22nd August 2014

McDonald's is now a service design agency, and other things we learned this week

Can you “create solutions to complex interface and interaction design challenges. Find intuitive solutions to core user interactions, with emphasis on elegance and simplicity”? If so, you might like to consider a career with McDonald’s.

Yup, McDonald’s.

The company, more famous for its wireframe hairnets than its wireframes, has hired its first Head of Digital, Julia Vander Ploeg. Ploeg joins McDonald’s digital division to improve the company’s service design and user experience efforts; and to build new high-end digital entertainment services.

The company appears to be placing service design at the centre of its digital transformation. McDonald's plans to create a single pan-market ordering app, through which it can also sell and promote other digital media and physical services, which will "drive frequency."

If the company can do this successfully it may be able to stem its recent decline in profits; collect endless analytics on its customer base; and see off competition from smaller more agile competitors.  It's the innovators' dilemma meets content marketing.

And Ronald isn't the only one who’s opened a digital skunkworks. Tesco's digital division released its own (better than expected) tablet, and now offers media streaming services. Starbucks has been leading the way in mobile payments, customer loyalty apps, and wireless charging. And even Ryanair has its own UX lab. As Accenture says, these days “every business is a digital business.”

The question is, if big brands are taking service design and UX in-house, what does that mean for our industry?

Also this week - why mobile shopping still sucks, what Google did with a lost satellite, and some handy advice for designers.

  • #eCommerce
  • 68% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned
  • We still haven't figured out how to part people from their mobile cash. But PayPal has plans to fix this
  • Read More »
  • #User Journeys
  • Paved with gold
  • Jack Dorsey's Square is taking a complicated and difficult path, as it pivots and re-pivots its way to dominate the mobile payments industry 
  • Read More »
  • #Experience Design
  • Designing the Experience Design experience
  • If you fail to design your team's experience, how can you design your clients'?
  • Read More »
  • #Beautiful Web
  • Make it pop
  • Designers! Working on a project but need 'feedback'? Now you too can get that patronising input you so desperately need, with this handy pocket Art Director - only $16. Act now!
  • Play »
  • #Internet of Things
  • "Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion"
  • So, the Tate Modern unleashed four nocturnal art-appreciating robots
  • Read More »

Illustration: Patrick Cusack