Amy Ricketts – MDes Service Design Innovation

Amy Ricketts is a service designer who graduated from the MDes Service Design Innovation (now MA Service Experience Design and Innovation) course at London College of Communication in 2011.

We caught up with Amy to find out about what she’s been working on since graduating, her approaches to service design, and why LCC was the best choice for her.

Hi Amy! Why did you choose to study this course and why LCC?

I wanted to develop my skills as a designer. Having trained and worked as a graphic designer for a couple of years, I wanted a change of career and decided I’d like to use my design skills to work on projects that would have social impact.

I remember when searching for courses, LCC was the only university offering a course that would allow me to work on projects in the social, third and public sector. I liked that it has a particular commitment to social impact unlike other universities that focused on service design in the private sector.

What are your fondest memories of your time here?

My tutor was a fantastic mentor, she encouraged and supported me and my classmates to challenge ourselves. She also worked relentlessly hard to find opportunities for us to experience our discipline in different contexts – whether that meant trips overseas to collaborate with other design students or inviting guest speakers from industry, she was very much connected to practice as well as the academia.

What 3 words would you use to best describe LCC?

Committed, ambitious and forward-thinking.

Where are you working at the moment?

I work as a Service Designer for FutureGov; a digital and design agency for government. We work with local authorities and central government to improve public services. Most recently, I have been working in children’s and adults social care. At the moment, I am working with a South East London local authority to help implement a new service designed to help young people in foster care to move back home with their families.

And how do you think the course helped you to get to where you are today?

I have been able to broaden my skillset, I was able to work as an intern and then consultant in a much wider range of capacities following my degree. I worked as a researcher, information designer, user experience designer and most recently as a service designer.

What do you try to achieve as a service designer and what drives you to succeed?

As a designer working in the public sector, I am driven by the chance to improve people’s lives. Often, the most vulnerable in our society are those most reliant on the services that our local councils provide. These services aren’t always designed in a way that is human-centred, so people have at best frustrating experiences and, at worst, distressing experiences. By understanding what experiences are like for people through user research, I aim to design better services that not only meet the needs of the users but also those of the council who are under incredible financial pressure.

If you could work with any client in the world, who would it be and what would you want to work on?

I’d love to work with a service that is delivered in a physical space – a client like the NHS. I’d enjoy designing an experience that is delivered through the design of the space and creating seamless experiences between the physical and digital, for example you might book an appointment to see your GP online but have to turn up to a surgery.

I’d also like to work abroad at some point and venture into the private sector to discover new approaches and ways of thinking.

Where in London do you go when you need a little inspiration?

London has plenty of talks, workshops and hack days, often run by the service design community.

And finally, could you name 3 things you couldn't be creative without:

My laptop and design software for designing visual outputs. My phone for recording research visits. And my colleagues, friends and husband who I talk endlessly with to bounce around and discuss ideas.