Tag Archives: Process

Know-why is better than know-how

As young children, most of us will have taunted our parents with one incessant line of questioning: ‘why?’ Such persistent inquisitiveness is perhaps curbed somewhat as we grow a little older and learn a little more, but the instinct to probe for cause and reason should never be forgotten or dismissed as childish curiosity. It’s the founding principle of all good design.

childish curiosity

A client’s first question is often ‘what can you do?’ An account manager may ask their designers ‘how can you do this?’ However, long before either of these questions can be answered, a thorough understanding of the end-user’s underlying needs and motivations is required. You should know these users like you know your friends, appreciating their quirks, ticks and habits.

You must understand how your users behave and, of course, why. A deep empathy for the
people you’re designing for is the cornerstone of delivering user-centred designs that make a real difference to people’s lives. UX (User Experience) is a term that is sometimes misused, misunderstood and even feared, though there is no need for this to be the case. It’s simply the matter of knowing who you’re designing for, what their needs are and ensuring that what you’re doing meets these needs. In healthcare, we should always envisage the end-user as being the patient. Whatever surrounding stakeholders we deal with, whatever the means of delivery, the output must always have a positive impact on the lives of patients.

The above is an extract from HAVAS LYNX white paper: Designing Human experiences – Applying science to the creative process to improve lives 
http://www.havaslynx.com/work/library/

HAVAS LYNX are partnering with eyeforpharma at the Barcelona summit, 18-20 March 2014. At the event, we will be hosting a workshop on UX: The key to unlocking ROI. The LYNX team will take you through the techniques you need to deliver compelling experiences that make a difference. We will show you that UX covers more than you think, can cost less than you expect, and that it is more important than anything else.

Going Beyond The First Date, What it Takes to Win a Pitch

Agency Management; A good agency will still lose pitches, by David Hunt

You’ve had all the right signals; she laughs at your jokes, shows an interest in your stories, and your friend said – her friend said – that she said – she liked you. So why, when you asked her to the cinema, was she washing her hair? The life of an agency can at times, resemble those formative teen years. A lot of time, effort & dedication but without fair reward. To be successful there are three key ingredients – timing, chemistry & brilliance (I think you can win with two).

1st date

I’m busy tonight
Having graduated in Design in 2002, I found myself in Vancouver with Tim Woodcock, now GM of HAVAS LYNX London. I had a strong portfolio, excellent qualifications & the confidence of youth. With the help of the local design directory we set about securing employment. As a 22 year old, desperate for a job & a new life, I learnt more about pitching than at any other stage in my career. I’d know who I was meeting, their background, work, interests & ambitions. I’d know which of my portfolio would resonate the best, ideas they would get, reference they would love. The feedback was tremendous & disappointing in equal measure, “Love it!! But the timing…”, “Wow! But at the moment, we just can’t…”. In 2001, the burst of the dot.com bubble had ensured that the US investment had been withdrawn from Vancouver and local agencies were having to re-align their strategy & adopt a more cautious approach to recruitment. Despite, my best efforts there were simply not the opportunities. As I would learn throughout my career, even the most confident candidate, with their favourite ideas & best customer insight can be unsuccessful if the timing isn’t right.

It’s not you, it’s me
Without doubt our best campaigns are powered by chemistry when the client & agency teams work as one, from the medic through to engineer. Total alignment, a shared goal & a rewarding experience. Equally, at the heart of our more painful campaigns is a toxic relationship. A lack of empathy, trust and fragmented communication, will inevitably lead to a flawed deliverable. A defective relationship does not signal a bad agency, it simply confirms that as people – there are those we like & those we don’t. I applaud clients that make decisions based on their instinct, based on the people they meet and a conviction that they can collaborate. A campaign involves a long-term partnership, inevitably with highs & lows, so working with someone that you respect, whose opinion you value and company you enjoy, is a key ingredient for success. Even with perfect timing & great ideas – chemistry can be all important.

I’m just not sure
There are those agencies who believe life is a game of numbers, the more you ask, the more you get. They pitch more, but offer less. They don’t expose themselves, confident in the knowledge that they’ll win a couple. I COMPLETELY disagree. I have been brought-up to always give 110%. My Father-in-law, Carlo Distefano, owns an incredibly successful restaurant group and as he explains, “I work because I love it, and then it doesn’t feel like work”. You must be passionate about an opportunity, you must care about the outcome, you need to be your best. At the heart of every success is always a brilliant idea. It can be the right time and the right team, but without the excitement of an idea there is no vision. 

I ask three things of my teams at HAVAS LYNX:

  • Commit entirely to an opportunity, and deliver a brilliant idea
  • Understand the client, and build a partnership for success
  • Enjoy the creative process, as it just might not be your day

And like all the best relationships, the first date is just the beginning. Each & every day, we need to make our partners happy.