2012/2013 - London, UK


For my master thesis I joined Fjord to better understand their design process. The goal was to conceptualise a new approach and tools that would support designers when designing digital services aiming for long-term engagement.

My role: Service Design, Design Research - Internship



Supporting designers to create new services that seek long-term user engagment.

Service providers are making their way into the digital space and facing fierce competition, while users can easily move from one offer to the other; brand loyalty is low and companies seek for new, innovative ways to stand-out and retain their customers

On the other hand, design is increasingly being seen as a strategy to provide added value and come up with innovative service offers. For my master thesis I researched design processes and created a new approach to guide Fjord designers when creating services that seek long-term user engagement. The result are several tools that can be used during design projects.

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A feedback session with Fjord designers

Academia meets practice

Service providers make their way into the digital space, there is a growing amount of offers that results in hyper-competition. Providers struggle with sustaining their business on the long-term because users can move from one offer to the other. Eventually, this reduces the user’s loyalty towards the service brand.

Design is a source of new ideas that could help providers innovate to differentiate amongst similar service offers in order to attract and retain users. Fjord is in the search of ways to design aiming for user retention and has directed its efforts towards designing services that users “fall in love with”. My thesis project consisted on developing strategies for Fjord to design services that users will love, in order to engage and retain them. 

Being part of Fjord I was able to understand the  organization and encountered three components for new strategies:  1. Human behavior as inspiration:  how do two people fall in love with each other? and how could this behavior be stimulated by a digital service? 2. Digital Design: How to use Fjord’s expertise on design as an advantage? 3. Client involvement: How to maintain strong client relationships while creating a “user-centered” service?

With this I created the concept of Lovable Service, which are offers that gather the characteristics for users to fall in love with. I detailed a set of steps to design those particular offers and created several tools to support the design process. Additionally, I suggested a strategy to implement the suggested changes and further impulse Fjord into Service Design. Finally, I conducted a case study to re-shape an existing health tracking service as a lovable offer.

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Using human behaviour as a theorethical base

Selected work

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MING Labs - Business & Service Design, Research
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Philips - Service Design, UX Design 
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Biosense Technologies - Service Design, Research 

Want to know more?

Drop me a line! I am always happy to chat over coffee - and cake.


Maria Hock - 2021