Why Telcos Need to Pay More Attention to Strategic Experience Design

Posted: January 10th, 2014 | Author: Malla Poikela | Filed under: Industry Insights | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The telecommunications industry is no stranger to commoditisation. As over-the-top (OTT) players like Skype and WhatsApp bite into traditional sources of revenue, there has been a scramble to compensate for those lost profits elsewhere. That has generally meant charging more for data or thinking about how predictive analytics can help build more sophisticated marketing offers.

Yet all of that activity often overlooks one central theme: strategic experience design. The commoditisation of technology has changed the battleground from the technology itself to the design of the product – in short, the user and customer experience.

Together, these two elements fall under the umbrella of strategic experience design.  It’s not just your customers that benefit from that kind of holistic design; it’s your customer’s customers.

Psychology and Design

At the heart of good user and customer experience is an understanding of applied psychology. How are people using your product? What do they expect, and what’s the flow from the start to the finish?

At Comptel, we believe that good design comes from collaboration, honesty and respect. Communications service providers (CSPs) shouldn’t be afraid of listening to customer feedback on the experience of their products, or of collaborating across traditional department boundaries to apply the strengths of the virtual working team for a better final product.

When we choose to undertake strategic experience design for our own customers, Comptel doesn’t just draw a blueprint of what we want the user experience to look like – we map journeys of our customers’ needs. To do that, we directly involve customers in the process, ensuring that we never create a product in isolation of our audience. That ensures that the end result will be an intuitive and extremely efficient platform for CSPs.

A Different Approach

Strategic experience design should be created from four different best practice steps. Initially, it’s about the requirements of the user. That sets the baseline for the next step: the concept. The concept creates the abstract of the experience itself and helps to decide the design goals, and what needs to happen in order to achieve it.

From there, the experience design moves onto the base design. That’s where the different user journeys are defined within the product.  During this phase, a presentation is built that helps to visualise the flow of the design. That’s important when it comes to the last step, sensorial design. At this point, the layouts, prototypes and sensorial assets, such as graphics, animations and sounds, are input that complete the experience, finalising both the look and feel of the product interface.

A New Kind of Experience

For a long time, technology has taken the helm, steering all other elements of the product. With the commoditisation of so many telecommunications services, that’s changed. People won’t remember the technology you provide so much as the experience you provide them.

Comptel has recognised this, which is why strategic experience design is an integral part of our product creation and solution packaging, from day one to customer delivery. And why we think that we will lead the way in this space by leading by example.

Going for Gold with Project Management: Reporting from the Olympics, Part 2

Posted: August 7th, 2012 | Author: Ralph Booth | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

As I mentioned in my previous post about the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games, I’m amid a kick-off session of my own for a major Europe West Comptel project and discussed some tips for a successful project launch.  Now in the second post in my series, I’ll focus on the implementation phase – and how this parallels with the Games!

Firstly, I’d like to mention this year’s amazing Opening Ceremony, which not only rewrote the rule book for kicking off the games, but also showcased Britain’s collective passion, strengths and sense of humour to the world. What a fantastic show and start to the Games! Now with the kick-off phase behind us, both my client project and the Olympic Games have moved into the marathon implementation phase.  Here are some tips that I use as a project manager on Comptel’s Europe West Services team to ensure the implementation stays on track for a podium finish.


From watching the games in full force, what has struck me is the level of organisation that is required –from the food stalls to the medal makers, to the facilities and even the technology. All of these items required planning, tracking and organisation – and this is all about being prepared and knowing who needs to do what and when they need to do it! A project implementation phase is no different, as it requires a properly thought-out project plan that can be used to prepare, monitor and drive this phase, ensuring every work item is delivered on time and all dependencies are understood.


Reporting is vitally important – after all, the London 2012 Olympics can be enjoyed on the television, mobile devices, the Internet, Twitter and through various newspapers. Similarly, project reporting is just as important. For instance, understanding what’s going well and what requires additional focus helps the entire project team concentrate on the essentials. Agreeing to the type of reporting and meeting structure upfront is vital to ensure everyone is informed and the progress is transparently tracked.

Team Work:

Whilst watching the cycling road race on the first day of the Games, I was struck by the level of team work required for an individual to win a medal – and with it all the glory. Project implementation phases parallel this sense of solidarity. It is imperative to create a team spirit and ensure that, where required, your implementation team works together to keep the project on track.

Strong Leadership:

During the implementation phase strong leadership is essential to ensure the project is delivered on time and all issues are managed effectively. The role of the project manager is vital to coordinate and drive the project to completion.

Focus on the Goal:

Finally, as in the Olympic Games, there must be a steady focus on the goal in order to come out on top. It is easy tobecome distracted during the implementation phase and, for example, look at bringing in additional scope. But you must remain dedicated to fulfilling the original requirements for which the project was created. Take, for instance, Michael Phelps – he has remained focused throughout the Games with the sole intent of securing as many medals as possible. This unwavering drive and concentration is the key to securing success and, combined with his talent, has made him the most decorated Olympian ever.

On a personal note, on Friday 3rd August, my family and I headed to the Olympic Stadium and watched the first day of the athletics, the highlight of which was the Women’s Heptathlon opening rounds with team Great Britain’s ‘face of the games’ Jessica Ennis competing.

Upon entering the Olympic Park, I was struck by the sheer scale of it. The stadium is enormous and really quite inspiring with the fantastic Orbit sculpture dominating the view. There was a real buzz of excitement around the place as spectators made their way to their respective events. Upon first glimpse inside the Olympic Stadium, it really does take your breath away and once it’s full, the atmosphere in the arena is incredible – the whole stadium enjoying being part of the Olympics and urging the athletes to do well.

I truly got the sense that Britain is very proud to be Olympic hosts and to have this incredible once-in-a-lifetime event in our capital; to the point where the crowds were going to make sure they enjoyed every second of the experience and spectacle! The London Olympics was intended to inspire a generation to take up sport and our great city has certainly stamped its personality on the games, grabbing the world’s attention along the way. It will be quite sad to see them come to a close!

Speaking of, my next post will sadly turn to reviewing the Closing Ceremony and my tips for what we do within Comptel’s services team to ensure that a project is properly concluded with all the lessons learned.