14–16 September 2016

McGrath Centre, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge


Leon Bovett Fjord - Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive
Tomomi Sayuda Fjord - Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive
Lynn Chung Fjord - Design and Innovation from Accenture Interactive

Session type: Tutorial
Session duration: 90 minutes

About this Tutorial

Let's create a 'Roleplay MAKESHOP' that tells the story of the interaction between a digital service and the back-end systems that support it!

As designers, it can be difficult to understand the interplay between backstage systems and the user interface. Back-end systems are intangible and complicated, and often impose constraints on what we are able to design. It's very important for us to understand these constraints for ourselves, and to explain the story to clients in an engaging format.

We often use metaphors to explain and understand such complicated systems. It would be exciting to bring system components to life, and use human beings to illustrate user journeys through role play - like improvised theatre rehearsal.

An example scenario: sharing photos on Facebook.

Lisa uses Facebook to post her photos and share them with many people across the globe, and instantly receives comments. Some of the comments are not welcome, so she wants to report this to administrators.

The highlight of this scenario is the journey she goes through to interact with other users, and with back-end staff, as well as the front and back-end systems in between. As end users we don't see how the backstage systems are architected and how they integrate with the user interface. So if we are to demonstrate the back-end system physically with our bodies and physical materials, how do we visualise the flow of digital information?

We will provide some example scenarios and you'll work in groups. Each team will decide on a scenario based on the knowledge and experience in the team. Some example scenarios might include:

  • reporting abusive users during social network interactions
  • a virtual reality, AI-assisted travel agent experience
  • privacy of user data in the context of health tracking wearable devices and insurance premiums

You will work as a group to brainstorm and demonstrate how to present the users and the back-end system within the scenario. You'll act out your parts through improvised dialogue and movement. Each person will be given a role, such as a user, front-end, back-end, database etc.

About the Speakers

Leon Bovett

Leon is a technology design lead at Fjord, which delivers innovative design projects to create applications and services from beginning to end: through research, interaction design, visual design, usability testing, technical architecture, UI framework design, build and validation.

Through his experience during the first generation of smartphone development, Leon has developed expertise in responsive design and mobile software architecture.

Leon is passionate about directing the design and realisation of services and frameworks, using rapid prototyping to bring delightful applications to life. He is an advocate of design through making, improvising innovative methodologies to help with the design process.


Tomomi Sayuda

Tomomi is a Japanese interaction designer at Fjord London. She gained an MA in design products at the Royal College of Art and her specialisation is design integrity, its realisation, and making playful experiences.

She has had wide range of design roles, including UI/UX, graphic, exhibition, product, set designer and videographer for exhibitions, advertisements, events and digital design projects. She wants to push the boundaries of existing design innovation projects to be fresh, exciting and FUN.

Her personal media art projects have been published and exhibited internationally, including via the BBC, The Independent, Frieze Art Fair and ICFF NY. She was selected amongst the 6 best young graduates in 2009 by Creative Review.


Lynn Chung

Lynn enjoys hacking design thinking with improv - she calls it design improvisation. As both domains share common principles, she continues to explore how improv practices can influence the way we stretch and shift minds through design.

At Fjord, Lynn is interested in influencing cultural and operational development for companies that struggle to find and act on their purpose. She brings clarity and meaning to design strategies, brand stories and human interactions/experiences, in an effort to inspire meaningful change towards visions that are both believable and liveable.

Her postgraduate degrees in branding from the School of Visual Arts and service design from the Royal College of Art have both informed her passion to forge purpose-driven design cultures within organisations.

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Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of service design techniques. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.