Service Design workshops in Co-op Food

Last week we began a series of Service Design workshops with our Food business.
We’re working on a two week discovery phase by the end of which we’ll pick three projects to take in Alpha.

The project is being led by myself and Jo Whitfield the Finance Director in Food. We’re working with UsTwo as our service design partner. Importantly, as the unit of delivery is the team, our team is made up of CoopDigital, Food and UsTwo.

The team have visited stores, spoken to our colleagues, spent some time in a depot and with our call centre. We’ve been out talking to customers and members.

Picture of food service design discovery work
Food Service Design discovery

There’s lots to cover so we’ve been sketching user journeys with colleagues from every part of the business. We’re looking for clear user needs that will make things easier for members, customers or colleagues.

Picture of sketches from food service design discovery work
Outputs from a sketching workshop

As we believe in working in the open, we’ll blog about our progress on this blog.

Ben Terrett
Group Design Director

Back to Being Co-op

You might have heard about our rebrand over the weekend. We’re going back to the classic 60s clover leaf logo. We worked with North on the new identity and Creative Review have a good write up of that here. Huge thanks to them and Greg Nugent for helping us with this project over the last two years.

This morning Mike and I went to our Old Street food store in Shoreditch to see how it looked in the real world. The store looked fantastic, our colleagues particularly liked the new uniforms and lots of customers were taking pictures of the new signage.

Picture of Co-op Food Store in Shoreditch
Co-op Food Store – Old Street, Shoreditch

I’d like to say a big thanks to all our colleagues who have worked through the weekend to make sure everything was ready for 7am this morning. Rebranding our entire estate will take several years. We’ll also be taking our colleagues through a training programme, because these projects never work if they’re just cosmetic.

As we rebuild membership our own brand products will become more important and this new look brings a simplicity that helps them stand out.  The principles of user centred design can be applied to packaging and stores as easily as they can be applied to websites. A big part of that is making things simpler, clearer and more coherent.

Picture of Co-op own brand milk

There are some good examples from our past. In 1985 we were the first to introduce a system of traffic light food labelling. All based on feedback from users. We used ”salt” over “sodium” because customers understood that better.

Thank you to all the many people who have worked on this project from all of our businesses. We want to build a world class design capability in the heart of the Co-op, building on the talent we have here in Helen and the brand team and continuing to make all our products and services, simple and user focused whether it’s a digital service, a brochure or a piece of packaging. This is the first step on that journey.

Ben Terrett
Group Design Director

Andrew Travers joins CoopDigital as Head of Digital Design.

I’m really pleased to say Andrew Travers has joined CoopDigital as Head of Digital Design.

Andrew Travers
Andrew Travers – Head of Digital Design
At The Co-op we’re building an in-house design team relentlessly focused on user needs. Andrew will work with me and all the designers here, both digital and in other areas, to define The Co-op’s design direction and standards; establishing a really strong design practice. We need more talent in this area, so look out for us posting job opportunities here very soon.

Over the last ten years Andrew has been leading design teams and working on high profile projects with well-known names including Pearson Education, Method, Cern and the BBC – you can find more out about Andrew on his blog. Most recently he was Interim Head of Design at HMRC. There he led the largest departmental design team in government; setting direction and managing design standards across 25 parallel service delivery projects; establishing HMRC’s design practice and agile design approach.

Andrew is really passionate about working to bring great design jobs to the north west, to give talented designers the opportunity to stay or to return, or to discover the north for the first time.

He’s also written a book about the crucial role of research to the design process.

It’s great to have him here – welcome Andrew.

Ben Terrett

Group Design Director



Design Manchester

Hello, I’m Ben, Group Design Director and one of the new people Mike mentioned here. I’m @benterrett on Twitter. Last week I spoke at Design Manchester. It was a fantastic evening with over 300 people coming along to the Royal Northern College of Music, including some of the Co-op design team.

Me speaking at Design Manchester last night

Picture by Sebastian Matthes

I talked about delivering design projects in large organisations and how openness, agility, trust and putting the users first leads to success. The traditional Creative Director has become a bottleneck and you get much better design work if you focus on users, devolve power down to project teams and provide strong direction. It was a shorter version of the talk I gave at the RSA a few weeks ago which you can watch on YouTube.

Design Manchester is a series of events organised by Malcolm Garrett and his team. It’s only been going two years but has already gained a lot of momentum. On Friday night I attended the Big Debate at the Whitworth Museum which included representatives from Manchester Council, the Design Council and the Manchester School of Art.

It was great to see so many people engaged with design in a city that has always had a vibrant design scene. Design Manchester is a great addition to the design festivals that are springing up all over the globe.

It’s not just a conference. One of the objectives of the festival is to “showcase the rich heritage and future of design in Manchester” as well as to stop design talent leaving the city. I hope we can help with that.