Thoughts and Ideas

  • Establishing a Successful Design Practice

    Design-led businesses like Apple have been inspirational throughout the business and design worlds as an effective way to enhance customer relationships by understanding their needs and advancing business goals. However, the road to truly-integrated design practices and operations within an organization can be messy and put at risk by “let’s just do it how we’ve […]

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  • De-Risking Software Investment with Usability Testing

    By now, most of us have interacted with a doctor or nurse via video. COVID’s increased demands on medical professionals, combined with the need to prevent community transmission wherever possible, have accelerated an already-developing practice in the delivery of medical care: remote patient monitoring, or RPM. Clinicians are presented with many technical service options designed […]

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  • The Power of Building Emotional Intelligence into Banking Experiences

    Money is one of the most powerful drivers of decision-making in society. There are people who devote most of their lives to acquiring, growing, and keeping money. Money, by nature, is emotional to people at multiple stages in their lives. So when Grand Studio is looking to build products and services around something that touches […]

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  • Scaling Research Through Templates

    How to create a tool kit for your team to do consistent, scalable research. User research is one of those things that every company knows they need. Where it gets confusing is how to do it, especially if you don’t have a dedicated person or team. There are many methodologies, and it can be hard […]

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  • 3 Tips for a Successful Conversational Banking Bot

    In the banking and financial services industry, where interactions may be urgent and require a degree of emotional nuance, it’s important to provide customers with customer service that is helpful and available whenever and wherever they need them. Given that this can be tough to scale with human resources, many institutions have turned to chatbots […]

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  • 3 Essential Tips for Quality Digital Experience Design

    Everyone wants a product that customers love and use. Often, a business comes up with an idea, product, and development to get it out the door, and then…it just sits there. What gives? There may be several things at play, but crafting an intentional and thoughtful Digital experience plays a key role in shaping your […]

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  • 5 Tips for Making Intercept Approaches Successful

    As a consultancy, we’re often asked to get feedback from folks our clients may have trouble otherwise accessing. One method we use is intercept testing, a form of usability testing either during or after an event. It can be a quick and useful way to get contextual feedback from people using your products or services, […]

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  • Why Design Thinking (Still) Makes Better Products

    Ten years ago, almost every design review started with an impassioned argument for design thinking or user-centered design. We’d bring out beautiful personas and journey maps and run empathy-building exercises with our business stakeholders. After all, we were fighting for a seat at the table for design! In 2022, it’s pretty much taken for granted […]

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  • The Importance of Accessibility in Inclusive Design

    Most people wouldn’t argue against the fact that accessible design is important. When you exclude or provide a poor experience for people with disabilities, you not only degrade the value of your product you also widen the equity gap between non-disabled/neurotypical people and those with disabilities or neurodivergence. It’s not hard to understand why you’d […]

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  • How Product Planning Can Make a Difference For Your Business

    Every good product, service, and system takes planning — and it’s especially critical when you’re starting a new product line. While it can be challenging to sit down and make a robust, thorough plan in the throes of a time-sensitive and chaos-prone launch countdown, it’s a step that really pays dividends — in terms of […]

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  • Usability Testing and What You Need to Know

    Usability testing is essential to creating any product or service. It helps designers and business stakeholders better understand what is and isn’t working from a user’s perspective.  It can be difficult for a team to distance themselves from their work and the needs of the business, making it hard for them to spot errors or […]

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  • ux ui

    The Challenges of Enterprise UX and How to Overcome Them

    UX Enterprise software is an essential component of most major corporations, but unfortunately, it often gets a bad reputation. Enterprise UX designs are frequently clunky, unattractive, and generally not as streamlined and productive as they could be.  But they don’t have to be. Working with our clients, Grand Studio has collectively created more user-friendly experiences […]

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  • The State of UX Design in 2022: What Lies Ahead

    Since the inception of UX design in 1993, the field has been constantly evolving, changing, and redefining its core concepts. By keeping abreast of the latest trends in technology, communication, and what’s happening worldwide, teams can create products and solutions that will have a meaningful and lasting impact on the people who use their interfaces.  […]

