Creating experiences

View each team- Celfocus Design

Call To Design — Mar 2018

"“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Steve Jobs

What is Design?

The definition of design has changed throughout the years and it’s still changing. Since it isn’t something that can be described objectively, each one of us may have a different definition.

At Celfocus, depending on the business unit, role or background, Design is used to represent different things, for example, for a business analyst design is how the solution is described in the HLD, for an architect design is how systems integrate with each other, for a designer design is Design.

Steve Jobs also created his own definition of what design is and this definition is still pretty accurate.

Who are we?

Being Celfocus a company focused on technology, Design has been placed in a secondary position for a long time, but that has changed in the last years.

About 10 years ago, all major technology companies started moving to a Design focus approach investing a lot of resources in movements like Design Thinking and Service Design because they realized that a product doesn’t sell just because it is well built and has an accessible price. People also buy products that work well and have a beautiful interface. One of the first well-known companies to combine technology and design was Apple, and the best example is their mobile products that are as much as advanced as the competitors, but in terms of user experience and design they are at another level.

We want to bring that differentiation to Celfocus’ products and projects, combining the technical excellence with the best user experience and the best Design.

Currently we are a team of almost 20 with different backgrounds but with one single purpose - create the best experiences to our customers and customer’s users.

What do we do?

Back in 1990, at the same time Hubble was being launched into space, the WWW was born and with it also the first web designers. And, if we were asked what our job was it was quite simple to answer it. Well… not “we”, some of us were not even born at that time.

Being a Web designer back then had its challenges. The first was to know what to do: there were no methodologies, no dedicated tools, no google to help you and no gurus to follow. However, it was also much easier to follow technology and trends.

Nowadays, it is not that easy to get a definition on what we do. We are no longer Web Designers because that reduces a lot of what we do. So instead of a simple job description we prefer to say: “We design better customer experiences” – that happens when we are in the mood of explaining what that means.

In some cases, we keep things simple and say “I’m a Web designer” or “I do sites” or even “I’m an IT consultant” – normally in hotels and visa forms.

In fact, sometimes it’s difficult to identify what we do, even as designers one day we put on user experience designers hat and the next day the frontend developer hat: it depends on the project, in what we are doing or even on what we want to be that day.

In our everyday life these are some of the things we do:

Designers love to give names to things, good names of course. The only problem is that we try to name everything, every new methodology, every new design trend and it becomes difficult to memorize all names that are flooding the internet. Another challenge is that most of things tend to describe more or less the same. Maybe one day, we’ll be able to simplify and instead of a list filled with fancy names, we’ll have Design.

How do we do it?

Celfocus’ Design team created a specific methodology within Celfocus. A methodology split in 3 macro phases: 1) Discover. 2) Define. 3) Develop easily remembered by everyone, including our customers that already talk about the 3D methodology.

The Discover phase aims at placing designers in the customers and users’ shoes to get the background needed to make design decisions.

The objective is to understand in detail the client’s context using different lenses, which include learning more about the customer, competition, business, processes, applications used and users’ needs.

In a real scenario, for example developing a new solution for contact centres, designers will do the following activities:

  • As is analysis – identify the systems used, read proposals, RFP or other contextual documentation
  • Benchmark – analyse competitors solutions
  • Shadowing and Interviews – Go to a contact centre, talk to agents and supervisors and see them working in their real context
  • Stakeholders map – create a schema of all entities related with a product or project
  • Personas – creating personas that represent the real users of the application
  • Ideation – co-working sessions to identify new ideas and opportunities to bring to a product or project

The Define phase begins with a broad exploration of possibilities for serving the unmet needs revealed in the Discover phase and moves through ideation, multiple- prototyping and concept enrichment. This is a collaborative and iterative phase with active customer and user participation, resulting in the project scope definition, features and functionalities.

By using a myriad of techniques and tools, the team is able to quickly present the first solution proposal thus enabling fast feedback cycles, lower costs and risks.

Using the same scenario as before - Creating the solution for a contact centre, designers will do the following activities:

  • Information architecture and card sorting – how is the portal structured, and how is the mental organisation that users have of the system
  • Customer scenarios and journeys – how the users “walk” through their interactions, in what situations will our solution be used
  • Paper prototyping – quick drafts that help us playback and align the customer needs
  • Interactive storyboards / wireframes – interactive prototype that allows stakeholders to have the “first taste” of what the solution can be
  • User testing – feedback of our first approach to the solution, allows alignment with final users
  • Gap analysis – as is vs to be – what are we improving, and what else can be done in future interactions
  • AB testing scenarios – definition of which pages/areas should be part of a two-sample hypothesis testing
  • SEO (Search engine optimization) – Identification of guidelines to improve the solution ranking on search engines

In the Develop phase, designers put their technical hat on and start producing the final result. The team provides the prototypes that will then be used as template for the large-scale implementation.

When implementing a contact centre solution, designers will do the following activities:

  • Visual design (UI) – creation of layouts according to customer brand guidelines
  • Visual design and motion design guidelines – definition of design and animation rules to be implemented throughout the solution
  • Front-end development – build of cross browser and multi device compatible HTML, CSS and JS structure is created and used as “template” by the development team.
  • Accessibility validation – Guaranteeing that everyone, everywhere can use our solutions without any limitation.

With this methodology we were able to reach great achievements and now have a wider participation in different projects in different countries, improving user experience in assisted and unassisted channels.

Where are we?

We are here!

And remember, in case of an emergency “The closest designer can be right next to you”

Meet the team

  • Diana Andaluz: Information architecture | UX Research | Interaction Design

TV Series | Gastronomy | Sudoku to fall asleep

  • Filipa Águas: Interaction design | UX research | Visual design

Music | Discovering the world | Family and friends.

  • Gonçalo Santos: Frontend | Acessibility | Interaction Design

Running by the Tagus River | A good book | Want to swim in the 5 oceans

  • Isabel Pinto: Visual Design | Interaction design | UX Research

Traveling | Pottery | Walks with my dog

  • Joana Silva: Visual Design | Front End | Illustration

Running, Outdoor sports | Drawing and illustration | Traveling

  • Joao Ramalho: Front-End Development | Learn new technical language | Teach younger colleagues

Mountain Trekking | TV Series | Traveling

  • Luis Biscaia: Strategy | Team management | Service design

Surf | Travel | Family

  • Margarida Batata:Research | Interaction Design | Visual Design

Get-togethers | Traveling | Holidays

  • Paulo Santos: Front End | Visual Design | Interaction Design

Long walks | Sporting | Gaming

  • Raquel Cabrita: Visual design | Interaction design | Information architecture

Talks | Walks | Concerts

  • Regina Barbosa: Interaction Design | Visual Design | Service design

Traveling | Trails | Sports

  • Renato Santos: Front-end | Strategy | Technology

Conferences | Traveling | Surf

  • Rita Fonseca: Visual Design | Digital marketing | Acessibility

Create | Know | Talk

  • Sandra Simões: Strategy design | UX Research | Digital Marketing

Volleyball | Traveling | Sloths

  • Sofia Carvalho: Interaction | UX research | Visual Design

Volleyball | Origami | Sewing

  • Tânia Ribeiro: UX Research | Wire-framing | Frontend

Photography | Traveling | Exercise

  • Vera Parreira: Visual Design | Service Design | Interaction Design

Family and friends | Travel | Sports Enthusiast

The Process (a.k.a. Designing The Stop Sign Video)