Melissa Boyle

UX Director

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About

With over a decade in digital agency work, I've served multinational brands, government entities, SMEs, and charities, enhancing their digital presence to boost business growth and enhance user experiences.

Trailblazers of Tomorrow: A Glimpse into Generation Innovation

This year’s Generation Innovation saw almost 500 talented young creative minds gather in the Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Our goal was to arm them with new skills and see where their ideas would lead us as we delivered the challenge statement:

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How might we enable our UK and Ireland distributed agency teams and individuals with diverse disciplines, to work more efficiently, increasing profit margin and our client experience.

Low&Behold was one of 38 company reps who mentored the students and guided them through the process by answering questions, giving feedback and ironing out any blockers.

The students worked together using a design thinking approach. Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that prioritises understanding and empathising with the user or customer. It places them at the core of the challenge and ensures their needs are considered in creating the solution. This approach is all too familiar to us as it’s how we deliver every project, and it’s so brilliant that this methodology is being taught outside the realms of product design, user experience and service design.

Here’s how the week unfolded:

Day 1 Consisted of fun icebreakers and the teams getting to know each other – as any good project starts! In the afternoon, we received some cool lego glasses and gave our teams the challenge statement, the students were asked to build a visual representation of the challenge with Lego creating some exciting things together and getting the discussions around workflow and solutions. While it might seem bizarre to start here, it was a cracking approach to illustrate how the creative process can be chaotic and messy and reinforce the point of staying away from technology as the solution immediately and understanding the challenge.

Day 2 had myself and Conor McCann on the hot seat being interviewed by the students, who now had minds full of questions about our work, asking how we currently work together with such large distances between us and pitching a few early solutions for feedback. Again, similar to how we work with our clients, constant collaboration, lots of questions in discovery phases to immerse ourselves in their world and, importantly, no grand reveals! The teams were digging deep, leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of data points they could use to create a solution.

By day 3, our teams were giving us a run for our money; my team, in particular, had designed a solution as an add-on to our website, which they had masterfully implemented the Low&Behold brand on and delivered to me for feedback. Conor’s team considered remotely based events, product solutions and rethinking of our internal communications to help everyone across Low&Behold feel a bit closer no matter how far apart their locations are. Both teams pitched many ideas, and their questions were well thought out and used as a tool to justify the direction of their solution. I was so impressed with the speed and clarity of their work; what a cracking bunch of young, creative minds!

Day 4 was a company day where we set up a stall, and 500 young people taking part in Generation Innovation were invited to come and speak to us to find out what we did as a company. I want to say our popularity was down to me and Conor manning the stall, but I reckon the bowl full of Haribo had a role to play!

 The fifth and final day was the big day that all the work had been building up to. Our teams came to our offices for a tour, some food, and to deliver a 15-minute presentation in front of some of our colleagues discussing their solution and how they arrived at it. The presentations went well, and once again, the teams were professional; they had prepared and rehearsed repeatedly, showing that their delivery was clear and concise, all feedback they had been given was implemented, and they had done their research from the presentations. We finished our office visit with a quick Q&A session with the teams pitching questions to some of our team’s great minds.

We rounded off the day by cheering our teams on the sidelines while they pitched their ideas to the Generation Innovation judges. From Artificial intelligence to re-designing the bicycle helmet, the teams presented some incredibly ambitious ideas. It was a fantastic experience to be part of and to watch the students grow their skills and confidence in such a short period.

Massive thanks to Catalyst for running a smooth, fun event and congratulations to all teams that participated. We look forward to partnering with Catalyst again and helping upskill and empower the workforce of tomorrow.

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