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  • Service Design Expectation

    How to Meet Service Design Expectations in the “New Normal”

    Over the past few years, services across industries have gone mostly touchless and digital, removing humans as much as possible. We now have easier remote banking, contactless food delivery, telehealth access, and online shopping for all of retail.  With a new normal establishing itself between the ebbs and surges of COVID, we have the ability […]

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  • Digital Banking Trends Grand Studio

    Digital Banking Trends – The Future of Banking

    The rise of digital banking has been meteoric. As the world has become increasingly digitized and fast-paced, many consumers no longer have the time or inclination to go to a physical bank.  Most traditional banking institutions have adapted to this by increasing their online presence and allowing the majority of transactions to be done through […]

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  • The Impact of Wearable Technology in Healthcare

    Nearly 80% of people have utilized wearable technology to monitor their health and wellbeing, and in the past few years, that usage has more than tripled across consumers of all ages.  These devices have been instrumental in revolutionizing the way that people monitor their health and wellness, and studies have shown that when people are […]

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  • healthcare trends

    3 Healthcare Trends to Watch

    If the world’s had it rough over the past couple of years, our healthcare systems and the people who keep them running have had it even rougher. They’ve been responsible for treating huge volumes of contagious patients, battling medical misinformation along with population-wide fear and grief, and reinventing the very way care is delivered to […]

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  • Keeping Calm and Connected Through Day-to-Day User Research

    Moderating interviews can be a fun and challenging task. Between making sure you’re talking with the right people about the right things, capturing information, and decoding it, there is a lot to do! Sometimes interviews are over 30 minutes, some are interactive, some are short, pointed, five-minute intercepts. In the last few months alone, Grand […]

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  • Growing Culture in a Hybrid Workforce

    Let’s face it; hybrid work is here to stay! But, if you aren’t convinced, a recent report discovered that 83% of the 9,326 workers surveyed say they prefer a hybrid model — in which they can work remotely at least 25% of the time. At Grand Studio, we want to create an environment where everyone […]

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  • Forward-Thinking Design Systems

    In the chaos of the everyday, it’s often hard to step back and assess whether your organization’s design system is really working. But coming to the realization that it could be better, and then making the decision to change things around— well, that’s overwhelming. Where should you start?  The benefits to reevaluating, maintaining, and evolving […]

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  • Three designers discussing concept sketches around a table

    The Death of Personas

    Nearly ten years ago, we were asked by a large financial services company to help their innovation group spread the gospel of human centricity. Over several years and many product design projects, we created dozens of empathy artifacts, most notably several different generations of personas. These personas were beautiful objects with big photos and many personal […]

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  • Introducing the New Grand Brand

    Welcome to a new rebrand and a new era for the company. Three years ago we officially renamed Moment Chicago as Grand Studio and became a new company. We had little time then to reflect inward on establishing our mission and values as a new brand, so we very quickly pulled together a new logo […]

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  • The design team circling up with stakeholders

    Effectively Managing Stakeholders Through Uncertain Times

    Facing ambiguity and building clarity with clients

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  • A view from above of a woman writing on a post-it note during a digital workshop

    Remote Workshops: Design & Facilitation

    Our work requires collaboration with clients, and this is best done in person. Since that hasn’t been an option for a while, we’re all developing new ways of getting the information and feedback we need from our client teams. When you’re designing in complex enterprise spaces, you’ll encounter a common problem: No matter how smart […]

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  • A cup of coffee in front of the screen during a zoom meeting

    Being Remote Challenges the Level of Empathy Required to Make Others Feel Heard, Appreciated…

    Thoughts from Grand Studio on staying human in quarantine

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  • A couple holding hands

    Using Voice Interfaces in Emotionally-Fraught Industries

    I’ve had the pleasure (and pain) of working in several high-stakes industries like healthcare and finance, and one truth rings out across any high-stakes scenario: people get super emotional. Unsurprisingly, they particularly get emotional when it comes to their life or livelihood. However, it’s interesting to note that, from a product design perspective, we don’t […]

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