Template: archive.php


Visual Study – Leveraging Digital to Transform Supply Chain

July 9th, 2018

Change is happening all around us—so quickly, in fact, that we often fail to appreciate its transformative power. We regularly experience wondrous technologies that make our lives easier, without batting an eye. These innovations are so seamlessly integrated into our lives, that we tend to take them for granted, and feel as if they have appeared out of thin air. But, of course, there is no magical sorcery conjuring up these great ideas; innovators everywhere work tirelessly in the background to push the boundaries of what is digitally possible, and to help us realize a truly smart and interconnected society. Here are a few examples that illustrate how innovative digital transformations are revolutionizing the ways in which we work.


Location Based Services 

Geo-location services have been around for quite some time, and their quality and accuracy has improved by leaps and bounds. However, the addition of intelligent, comprehensive frameworks, that establish relationships between systems, and make relevant connections between what is known, unknown, and anticipated, has generated a modern Wayfinding experience that tremendously boosts efficiencies in transportation, shipping, and supply-chain management.

Data and Dashboards

With access to vast oceans of business data and user analytics, designers scour data systems like Watson and Google Analytics to glean insights that can be leveraged for new work solutions. The challenge, of course, lies in determining what, when, and for whom that data should be made accessible and relevant. These important questions provide the foundation for high-value, real-time, personalized dashboards and notification systems, which enable workers to make informed decisions in achieving the best possible outcomes for the business.

Smart Systems and Interfaces

People generally associate “connectivity” with being connected both to the internet and to other people. While this is accurate in a more traditional sense, the new concept of connectivity is a bit more progressive and expansive. These emerging modern systems are vast information eco-systems: digital networks connecting people with people, systems with systems, and people and systems with insights and data. This interconnectivity enables interfaces to move beyond the typical, static publishing models, and towards dynamic content distribution systems—a fully integrated and collaborative model, where content is not generated solely by humans, but also by other active participants, like wearable devices, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT (electronics, machinery and vehicles). Distributing high-value content to the digital workforce, across multiple devices, provides workers with just-in-time information, where and when they need it most, and with the highest level of accuracy and reliability. This real time content model transforms typical design interfaces into “smart” solutions.

Personal Assistants Everywhere We Go

It was not so long ago when employees had devices they used specifically for work, which they would power down at the end of the day (if they were lucky), and would not pick up again until work resumed the following morning. Today, with the emergence of BYOD and the blurring of work and home, we have moved into an “always available” mindset. Mini personal assistants go everywhere we go guiding us through both our personal and professional lives. Bots access content from our emails, calendars, chats, project management tools, and mapping apps, and keep us on track, and informed of any new developments. Furthermore, with the emergence of AI, our devices increasingly push content directly to us, based upon what the AI has learned about us, and what variables and outside influences it anticipates us running into. Digital assistants discover new relationships between content and tasks in ways we couldn’t possibly foresee, and push the content right to our devices, just in time. Personal assistants will continue to improve as the underlying AI technology evolves, and it’s all thanks to creatives, futurists, and technologists like us who continue to push the limits of what is digitally possible.

Exploring AR in the Enterprise: Orientation / Assimilation

June 11th, 2018

Augmented Reality (AR) changes the way we see and experience our physical environment. In the business context, this opens new avenues for innovation. AR allows us to envision enhanced experiences for workers, from orientation and onboarding, to interactive and collaborative engagements with space, people, and the work itself.


Directional / Wayfinding

Guidance for workers to acclimate to new environments. Directional walking routes and environment information are displayed.


What Work & Where

Organizational and work knowledge activated and accessed as workers move through, and interact with, their work environment. Areas of the office come to life with activity details and artifacts photographed/recorded.


People Resources

Productive and meaningful exchanges between coworkers are facilitated and accelerated by AR, enabling greater worker connectivity. People are valuable resources in a work environment — Orient to who sits where, who does what, and connect directly.

Looking Past the Obvious

April 30th, 2018

I don’t know about you, but seeing our work up on a big screen is really gratifying to me. Presenting to large audiences naturally requires the use of oversized graphics for ideal legibility and consumption, so I suppose it’s no surprise that the sheer size and scale of the visuals make the creative more impressive. Under normal circumstances, our work in digital is generally consumed on much smaller devices. A desktop monitor or laptop screen – let alone a mobile device – is no match for a keynote presentation. Seeing our design up on the big screen gives it something extra, a grandiose feeling that I don’t normally experience when seeing it on the usual devices.

In a keynote presentation, a speaker presents an engaging monologue, adding an illustrative voiceover to the visuals that tells the story of the challenges we’re solving for. It’s really enlightening to experience our own work from this perspective. Hearing the narrative played back from an accomplished storyteller paints a picture of what, why, and how the design makes an impact for organizations, not to mention the positive effects it could have on the lives of the workers themselves.

