSA.  Myself and Iain Macmillan (a friend and fellow designer) took on the challenge of taking our ideas into ‘phase II’.

We were working on an online learning site/community.  I don’t know how much I can release at the moment, but I will post some photos of our proccess.  look forward to a mumble jumble of post its and berol pens.  It’s been tiresome!


(N.b Here comes a very sex and the city carrie moment)

So from the discussion yesterday after our final presentation of’My Learning Pod’ , it got me to thinking (please forgive the last phrase),

Irene Mcara Mcwilliams (head of design at gsa) was discussing the value we have in relation to skills.  How do we reflect and realise our own skills.  Her example she gave was in relation to cooking.  Say someone was good at cooking around the house, even though its not a recognised ‘qualification’ persay or official ‘achievement’ how can someone express this skill, also realise it and what, I guess potential/opportunity it could lead on to.  It’s a tough subject to figure out, figuring out the value of something we can’t see, how can it be done, I look forward this year to delving deeper into this ‘value’ equation. 

I can walk into a shop, see how much something costs, in terms of value, thats pretty straight forward.  But how do you figure out value of something we can’t see, is it the satisfaction of the ‘user’ / ‘customer’ experience?

I just read back the last two paragraphs, how confusing, its a bit of a stream of conciousness.  I do apologise to any readers but I guess this is my way of  downloading thoughts from my head.  how very 21st century!!

Anyway, I feel I have out stayed my two coffee welcome in the cafe. and abused their free wifi enough.  I guess I wish I had started blogging way earlier, so I presume this will become a blog of nostalgia and confusion.

I look forward to a beautiful relationship between me and wordpress.

signing off