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Redesigning the customer experience for a graphic agency

TopPrint is a graphic solutions agency that offers graphic design and printing services that rage from posters and business cards, to construction wallpaper and branding. Most people who physically visit the agency showroom do so to use their printing and photocopying services, and they always need the staff's help at some point. However profitable, this creates an influx of people and takes away precious time and energy from the employees. I collaborated with the agency's founder and staff to help create an experience that was less intrusive for the employees and still catered to the clients' needs.

The Research process

I started off with a day of observing the physical environment and interviewing the employees on their workplace, with the aim to identify the pain points. The deliveries of this first part consisted on a map of the physical space (and the frequency of movement between different stations), user personas and the current user flow. 

Type of Project
Personal, Self initiated

Tools Used
Pen and Paper, Balsamiq
Skills Used 
Ethnographic Interviews and Observations, User testing, Prototyping 

The studio, printers and the PCs

The frequency of movement between the stations.

Deliverables from the user study phase

Design and testing 

From an analysis of the ethnographic studies and the maps, I concluded that there is a need for more automation in the flow of the customer. This calls for a simpler system that aids the customer in achieving their goals, without employee assistance. 

The user frequently identified issues with locating the printers and how to choose between them, so the advice here is to label them clearly. Next, there is an need for a simplified software that users can access when they start using a

PC. Instead of manually selecting through documents and printers, they have to go through a simplified flow that guides them, and only go to the counter to pay. (Later on, this can also be automated, thus reducing employee intervention).

I designed a simple flow (pen and paper) and tested them with the employees. Then, I used their feedback for the Balsamiq prototype, which was perceived as highly improving the customer experience and overall offering a better service to customers. 

New user flow

The new flow

First step: choose the source, without having to access the PC's functions

Customize your print

Confirms your details and price, before continuing to print.

Screenshots of the Balsamiq prototype


With only 1 day of observations and 2 days of iterative design and testing, the final design was perceived as improvement in the experience: the clients needed less guiding and the employees spent less time aiding them. Its priceless what the results can be when user centered design practices are put to use, even resources are limited. 

Ethnographic studies came especially handy in this scenario since the physical constraints considerably affect the experience. Simple actions like tagging the printers and concentrating the payment in the hands of only 1 of the employees greatly decreased the crowds moving around in the studio. The simple software is now implemented and the employees report that the customers call for them far less than before.  

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