Press Release: Oct. 23, 2018 | Service Design Week 2018
For Immediate Release
Drawn Agency champions responsive service design for the benefit of all at Service Design Week 2018
How designing brand experiences that are responsive rather than reactive helped one Oregon design agency create valuable opportunities
EUGENE, OREGON (October 23, 2018) — You've probably never heard of Bryan Taylor. He's the founder and creative director of a little design agency in Eugene, Oregon called Drawn. While Drawn may be small, Taylor and his team have big ideas — and some big clients to back them up. Last week, Taylor presented a unique and compelling case for practicing human-centered design at Service Design Week. He suggested that in addition to achieving our design goals more effectively and efficiently, human-centered design can also lead to unexpected places — and opportunities. Taylor, who’s been a proponent of human-centered design since long before #humancentereddesign was a thing, recently leveraged his team's design methods to create a new business opportunity that could forever alter the experience of dining out. We caught up with Taylor immediately after his presentation to talk about Porter and how HCD helped to expose this opportunity.
What is Porter?
Porter is a digital platform to simplify and consolidate the back-of-house management for any taproom, café, restaurant, or coffee shop, as well as improve the front-of-house experience for patrons by providing more ways to order, reorder, and check out quickly. It is essentially an app to make life simpler for those running food service businesses, and simpler for those enjoying these establishments, as well.
What’s your idea of human-centered or service design and how do you put it into practice at Drawn?
Human-centered design is simply the common sense art of designing from a place of empathy for those who will actually engage with our designs — what they need in that moment, what they expect, what will help them feel understood. Service design is simply the practice of human-centered design for those less visual, more direct engagements that brands have with the outside world, like a phone tree, a dispute resolution process, a loyalty rewards program — or an innovative restaurant inventory management system.
Okay, so how did that come into play with Porter’s development?
We have opened and operated three taphouse/food halls over the past five years, and spent a lot of time watching and listening along the way. Each time we opened another location, we had the opportunity to design better customer service and continue designing ways to increase our own staffs’ efficiencies. Truth be told, we actually just set out to design better experiences for ourselves, at our three locations, and somewhere along the way, we realized that we had something that would be valuable for taphouses, food halls, and restaurants everywhere.
With regards to service design/marketing/branding, what’s the difference between a responsive approach and a reactive one?
It is easy to want to react to whatever arises. Perhaps customers want something that is outside your sweet spot, like having their food served faster. If you’ve designed your taphouse to be a place where people will stay and enjoy conversation, you have to decide whether faster food will fight against the atmosphere that you’re trying to create. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t listen to what your customers are saying — it might be worth adding some quick-serve appetizers to your menu — but if you simply react to whatever comes up, you’ll always be chasing after customers. Instead, when we are able to respond to what we observe, when we can dig down and understand why people are asking for faster food service — perhaps they want some food before they order a beer — then we can build a brand that is designed to constantly evolve without ever losing its core identity.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact Casey Harwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-300-3326.
About Bryan Taylor: Bryan founded Drawn in 2000 as he recognized a modus operandi in the ad world — and he wanted to do things differently. He set out to build transparent and authentic brand experiences; to practice brand development at the intersection of humanity and smart design. Over the past 18 years, Drawn has partnered with dozens of organizations and companies across a wide variety of industries, within public, private, and civic sectors. Bryan’s empathic ability to identify clients' unique stories and personalities, and put them to work in honest, original brands, defines his work as Creative Director of the agency. Bryan leads Drawn's team of strategists, creatives, fabricators, and planners as they continue to build successful branded identities, campaigns, and experiences across the U.S. and overseas.
About Drawn: Drawn is a boutique brand development agency. We specialize in crafting authentic and meaningful experiences to which people feel naturally drawn. We accomplish this through a deep understanding of people, along with a keen sense of a brand's unique personality, which allow us to form genuine connections between the two — with brand identities, digital interfaces, analog engagements, campaign productions, product innovations, and business integrations. Learn more at drawn.agency.