Kathryn Grace has worked in design led, people centred innovation for over two decades. After starting her career in a top design studio in London she is now a leading voice in the global service design community.
Kathryn is a highly experienced design practitioner whose impact is demonstrated not only in the depth of the work that she does but also in the breadth of events, communities, networks and teams she has developed across the UK. She has lived and breathed the end to end design process from research, to design, through to delivery.
Kathryn has worked with Leeds City Council, Co-op Digital, Stick People HQ, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, NHS, Konnektis, HealthSpark, EE, Orange, Elsevier, Samaritans, Mencap, Habitat, Design Museum, WHSmith, Independent on Sunday and Royal Mail.
In addition Kathryn sits on the UK committee of the Service Design Network and is a volunteer at the Global Service Jams HQ. She contributed to the book This is Service Design Doing, has written for The Service Gazette and is included in A Day is not Enough, a book celebrating women in design.
CURRENTLY WORKING FULL TIME
Available for conversations...
Mon - Thurs: 9am - 6pm
Some key thinking...
Different ways of working to meet different business needs
SERVICE DESIGN CONSULTANCY
SKILL SHARING THROUGH JAMS & WORKSHOPS
Enabling teams and individuals to learn
by 'doing' (bespoke to client needs)
IN PROJECT TRAINING
Working on real projects, in-house with teams as mentor
LEEDS CITY COUNCIL
2015, 2016, 2019 - 2021
Customer Access & City Development
Food, Community & Insurance
Orange & EE
Kinds of work
Exploring to understand problems and discover user needs
Understanding how your service works from beginning to end
Co-op Digital: Food - Store Hub
Drawing/sketching and making ideas visual eg.digital interfaces or storyboarding
Co-op Digital: Food - Shifts
Making working models of a service to enable user testing and concept development
Testing out working prototypes with real users to see what works
Co-op Digital: Food - Shifts
VISUAL STORY TELLING
Illustrating how things work, sharing insights and helping people to understand a story
We Care Design:
TEAM WORKING (AGILE)
Multi-disciplinary teams working together to fast track product and service development
Co-op Digital: Food - Shifts
Sharing tools, methods and skills - enabling teams to learn by doing
Sharing experiences, observations, learning and ways of working to create debate
Bringing service design practitioners together, across organisations, cities, the UK and the world
Working with partners to create bespoke events, jams and talk events
Service Design Jam Days
COACHING & MENTORING
Investing in the next generation of service designers
What does this approach achieve?
AND SERVICES FOR PEOPLE THAT WORK
I worked with the Co-op Digital team for 18 months. Initially working in the service /product development context - working in agile discovery teams I was part of a new working approach for the organisation.
An award winning, web app/scheduling tool for food store teams.
• Enabling the staff scheduling process
• Better communication and a more open two way engagement between managers and team members (improving culture)
• Making the managers' work easier
• Enabling positive cultural change
• Team members monitoring hours more easily (knowing how much they'll be paid)
• Staff able to book holidays more easily
• Store able to offer extra hours or swap shifts more effectively
• Knitting the knowledge of existing physical and previously closed digital approaches together
• Making the process more transparent and effective to enable collaboration and a more effective business.
ORGANISATIONAL TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENT - MORE EFFECTIVE WORKING
Co-op Digital: Foodstore Hub
A discovery project - user research - observing how technology is used across a store by the whole team leading to a 'day in a life of a store' map.
To enable the business to:
• See the context of any new interventions (technology/digital tools)
• Provide a rich overview of the life in a store and the things that effect what, how and when technology is used by who.
• Make the use of technology in stores more transparent
• Understand the landscape today from a people perspective -
as a foundation for new work - pain points, workarounds, opportunities and things that work well.
CITY INNOVATION - ENABLING COLLABORATION AND GROWTH
Companies have systems, often old and struggling to adapt to change. Today we live in a more networked working world where communities are the new super power.
Service Design Leeds & The Jams
I co-founded Service Design Leeds in 2010. I initiated the Jams - Leeds Service Jam and Leeds GovJam (Service Design & User Centred Design Learning events) in Leeds in 2011.
This started a rich service design community in the city, the results of which include:
• Learning events 2011 to present
• Increasing expertise in service design and user centred design
• Inspiring DWP activities - digital academy and internal jams
• Inspiring new teams in NHS Digital
• Nurturing new digital design leaders in the city and further afield - Lou Downe to start service design and Lisa Jeffery to become a community builder for GDS.
• Creating annual meeting points for - the whole of the city. And for public and third sector organisations enabling service design practitioners to cross paths share learning and collaborate.
• Inspiring other organisations and groups across the city, the UK and globally.
Enabling a culture of innovation.
Being a world class Service Design Community - to nurture and grow a city and region - for us... the North of England.
WHAT IS SERVICE DESIGN?
Some good books to start you off:
This is Service Design Doing
The most recent publication
by Lou Downe
The best way to learn is by doing...
you can attend one of the many jams organised by Global Jams and hosted locally in over a hundred cities around the world.
Matt Edgar, Associate Director of Design & User Research at NHS Digital
Kathryn has done more than anyone else to advance the cause of human-centred service design in Leeds and the north of England. As a service designer with a national and international profile, her influence extends far further than that. When working as a consultant, her dedication to doing the right thing, at the right time, is second to none.
She gets things done and makes things better with good-humoured determination, based on long professional experience in a wide range of sectors and organisational settings. As part of a team, such as when we worked together on service jams and training,
Kathryn has a sharp instinct for group dynamics and how to keep the focus on a shared purpose, with just the right amount of responding to change over following a plan. Kathryn is at the leading edge of developing the practice of service design, and it is a joy to see others flourish under her mentorship.