8-10 June 2016

Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, UK

Putting people first: UX through a service design lens

Alexandra Clarke Snook
Marie Cheung Snook

Session type: Experience Report
Session duration: 60 minutes

About this Experience Report

UX has the word ‘user’ in the title, but how many organisations really recognise the importance of people in creating better digital user experiences? Pixels and code are important to understand, but do you understand the language of the person viewing the content? What if we approached user experience by putting people first; instead of designing websites, think about the design of the whole service, considering the person before, during and after. What about how this links with other services across your organisation – a holistic experience?

Glasgow City Council approached Snook to undertake qualitative user research related to the development of its new website, by engaging and codesigning with citizens, to test the features of the new website designs and other new digital elements of a MyGlasgow dashboard.

HullCoin is a local digital currency created to combat poverty through positive action and rewards within the city of Hull. Snook helped HullCoin to better understand how their service works as a whole by putting their users at the centre of the process; guiding the development of their digital platform from concept to an alpha site.

Focusing on these two recent projects, Snook will show how focusing on digital before people and service can hinder the creation of great user experiences. They will discuss the challenges and benefits of delivering a customerfocused, service design approach to creating digital platforms and embedding this mindset inside the delivery team/organisation. Alexandra and Marie will take a close look at the common patterns that emerged when designing for both large organisations and small startups; including the importance of user research, usability testing and working together in an agile and collaborative capacity.

About Snook

Snook are an awardwinning design agency based in Glasgow and London, specialising in designing exceptional customer experiences on and offline. They deliver work globally across the public, private and third sector, challenging the way governments and companies do business and supporting organisations to design products and services in a humancentred way, with a distinct focus on social good and innovation in the public domain.

About the Speakers

Alexandra Clarke

Alexandra led the team on the Glasgow City Council redesign project. She has experience delivering a variety of projects – from branding, to user research, to service design coaching – and has worked with a wide range of clients, including the Government Digital Service, the British Council and the British Film Institute.


Marie Cheung

Marie worked on the HullCoin project, where she designed their end-to-end service experience and developed their digital platform. She has experience working on a number of projects related to user research, user experience design and usability testing – including Aye Mind, BadgeMaker and Barefoot in Business – with clients including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Open Badges.


To buy tickets to see this fantastic talk, and many others like it head over to our ticket page.

Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of service design techniques. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.

Lightning Talks

Short talks (max 10 minutes) on almost any topic.