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Designing experiences


Disciplines > Workplace design > Designing experiences

The customer experience | The reactive in/out experience | The heads-down technical experience | The community and team experience | See also


Offices and buildings create an overall experience that people who visit and people who work there gain. This

The customer experience

The customer experience should be a seamless experience of the brand, from their entry through the gates to their departure. Whilst within the building, the areas within which they can roam must be carefully controlled and designed.

  • Clear maps to site. Available to businesses on the web.

  • Clear signage at the gate including different routes for different customers.

  • Provide easy routing to building: ‘Follow the red line to building 54’.

  • Adequate customer parking near to the main door.

  • Clear and welcoming signage at the door.

  • Customer-friendly receptionist trained for customer handling.

  • Comfortable seating and interesting reading material in reception and other customer waiting areas.

  • All areas visited to support the consistent experience. Clean, reflecting values, supporting sales.

  • Control access to other areas. 

The reactive in/out experience

Sales and support people often have to come in and out of the building over short timescales – often several times a day. They need to be able to do this in the minimum time and with the minimum fuss.

  • Always somewhere to park, with limited-period parking near front and rear doors.

    • Experiment to find the right number of spaces.

    • Ensure space is not abused, with spot check days where cars that are there from mid morning to mid-afternoon are identified, warned and persistent offenders reported to management.

  • Easy transportation of equipment.

    • Carts that are quiet, ergonomically sound and aesthetically pleasant.

    • Minimized transportation distances.

  • Easy access to goods-in for shipping and receiving.

    • With help as needed.

  • Always somewhere for quick meetings, whether in own team area or nearby.

The heads-down technical experience

Engineers who work on equipment often need to be able to work next to it. They also need to be able to easily access reference material. Some engineers need to solder.

  • Equipment at the workstation, in racks, on special shelves, etc. With appropriate power and connection.

  • Work surfaces for the job, such as lab-level bench, space for two computers, etc.

  • Sufficient storage as appropriate for the job.

    • Local storage for immediate access.

    • Other accessible storage for longer-term items.

    • Ergonomic considerations taken into account.

  • Secure equipment, either at workstation or nearby storage.

  • Transport at hand as needed, such as trolley that stores under the workbench.

  • Appropriately flexible phone system, eg. with wireless headset to allow talking with customers whilst walking to equipment.

The community and team experience

Although many field are in and out, they still feel a sense of community. Some people work alone and feel a sense of isolation.

Create a sense of identity

  • …for individuals, workgroups and visitors.

  • Distinct color scheme and lighting effects that enables immediate identification.

  • Transition at boundaries that signifies movement into the identified area and gives a sense of arrival.

  • Zones within overall workspace that enclose and identify groups and shared areas.

  • Ability to personalize individual and group spaces.

  • People magnets which draw diverse people together to share information and socialize.

    • Eg. coffee bars at copy centers with information and connectivity.

  • Visual connection with others, for example lower partitions to allow people to see one another. Balanced with height for zoning and perceived privacy.

Enable shared activity

…within teams and the field.

  • Team meeting spaces close to their individual workstations.

  • Individual meeting space at workstation only for those with specific needs.

  • Larger meeting rooms for group get-togethers.

  • Noise minimization between the sounds of talking and those who have a need for quiet.

  • Private space where confidential conversations can be held.

  • Social space that allows serendipitous, chance conversation. Give a purpose to be there (as ‘people magnets’ above).

  • Technology-enabled space with net connect at all places and PC projection in meeting rooms.

See also


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