I’ve been planning a career move from focusing on health inequalities, advocacy and communications within the public sector to a more service design and digitalization-focused position in the private sector.

Being passionate about reducing inequalities, it was important to me that I find a position where I could contribute to building more equal and just societies. That’s when I came across Gofore’s brand promise of creating an ethical digital world and knew that Gofore was the place for me.

Super valuable new learnings from senior designers

I was fortunate enough to work on four really interesting public sector customer projects. In addition to those, I joined the Gofore Good Growth team where I’ve focused on developing some thinking around sustainable development and inclusive design.

Following senior designers in their work in customer projects has been super valuable in my own growth as a consultant. At the same time, the sparring sessions with the Good Growth team have also given me a lot.

Real responsibilities

Although we’ve mostly worked from home, I’ve felt like a part of the Gofore team already from the start, which made it easier to ask for help when needed. The confidence placed in me and being given real responsibilities has also been great.

Read also my blog post Grounding digitalization in sustainable development – I’m in! Are you?

In the My Summer at Gofore blog series, our summer employees tell about their summer work experience and what they have learned and enjoyed at Gofore.

Michelle Sahal Estime

Michelle works at Gofore as a Service Designer. Throughout her career, she has focused on reducing inequalities working at the UN, in NGOs and academia. In recent years it has led her on the path of digitalization, service design and user-centric design and she is particularly passionate about ethical and inclusive design. On her free-time Michelle likes movies, gardening and spending time with her family and friends.

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In March of 2021, I had a difficult decision to make. I had job offers from both my previous workplace and Gofore. The previous workplace was fantastic to me and really liked working there but on the other hand, I wanted to see what it would be like to work in one of the biggest software consultancies in Finland.

I considered both options carefully. What really struck me in a good way with Gofore was how Gofore had won the best workplace award in Finland in previous years and its strive to pioneer in the ethical digital world. On the other hand, I really liked my old job and the people there. In the end, decided to take a leap from my old workplace and have been happy with my decision!

During the summer job at Gofore, I not only got to learn new technologies and get involved in interesting projects but also met new nice people.

It was fun switching things around to TypeScript

I worked in our internal development team which focuses on our lovely Slack bot Seppo Sorsa. Seppo’s main responsibility is to make sure data in Gofore is visible and make sure it’s up to date. This basically means that people can request different kinds of reports from him, and he can ask you to fill out your hours if you have forgotten them for example. Essentially Seppo is our digital middle manager. When I was offered to work on Seppo, I was excited. Seppo uses DialogFlow to understand natural language so people can send him messages in plain English and Seppo understands them. This was the main selling point for this project for me as it sounded so interesting. The project is mainly done in TypeScript which also got me fascinated. I had previously developed all my professional work with JavaScript, so it was fun switching things around to TypeScript. I also hadn’t had a chance to use Docker in my professional career before joining Gofore.

From fixing database collection problems to creating a monitoring microservice

I worked on various things during the summer. Ranging from fixing database collection problems to creating a monitoring microservice for our external services and filling in our scrum master while he was vacationing. I’d say that my favorite work assignment would be creating external monitoring microservice because I had a chance to investigate a lot of things by myself how to do things related to setting up a new microservice. 

Learning new technologies benefited me the most

I’d say all the new technologies I have gotten the chance to know to was very beneficial for my professional development. On my personal to-do -list I had TypeScript and Docker as things to learn by myself. But luckily here I got a chance to learn these new technologies with help of wonderful teammates.

Office ice cream, coworkers, and Slack channels about world news and video games

Best about the summer – I’d probably say the office ice cream! I had problems working from my home office due to limited space, so I worked in an office when the pandemic was still in good order. The office ice cream lifted the spirits nicely when I returned from lunch and knew what treat was waiting for me. Other things that I would have to mention are the Slack channels and my coworkers. It is best to follow discussions on our different Slack channels during the day about world news and video games. Also, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to meet new wonderful people with whom I’ve loved to work and talk with! ?