Mimi Brooks, CEO of LDS, presenting the Frontline Worker case study at the 2017 The Conference Board Innovation Master Class event.

So maybe it’s more than just seeing it in such a large format. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s being presented, in this case, by my CEO, Mimi Brooks… on this grand stage… to an audience of senior executives and thought leaders representing some of the top companies in our industry today. It’s possible that this feeling of delight isn’t a result of the large screen at all, but because of a sense of accomplishment, that we’ve done something great. Our creation is center stage and is the star of the show (ehem… along with Mimi of course). It has transformed from a mere concept to a thing of value and purpose. A work of art that’s now recognized as being worthy of the spotlight by the very audience it was designed for. As if, all at once, the big screen validates the effort that went into the design, legitimizes its value to the world, and invites a room full of experts to appreciate it. And just like that, poof! Our design suddenly has meaning.

It’s indeed a memorable point in the career of a designer, or any other professional for that matter: The moment you begin to understand the impact one’s efforts can have in people’s lives, and the feeling that you’ve made a positive mark on society.

Employer Brand Standards Win the Day

October 12th, 2016


Get to Know the Design Innovation Team

June 1st, 2016

Design-Innovation-Infographic copy - 60

​Consumerization and the Visual Brand Experience

May 1st, 2016

Our increased reliance on technology has made the need for well-informed and positive digital brand experiences all that more critical. The way an experience looks and feels plays an important role in how people embrace or reject an organization’s brand. If successfully executed, visual design should build trust and evoke a lasting positive memory and connection.

Delivering personality

The foundation of a visual design approach and its application to a user interface (UI) design is built on basic elements, such as color, typography, and spatial relationships. In the digital context, ideas of UI extend beyond static conventions. Subtleties of animation or visual feedback for interactive elements also play a part in the overall visual design. These characteristics, static or active, cascade across digital touch-points, creating an experience that delivers on an organization’s desired brand personality.

Delight in the employee experience

As organizations move toward consumerization inside the enterprise, the employee experience becomes as important as the customer experience. Organizations are seeing the positive business impacts of employee brand advocacy and the importance of nurturing the lasting impressions each interaction has on their employees, just as they would customers. The touch point scenarios of the employee experience are so vast and constant that the impact of a quality UI could be the difference between dissatisfaction and delight. Dimensions — such as service, support, and delight in experience — are what build strong connections between brands and the people they touch.

Balanced approach to new visual contexts

Strong visual continuity between internal and external brand aesthetics, at its foundation, is a must for brand stability and alignment across touch-points, but the different needs of the employee experience can extend brand conventions beyond existing guidelines.

Inside the enterprise solutions cater to unique experiences that differ from those found in external-facing solutions. They lift similar ideas of engagement and self-service, but these experiences are rationalized based on empathy for an entirely different constituent-base, set of contexts, and desired business outcomes.

It is inevitable that these differences will impact an approach to the experience and UI design. A balance of alignment to existing visual conventions and the extension of known standards to new contexts are key to delivering a fully rationalized visual design approach.

Today’s consumers are empowered by technology. With that, experience design has become a bigger part of how they interact and connect with brands, as customers and employees. Visual design plays an important role in nurturing those connections and in the expression of a lasting visual brand experience.

How Emotional Design Plays a Role in Building Brand Equity

October 13th, 2015

Internal brand strategies

Building a strong internal brand starts with foundational ideas of environments and experiences within an organization. These experiences, where individuals touch brand, need to deliver a consistent and aligned brand promise. They must rely on design dimensions such as tone of voice, visual look and feel, and interaction to convey desired brand attributes.

Consumers make buying decisions every day based on the way they feel about a brand. That connection is built over time, with a focus on reinforcing brand attributes at every touch-point experience. What they hear, see, read, or experience all plays into the development of that connection. The impact this philosophy has inside the enterprise shouldn’t be ignored. Nurturing the connection between an organization’s brand and their employees and partners, builds emotional ties that can strengthen relationships and directly impact business outcomes.

Emotions connect people to brands

Function is an essential focus of online experiences inside the enterprise, but it can only take you so far. It doesn’t take full advantage of the impact touch-point experiences could have on an individual and their connection to an organization’s brand.

When brand is infused in an experience, ideas like usability or visual appeal begin to influence persuasive emotions, such as affection and attachment. In a consumer context, we may relate some of these emotional outcomes directly to increased consumer advocacy or positive sales. Inside the enterprise, these emotional connections feed ideas of engagement, loyalty, and retention.

As designers, emotional connections must be prevalent in the way we think about the experiences we create. With that, how design makes an end-user feel takes on more meaning and significance.