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How to engage customers and end-users when the project is on a timetable?

Qvik’s junior designer Oona Lindqvist is designing Terveystalo's occupational health care services and finishing her thesis on user testing and engaging users in the design and development process.

Qvik’s junior designer Oona Lindqvist is designing Terveystalo’s occupational health care services and finishing her thesis on user testing and engaging users in the design and development process.

Lindqvist is studying the best ways to engage customers and end users in product design, testing and development. In particular, she is looking for solutions that will also work in projects with a tight schedule.

It’s a problem that dates to the dawn of design.

“It’s always difficult to keep the customer or end user genuinely involved with the project and make them spend their precious time on testing and giving feedback. Different concepts and companies also have different testing needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution”, says Terveystalo’s design lead Janne Lammi.

“Oona’s thesis seeks to find universal guidelines for B2B product testing. That’s something that is sure to be useful to Terveystalo also in future projects.”

Oona started working on her thesis in early February, and the practical part should be completed by mid-April. She is set to graduate from the Digital Design degree program of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in June.

Terveystalo’s occupational health care services are listening to the wind of change

Terveystalo offers occupational well-being services to make its clients’ employees feel better at work. Lindqvist is working on the company’s Sirius and Suunta services.

The first improvements of Suunta are already out and new designs are developed as we speak.

Sirius is a widely used service currently in production, while Suunta has just entered the pilot stage. Managers can use the services to monitor their employees’ absences and intervene in any issues at an early stage. For HR, Sirius and Suunta give tools for keeping track of the big picture of occupational well-being in the company.

“Sirius is a necessary and useful tool, but one that needed s a little refreshment”, Lindqvist says.

“The service logs significant numbers of HR and manager users every day, so there was a real need for design renewal.”

The Suunta service was just taking shape when Lindqvist started work. The long-term plan is to develop it into Terveystalo’s only tool for the management of employee capacities.

“We have now reached the point where our developers are busy hammering Suunta into the shape envisioned in Oona’s design”, Lammi says.

Give credit to the potential of junior designers!

Young people with an enthusiastic approach and fresh angles on their work are constantly entering the IT industry. But more often than not, their potential is overlooked, and senior experts are easier to sell on the consultancy market.

According to Lammi, hiring a junior designer was a great fit for many of their needs, and Terveystalo has been more than happy with Lindqvist’s work.

“When you start building a whole new service, it’s vital to take a step back and ask yourself: Why are we doing this? Oona shines in that role. She starts the concepting work for new features and parts of the service at least a couple of sprints before they enter production.”

There has been enough to work to keep even the most talented junior designer busy, since Lindqvist has been the sole designer for both the Suunta and Sirius services.

“The scope and diversity of the projects has been the most challenging part about my work. But that’s exactly what’s been brilliant about it”, Lindqvist says.

“Sometimes, I’ve had doubts about whether I’m doing the right things or if I’m actually capable of this. But working on the project has shown me that I do know a thing or two about this stuff and am able to make the right decisions when it comes down to it.”

“Great people and passionate experts”

Qvik’s senior designer Jukka Forsten is also working on Terveystalo’s digital services alongside Lindqvist. He is currently working on Terveystalo’s design system and the website.

Terveystalo’s Lammi is familiar with Qvik’s design philosophy, as he was still a designer with us just a few years back.

“When buying design expertise from Qvik, you can be sure of getting great people who are also passionate experts in what they do. That’s the kind of partner I value.”