Illustration of a magnifying glass

30 Jun 2017

Me, Myself, and Snook

Before parting ways, I wanted to share with everyone my learnings, highlights and overall experience of the journey with Snook.

Shaping services

Before starting at Snook, I was fresh out of college and desperate for my first step into the industry. I needed someone to take a chance on me and let me prove myself, giving me that much-needed experience in the professional environment. When I was offered an internship with Snook, I jumped at the chance – a little nervous, with high hopes of what was to come.

Coming into a service design agency with no previous experience in the field, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I soon realised I was surrounded by a team of strong-minded, hard-working people, taking what they do seriously while making sure they enjoy the work they do. The team were very welcoming and made it easy to dive into projects with them.

Previously, working on projects with visual outputs, it took a moment to imagine where a graphic designer would come in when the outcome was a user experience, for example. Participating in the journey of designing a service and seeing how graphic and service designers work together with strategists and social scientists to achieve the best outcome was a valuable learning experience. I learnt to visualise tools in an engaging way, aiming to assist service designers in retrieving valuable information from people that would help shape new or improved services.

From conceptual thinking and research to creating a platform

I assisted on a range of projects, from the public sector to internal work. Each project presented new challenges and I gained essential skills that I can use in the future.

An ongoing internal project I worked on involved the creation of a CRM platform that allows co-design enthusiasts to be more easily involved with Snook, lending their insight and point of view on relevant projects. Working with inclusive and energetic team members, I quickly realised that the project consisted of so much more than creating a platform – it was about thorough research, branding, user engagement, and understanding what users actually need.

I was given the opportunity to take charge of naming and branding the platform. I was eager to take this on as I enjoy the early research stages, the conceptual thinking, and establishing an understanding behind my ideas. The research stage included interviews with fellow team members to understand needs from both their perspective and the stakeholders – defining the do’s and don’ts that the platform should consider. This incredibly insightful experience showed me how to meaningfully test assumptions – showing me that what you think and expect a service should be like doesn’t always match the results.

Synthesising and documenting these valuable interview insights was another new task I tackled with the team to construct a user journey. This was the first time I truly experienced the challenges of service design. The most important thing I learnt in the process is making sure that the choices you make are realistic, they work for all people who will use the service/design, and if not, to be open to innovative ways to bring your idea to life.

Connor Warnock. Image: Snook
Ice-breaker activity used for The Children's Society project. Puzzle designed by Connor, laser cut at FLUX studio. Image: Snook

From agile training to designing a jigsaw

During my time here, I’ve definitely taken on the working traits and qualities my colleagues have. A huge learning curve was the realisation of how much research and time Snook invests in projects to understand their needs. I’ve also taken part in training on topics such as agile methodologies and mental health first aid which has been invaluable for all projects. The course on agile methods taught me how beneficial it is to work in a strategic, flexible and open-minded way.

Through working on a great variety of projects needing different skill sets, I’ve been pushed in my learning, where I’ve gained new practical skills and experienced a confidence boost in the process. A few highlights have been learning how to illustrate, make gifs, design icons and logos, and even designing a jigsaw for a workshop! It’s been a great experience to see the careful process in designing and planning workshops including how the team interacts with participants, and just how much fun you can have during the co-design process. It was also great to see how important the tools I had designed were, seeing how people engaged with them.

The puzzle was designed to assist as an ice-breaker activity for our session with young people on the power of language – a project with The Children’s Society. The feedback from the young people we got was that it was the best ice-breaker: comments which are amazing to hear about my designs!

Ready for what’s next

During my four months here, I’ve had the chance to meet and work with the entire Snook team. It has been amazing to see the vast talent and getting to know everyone’s personalities. I’ve loved collaborating with such a fun team, getting to learn something important from every single person.

The entire Snook experience has taught me so much and I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to work at Snook. Whatever the future brings, I’m positive I’ll be ready for it with all the knowledge I’ve gained!