Dorina Kocsis-Cristea, EMEA DSMO Director
When governments across the globe were ordering national lockdowns, we weren’t just transitioning thousands of our employees to remote working, but also helping many of our clients do the same.
Almost overnight, our offer became a necessity – business continuity relied upon employees being able to work remotely, without compromising productivity or security.
While the pandemic might have shifted perceptions, in many ways, the digital workplace was already a necessity. The next generation employee experience that it can offer significantly boosts productivity, provides a competitive advantage and help businesses better attract top talent. Those are benefits that no company should leave on the table – pandemic or otherwise.
At Stefanini, we believe in co-creation, meaning deep level collaboration in which our clients are genuine partners, combined with deep dives into their company and sector.
When we apply this approach to developing a digital workplace, our clients can ensure their employees can confidently work from wherever, whenever they choose, with complete confidence that they will always have troubleshooting assistance, or be provided with the hardware or information they need via the channels of their choice. They are resultingly more productive, feel empowered and are more loyal to their employers.
This applied innovation approach offers reassurance in an ever-changing and, at times, intimidating new world. Close collaboration, fused with the hard work of deeply understanding our clients’ needs and relentlessly pursuing the solutions that meet these perfectly was, in effect, already a necessity – the pandemic has simply confirmed this.
Mateus Machado, Experience Design Lead at Stefanini EMEA
a. What exactly are you doing in your current role (and how did you start)?
As an experience designer in Stefanini, my work is to bridge the gap between the technology we deliver – from disruptive automation, like virtual assistants and machine learning, to application development and workplace solutions – and users’ needs. The goal is to make sure technology is always an agent of change for the better, being useful, easy to use and adding value to people’s lives.
I started this journey 8 years ago, working with User Research, Digital Strategy and Customer Experience. I believe in creating a positive impact in the world by leveraging the power of technology through human-centered design. This means promoting digital transformation that is valuable to businesses and people by delivering great customer experience.
b. What are the activities that bring you great joy?
One of the things I like the most about my job is the possibility to learn different things and new realities linked to the customers of each client. Design research is about empathizing with the end-users of our solutions. In order to do that, we need to dive in the routines and contexts of different people. From factory line workers to air traffic controllers. From financial investors to retail customers.
c. What challenges have you faced so far?
A big part of the work we do involves driving digital innovation initiatives in our clients. Digital transformation requires a good understanding of the business and its processes and a willingness to test new solutions and new approaches. There isn’t a single innovation tool or method that will consistently deliver profitable breakthroughs, but it definitely involves making mistakes and learning fast to keep evolving. Dealing with failure and showing customers this is a meaningful part of the process is a stimulating challenge.
d. Tell us about the most unique experience/project implemented in your current position.
We are using design to help customers strategize their digital transformation, generate new ideas and test innovative solutions.
For that purpose we created and applied the co-creation program – a complete set of co-creation models used at various stages of the digital product creation journey, allowing Stefanini’s clients to navigate complex business goals, generating innovative solutions and actionable plans for addressing them, wherever they are in the digital transformation journey.
e. When you explain to your parents/family what you do at work, how would you do it?
As technical people we tend to overcomplicate what we do, making it hard to explain in a simple way. That’s why I always prefer show with examples – I ask them to think of a digital application they like using, a digital experience that seems to really understand what they need and when, making them feel really good about it and improving their lives. That’s the goal of experience design.
f. What do you consider to be trends in your domain? Please list 3.
The pandemic was a big accelerator for trends in experience design. Here are 3 of them:
• Customer experience as a reaction to business disruption: As a response to disruptions caused by COVID-19, many consumers are migrating to digital channels, requiring new touchpoints and better experiences. Providing a reliable experience in these channels has become crucial to many companies which need to rely on digital technology to adapt and create business resilience.
• Virtual Customer Assistants and Chatbots: As the volume of digital transactions increase, businesses are relying in AI to automate and bring more value to customer engagement. Chatbots and virtual assistants play a central role in making the experience with technology more human and meaningful. Virtual assistants (like Stefanini’s Sophie) and Dialogue design have become part of the work of experience designers.
• Virtual co-creation: Workshops and brainstorming sessions that used to be held in person have now moved to virtual platforms. Designers are creating better ways to engage in client meetings and user research from home. Many collaboration tools and techniques are being adopted and will surely transform the way we conduct our work and solve problems.
g. What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop in the pioneering work?
The fact that everyone is working from home have pushed us away from our office co-workers, but definitely brought us closer to the people who used to work in other locations. Interestingly, this has helped to us break the bubble of our office routine and get involved with projects from other teams (and regions) that we normally would not take part in. Exchanging knowledge and using this period as an opportunity to reach new people in Stefanini is definitely helping me grow and develop the work we do.