#servicedesign  #designmanagement  #designthinking  #humancentred #ethnography 

Cypher Coding Camps: Unlocking The Code To Repeat Sales

The Challenge

Cypher runs coding camps for children between the ages of 5-14 years old. Pre-covid these camps ran during school holidays providing a space for kids to learn coding through creative themes. Typically, one camp is a week-long. 


Using a service design approach, our goal was to stimulate repeat purchase of coding camps. Encouraging the children to return to a camp as much as four times a year. 


Our first priority was to determine where the purchasing power originated. Was it the children's demand to go back, the parent's need for childcare or providing their children with the right skills for the future? 


After breaking down the assumptions the next step was to analyse the current services of the business. Before synthesising the insights to support our proposed designs.  

Difficulty Level

This project began during mid-term and ended a week into the school holidays. While this gave plenty of time for desk research, it provided a short timeframe for our observational ethnography of the coding camps.

The timings didn't aid our ability to access parents - to better understand their role and purchasing power. Due to this, we re-focused our efforts to children's point of view of the service. To better understand how their view stimulated the repeat purchase. 

Service Blueprint
(Google Sheets)
Business Canvas Model
Digital and Observational Ethnography
Design With
Rapid Prototyping
What I Did

As a team of five multidisciplinary designers, we shared many of the project's tasks and design responsibilities. 


My primary responsibility was to manage the project and ensure the stakeholders and team followed the brief and vision of the project. 


From a project management perspective, we hit our own targets and delivered insight-driven designs on time. However, the challenging aspect of this project was vision management.  


With a diverse team (stakeholders included) and a short timeframe, the vision swayed a few times. In those moments I facilitated open respectful discussions. Focusing on reiterating the macro and micro strategies, the relationship the service had to the goal and the need to prototype our concepts. 


For me, leadership is about respect. Hear every voice, find the common ground and collaborate through challenging moments. 

The Impact

Our ethnography studies highlighted that camps took place in the schools the children attended. Classrooms are rented out to Cypher for easy access, familiar spaces and free WiFi. However, some children felt like they were attending school during the holiday break. 


To separate the classroom from the camp and make the experience more memorable, our front stage design involved upgrading the space. We suggested, where possible, adding stage dressing to the classrooms around the theme of the camp. For example, in the image 'Bringing Magic To Camp' we prototyped how Cypher could add environmental nodes to the theme of magic. Making the space feel magical and unique to the children.


Due to time constraints, we could not prototype the design further than conceptual imagery. We do not know the impact this front stage design could have had on the service or repeat purchasing. 

Do Differently
  • Time the project to fall within the schedule of several camps. 

  • Action more observational ethnography. 

  • Aim to engage with the parent audience more. 

  • Include one member of staff from the client in the design process to improve vision management.


#Marketing #ServiceDesign #DesignManagement #DesignThinking #Prototyping #MinimumViableProduct #WorkInProgress

Hytech: The MVP

The Challenge

The client, a materials manufacturer, is a pioneer in their primary industry. However, like most small to medium size businesses, they are looking to explore new avenues whilst retaining their core vision and beliefs - to use and develop materials that make a difference to people's lives. 

Having an extensive portfolio of material products not all of them fit neatly within the client's core industry or business model. The project is to design and develop a minimum viable product that reaches industries outside of the client's parameters to employ material products they have that are otherwise ignored. 

Consultancy, long-term partnerships and cooperative research and development are core aspects of the client's business model. The minimum viable product, named Hytech (Hydrogels plus Technology) most work within these aspects whilst being flexible to change and evolve as it is tested and ran. 

Difficulty Level

In its infancy, Hytech's primary concern is finding an audience. Starting without a desired audience, industry or persona has made it difficult to tailor the service.  

From the enquiries and exchanges in communications from interested parties, we can develop a persona from the synthesised data. As a guide for the prototype, we've coined our elusive audience as 'Technologists' - individuals or companies who are facing a challenge or problem that requires a versatile material, such as a hydrogel, to support their technologies. 

If Hytech gains interest and customers, it will become more complicated as it integrates into the businesses' core operations. 

Change management will be critical at this stage and the service blueprint developed will become an important tool during integration. 

Service Blueprint
Brand Design 
Web Site Design
Digital Marketing 
SEM / Social Media
Rapid Prototyping
What I Did

The Hytech team consists of two members - myself as the multi-disciplinary designer and the client's senior R&D chemist. 

Working as a pair we've been able to take Hytech from concept to minimum viable project within a matter of weeks. The chemist brings vital technical know-how, product portfolio knowledge and, upon enquiries, will become the lead consultant. 

During early development, my role is much more vast. I refined the brief to reflect the wants and needs of the stakeholders, designed the service blueprint and created Hytech's brand identity and language.

While my role within the Hytech project is primarily front stage - how the service looks, feels and operates - I also manage the macro elements. How the service can integrate within the business from an operational and cultural perspective. 

The Impact

Hytech was launched in January 2021 with a website as the primary touchpoint. The service's success will be determined by the quality of enquiries. 

Within three months the service has received eight high-quality enquiries and the service blueprint is being tested and reviewed as the enquiries progress. 

Despite its infancy, Hytech as a minimum viable product is on a good track to becoming an official service within the business. Yet, the greatest impact, so far, is how the project has enabled the client's operations and culture to observe and participate in a design process. Increasing multi-departmental collaboration and appreciation for service design. 

Do Differently
  • Develop an array of personas during the concept stage to guide future decisions.