In the My Summer at Gofore blog series, our summer employees tell about their summer work experience and what they have learned and enjoyed at Gofore.

Tuukka Juusela

Tuukka is a solid coder who has graduated from Tampere University of Applied Sciences with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Web development and JavaScript are close to his heart. Tuukka also enjoys disc golf and reading during his free time.

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Companies are obsessed with being efficient. That’s good, as without efficiency and quality it’s simply impossible to stay competitive. But what happens when a competitor offers similarly efficient products with similar quality and price? What will the customer choose and why? According to research, the answer is “whatever feels the best”.

People will always remember how you made them feel

When it comes to customer experiences emotion is the single most important factor making or breaking customer loyalty. Emotions move us to the extent that 50% of customers say they will walk away from a brand after just one bad experience. The emotions don’t even need to be extremely bad, but simply the lack of enough good ones might already make customers look towards a competitor.

We tend to think of ourselves as rational beings (especially at work), but the truth is emotions affect our every decision more than we realize or would like to admit. And we can’t ever really turn them off. As a result, people might not even remember your name, but they will always remember how you made them feel, be it your brand, service, product or personality.

Design excels at emotion

With co-creation workshops, observational studies, interviews, prototyping, and many other human-centered design methods, designers can create a deeper understanding of the customer’s emotional needs, pain points and potential sources of joy compared to traditional customer research. The results are positive emotional experiences that are difficult for competition to copy, and a stronger emotional bond between a company and its customers’ that’s hard to sever.

Best results come from a mix of design disciplines

Customers expect things like proactive service, personalized interactions, connected processes with seamless transitions, and memorable experiences. This results in very complex customer journeys that can be hard to manage. There’s no single foolproof method or tool for perfectly handling all the complexity, but a combination of different design disciplines is the best choice for building processes and interactions that ensure customer emotions stay on the positive side. For example:

  • Service Design helps increase customer satisfaction by looking at the big picture and designing processes that ensure the customers’ transition from one encounter to another goes smoothly.
  • User Experience Design (UX) ensures digital touchpoints are easy to use and accessible to all. When UX design is done right, the customers will gladly return to interact with the company’s digital channels, stay engaged longer, and leave feeling content.
  • Visual Design decreases customer effort by presenting complex information in an understandable way. Visual storytelling can evoke powerful emotions that strengthen the emotional connection between customer and brand, and increase customer loyalty.

Companies utilizing design outperform the competition

Investments in design pay themselves back, as studies show that companies effectively using different design methods have roughly 32% more revenue and 56% higher returns than their competitors. With customer expectations at an all-time high, the winners will be the ones who truly care about how they make their customers feel.

How to get started?

  • Think of what strategic and business value better-designed processes and deep customer insight can bring to the table.
  • Make sure a sufficient combination of expertise from different fields of design (Service, UX, and Visual Design) is available to handle the complex nature of customer experiences.
  • Provide design the resources and opportunity to take larger responsibility for the overall experience the company provides. In an ideal situation design is a well-networked function within the company that acts as a collaborative glue between different departments and customers.
  • Make customer-centricity a priority. Don’t just say customers are important but show it with action. Interview your customers, invite them to the office and design a new service together, or go out to observe how they interact with your company. Designers will be more than happy to help you with this. The insights might be surprising.

Gofore’s nearly 100 designers can help you excel in all areas of design, be it building strategic processes to creating engaging customer interactions. Read more on what we do. 

Jukka Malkamäki

Jukka is a versatile designer with 10 years of experience building brands, experiences, and interactions. His heart beats for designing both pixel perfect details and large-scale strategic processes. Exploring ways to create measurable business impact with design is one of Jukka's main interests. If you ever meet, he is always up for a discussion on traveling, geekin' out on sci-fi and fantasy fiction, or speculating who's going to win the next Eurovision Song Contest.

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