There’s an age old adage in Finland that goes “suutarin lapsilla ei ole kenkiä”, meaning “the shoemaker’s children don’t have shoes”. For the first three years of our existence, Exove Design didn’t really have it’s own site as we were just too busy weaving the web for others.
At some point we managed to push out a site. It wasn’t much. Some static content, contact info, case studies that you couldn’t access.. It was a bit embarrassing really, so we’re happy put that behind us.
So now you might be thinking “a design agency with a new website, how original..” and we can definitely see where you’re sarcasm might be coming from. The site, of course, is not the whole story. We’ve gone through quite a few changes that affect not only the way we go around doing business, but how we communicate and work as a whole.
We now have a service design team. For a few years already we’ve been using service design methods in our design process – and it has been great. Projects that get the full treatment really benefit from the holistic approach to user insight and actionable solutions that service design produces. We’re happy that we can continue improving our customers’ service experiences even better as we’ve now employ a four person team dedicated to bringing service design to the forefront of what we do.
We’re better at collaborating. Of course, we’ve always collaborated, but it is easy to sink into a pothole when collaborating with say other vendors of a customer, especially if you have overlapping functions. But lets be honest, what matters in the end is that everyone does their best job to find the best solutions to the customer’s problems and needs. Now we work hard to bring everyone around the same table, and to set a shared goal and vision for what we do. Sharing is caring, and we sure do care.
We started eating our own dog food. Yes, it’s a thing, look it up. And that’s really in many ways what this new site is about. Sure, it’s a way to tell about the things we think matter, to show what we do and what we’re proud of and to have a bit of fun while doing so, but more importantly it’s a real product that we ourselves have to maintain, polish and keep improving. We honestly feel that in addition to applying our best methods and design know-how, there’s no better way for us to put ourselves in our customers shoes.
We’ve have new people. And they’re all lovely. In five years we’ve gone from being a six people web design shop in the closet of one of Europe’s biggest open source software service providers, to a fifteen person design agency. “But that’s not so many people..” you may think. And in a way you’re right. But we’re not into hiring just for the sake of growth alone. It’s important to us that ED is and continues to be an environment where smart, fun and talented individuals come together and share not just a space to work in, but a vibe and culture that pushes us as individuals and as a team to do the best we can.
Our new people are a needed and welcome addition to ED, reinforcing our service design competence and adding more graphic design power to the team. You’ll definitely hear more from and about them in the feed.
Feel free to make Olli, Marja and Veera feel welcome by spreading their work and their words.
PS. Want to know more about our team? Check out our People -page for personal bios or head to the first instalment of our interview-series “Meet the People”, where we have a chat with service designer slash dance-hall queen, Veera Suomalainen.