Wow 2014 — A transformative year!

Ok, let me catch my breath. 2014, may have been Story+Structure’s most transformative and ambitious year to date. We settled into our new office in South Boston. We welcomed new teammates. We saw our client list grow into new sectors: healthcare, manufacturing, publishing, venture capital, and arts. We also saw the launching of some of our most ambitious projects in the higher education and non-profit sectors.

2014, gave us a chance to dream bigger and bolder than we ever allowed ourselves to do before. But at the heart of it all remained our mission: to make people’s lives more enjoyable through design.

And we did this the only way we know how: by showing up, listening deeply, and understanding. We visited clients across North America, flying the equivalent of 5 times around the earth in 2014. It wasn’t just about new business opportunities. Our business is built upon empathy, compassion, and trust — and that begins with understanding our clients as people first and foremost. Skype and other communication tools are great but there’s nothing comparable to walking down a hallway and listening to ideas, thoughts, and aspirations. We encourage you to take that same walk with your people in 2015. Sometimes a simple walk is worth a hundred meetings or 1,000 emails.

Everywhere we traveled in 2014, we were encouraged by what we heard: “We need to focus on creating a better, more engaging user experience.” We saw a greater emphasis on the customer experience ecosystem. The dots were connecting more clearly across people, culture, process, and tech. The greatest differentiator for any organization’s brand is how it treats people.

Chief Strategist Guy Felder at UPCEA

Chief Strategist Guy Felder at UPCEA

Sharing the transformative power of design

As we go into 2015, I am very proud to announce the launching of our own publishing platform (aka “our blog”) where we will share our ideas, thoughts, and aspirations from the field of design and its transformative power.

When we opened our doors in 2007, our goal was to help our clients address critical issues, basic needs, and become self-sustaining as designers. We hope that our blog will be a natural extension of those initial goals.

Many of our clients work in essential fields that affect people’s everyday lives, like healthcare, education, and health and human services. Many times the issues they are facing seem basic on the surface, but they recognize that one simple change has an effect across the entire customer experience ecosystem. Design has a unique way of shedding light across that entire ecosystem. We hope our writings and research shared here can be part of that light.

To kick this off, we’d like to share some articles and features from 2014. Thank you for your readership. Please come back each Wednesday for new insights, and if there is any question you’d like us to address, please just drop us a line.

Here’s to 2015! May it be every bit as inspiring and transformative as last year!

Why you should be practicing Buddhism business


At the heart of Buddhist traditions and teachings lies the Eightfold Path. These teachings have guided me not only in my spiritual life, but in my professional life as well, as a Buddhist in the business world. Understood and used correctly, they provide valuable tools to help us navigate the path to business enlightenment. Read more»

Making the business case for human-centered design


Too often, technology solutions for a business are designed without fully taking into consideration the people who will use them and the environment in which they will be experienced. For solutions to take hold, they must be rooted in empathy and compassion for the very people who will be using and supporting them: The design must be human centered. Read more »

Why campus IT systems are moving to human-centered design

eCampus News

A California school dramatically improved its online interaction with students by hiding its back-end systems behind an elegant user experience that integrates them all. When students have negative interactions with a school’s online systems, it hurts the brand and the bottom line—problems that are all too common in higher education. Luckily, there’s a relatively painless design fix. Read more »

Story+Structure redefines CSU, East Bay’s web presence

University Business

Story+Structure announces the successful launch of the redesigned web experience, customer relationship management (CRM) and registration systems for California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) Continuing Education (CE). Improving all parts of the student journey, from finding the right program through registration and payment, the new format communicates the real-life value of CSUEB’s programs to students and helps to build positive relationships with prospects. Within the first day of its launch, the site drew a jump in inquiries from an average of seven per day to seventy, a jump that has continued apace. Read more »