The ClearPoint Design Studio was created in March 2020 and has experienced many highs, lows and achievements growing the practice and team along the way. There have been a number of key learnings from the journey that are of value to share. 

Start small, learn fast.

The ClearPoint Design Studio started with a mission:

“Help clients successfully deliver great experiences to their staff and customers.”

The broader ClearPoint purpose is to unlock the potential of technology with our clients. In the design space that means adding value by researching, understanding, and prioritizing people’s needs to ensure that digital experiences are purposeful, meaningful and useful for customers, staff, and other audiences involved in the end-to-end journey.

Having started in March 2020 (on the first day of Lockdown) with 2 people, the Design Studio has grown significantly, with a broad range of expertise encompassing CX, Service Design, UX Strategy, Research, Prototyping, Design Systems, Interaction Design, and Visual Design.

Building something new needs support

Getting the studio up and running under ClearPoint’s existing structure needed a solid mandate and the complete support of the Managing Director, Founders and the Senior Leadership Team. 

Create intentional space for a team to grow

It was essential to start by dedicating cultural, psychological, and physical space to enable designers to grow their practice and deliver their best work. The Design Studio was formed with autonomy and independence – a focus on best practice, Human Centred Design is at the heart of everything we do.

A start-up vibe and flexible remote working (which during Covid, has often not been optional) was adopted. The hard-earned knowledge and processes to build out consistent ways of working for the new studio was documented to follow. Along the way, the studio has enjoyed the support and expertise of the wider ClearPoint business – at arm’s reach – for ‘if’ and ‘when’ it is needed.

Leverage existing strengths, but avoid adopting constraints

In other companies, there’s a risk that “UX/UI” designers are relegated to being an ‘add-on’ of technology-centric roadmaps and agile rituals. This prevents a designer’s ability to do their best work and it can devalue or skip the activities needed to engage with Users entirely. Customer journeys can become compromised by feature-based technical prioritisation. 

ClearPoint has been deliberate in taking a different route: passionately promoting and investing in human-centred ways of working, to provide the best environment for designers while still ensuring a respectful and connected partnership with the best technology delivery teams in the country.

The studio grows when people grow

Growing the studio also means growing the value offered to designers working here. A key step has been the creation of a detailed ‘skill progression framework’ that offers a shared language for coaching, reflection, and setting goals. This enables the team members to identify how they want to improve their craft and plan their long-term career direction. All permanent team members have a dedicated annual training budget to enable them to action their goals and embrace a continual growth mindset.

Attract great people through interesting challenges

Designers want to be involved in impactful and meaningful work that makes a difference in people’s lives. ClearPoint’s wide range of client relationships has enabled work with a broad variety of different clients and industries. From banks and finance companies to start-ups and tech providers with a huge range of different audiences, there is a variety of work to engage with from around the world.

Communicating with customers, prototyped and designed experiences for retail chatbots, financial advisor tools, design thinking frameworks, air quality monitoring software, call centre dashboards and next-generation energy experiences, and researched user needs for digital twins to name a few. You can learn more about our work in our case studies.

Provide structured leadership to grow sustainably

Success has been found through delivering great outcomes by having some of the best people in the design industry coach and lead engagements. The design leadership team encompasses Dan Cornwall, Chris Lloyd, and Kate Lu who have decades of experience growing and supporting designers while solving interesting and challenging problems.

Driving consistency and growth

Having started small, there are now several years of stability, experience and growth delivering as the ClearPoint Design Studio. The studio is now at a size and reputation to confidently stand next to the best in the local industry. With the backing of the end-to-end ClearPoint digital transformation and delivery capability, ClearPoint are able to offer a full-service Experience Design capability to clients. We’re also able to offer a great place for “Designer-ly people” to come work, surrounded by talented peers and interesting challenges.

Next Steps

We have a wide range of clients we love working with, and a solid portfolio of Human Centred Design case studies and success stories. Our next goal is to continue growing our team with the hiring of new CX, UX, Researchers, Strategists, and Designers to share our adventures with. We’re currently hiring! If you think our ClearPoint Design Studio sounds like somewhere you’d be interested in working – get in touch for a chat!