Published on 2020-10-12

Designing a new way forward

We’re used to designing solutions here at MODYN. We dig into product market research. Study existing design identities. Brainstorm with clients. Sketch out inklings until they become fully-fledged ideas. But when Covid hit, we had to design a solution to a new kind of problem.

Usually, our team is together in our Geldermalsen office — a few steps or shout away from a colleague who knows what we’re looking for, or has the insight we need. All of a sudden we were working from home not only juggling our jobs and families simultaneously, but this new way of working with each other and our clients.

Immediately, our management team was focused on making everyone comfortable and getting them set up for success. That meant implementing new strategies, but also redesigning solutions to our current situation that kept our clients on track and on schedule.

It was important that our team knew we were there to support them through this transition. If our employees didn’t have a home office, we set them up with a desk. We also gave our team the freedom to manage their workday in a way that made sense for them— giving parents, for example, the options to stagger their day to help kids with school. By providing flexibility for our trusted team we hoped to make this transition easier and more manageable.

We also implemented a new schedule, dedicating mornings to project work when everyone was most productive. We then sought to revive everyone from the afternoon dip with collaborative meetings and project work after lunch. This loose new structure added much-needed routine to a time when nothing felt normal. 

Our team was used to sitting in a room bouncing ideas off one another. Our energy, enthusiasm and togetherness spurred a lot of creativity naturally in our office. When we all started working from home, it was a difficult transition. However, we found that by planning creative meetings and pushing ourselves into this mindset was a great way to break through the barriers we felt. We leveraged this eager creativity with our clients as well, helping them engage in meetings and brainstorm sessions with the same excitement they would if we were together in the same room.

With our team set up, we pushed forward, not delaying a single project or deadline during the lockdown. At MODYN, we have engineered our design process to work quickly with our clients, providing flexibility and adaptability to their often evolving needs. During the Covid-19 lockdown, we doubled-down on our strength and ability to be flexible. By quickly adapting to the situation, we were able to ensure our clients that their projects would remain on schedule, allowing them to further focus on getting their own teams and businesses aligned during this time. 

As a global mobility design agency, we are already working remotely with clients all over the world. What we did was take the tools we had in place and launched them full-scale for all of our clients. This allowed us to have a seamless digital transition that stimulated helpful collaboration and easy sharing and feedback during these remote product design projects.

While our team implemented all the latest tech to work alongside our clients remotely, sometimes you just can’t avoid a faulty internet connection. What we had learned working with our remote clients previously was that project presentations needed to be able to stand on their own.

For a project to stand on its own, it first needs to be clear and simple to follow. The project needs to have content and insight built directly into it so that it is just as easy to follow as if it was being presented. To stand on its own the project also needs to be easy to share and pass on within the organization, giving our clients flexibility to read and review it on their own time.

Giving our clients projects that stand on their own allowed us to keep a fast pace — as we didn’t have to spend time explaining things. But, more importantly, it gave our clients the flexibility to disseminate and digest our presentations as they were navigating these new work situations and schedules, too.

The Netherlands may have lifted their lockdown, but we have continued to use the lessons and strategies from that time in our business and workflow today. As a team, we pride ourselves on our ability to work fast and flexibly, and this lockdown taught us how to do that on a whole new scale. 

During the lockdown, we also fully launched our Remote Design Sprints, the digital version of our fast-paced product design projects. They were so successful during this time that we’re keeping them as part of our permanent portfolio of solutions — allowing anyone, anywhere, to design a product with us quickly. 

Curious to learn more about working with MODYN remotely? Take a look at what our Remote Design Sprints offer and get in touch with our team today to learn what we can do for you and your ideas.

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