Today, our Design & Display specialist, @TamsinBennett shares her insights on research, design and the hidden side of enabling positive experiences.

Secret service: Research, design and the hidden side of enabling positive experiences 

We’ve heard the saying, ‘it’s all in the detail’, but how often do we really see it put into practice? Businesses will frequently spend millions designing and creating workspaces that seem great on the surface, but what is the user experience really like? And is it congruent with the beautifully designed space?

At Bennett Hay we believe in the power of small things and champion the details that make our service offering bespoke. So what are these extra touches and what makes them so special?

Our Client’s vision for the workplace

It starts with the client’s vision. The next stage should be focussed on research and understanding the story the client wants to tell through their workplace. Once this is well defined, look to incorporate it at every guest touchpoint. We use a robust guest experience mapping process to help us and our client consider what works best at each “user experience” touchpoint.

For example, it may be that your client champions the best of British and has a reputation for advocating locally sourced products. Adding elements which reinforce this, will go a long way in helping you connect with customers. Whether it be through using crockery made within the 25miles of the client location, or providing uniforms in a British cloth, patterned & sewn in London, customers can clearly see how this is an extension of the organisation’s culture, helping to bring a brand to life.

Drawing interesting details out of the seemingly mundane, creates a rich backstory for clients and their guests. There is no shortcut to this phase with one topic potentially taking hours of research to fully understand. In the long run, these are the elements that people will really remember.

Workplace design and service styling match

Another area sometimes not fully considered, is where the architectural concept doesn’t link with the service design. In FM contracted environments, one sometimes finds that there is a disconnect between the original interior or architectural design and the finishing touches of lighting, equipment and uniforms. This creates a break in the guest experience and confuses the message you’re trying to convey

Facilities managers can take an approach to seamlessly continue the design from the architecture and the interior through to the service, so that guests can enjoy a distinctively personal experience that they know has been thoroughly thought through.

They could also consider the day to day working styles of employees and create an environment that complements this style. Whether it be an open plan format to encourage transparency or hot desks to allow mobility and collaboration.

The key to good service styling is joining up the dots between the story an organisation is trying to tell and the needs of the people it’s trying to reach. The work may be subtle and understated, but can speak volumes when done correctly. Understanding what customers or employees want and aligning that with a strong company culture through the small details will, in the long run, make a big difference in how the workplace is experienced and perceived.

Tamsin Bennett, Design & Display at Bennett Hay