Academy Xi Blog

Creating Global Experiences with Service Design

By Academy Xi

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Tayla Thompson shares her experience

Tayla Thompson’s passion for helping others has always led her to find creative ways to solve problems. Her current role at a leading bank in South Africa focuses on creating exceptional customer experiences.  

“I wake up at 5 am to drive to work at the dingiest and slightly unsafe part of Johannesburg because I’m passionate about what I do. It’s been crazy because the learning curve has been huge. In the first few months of my job, I was exposed to Design Thinking, User Experience (UX) Design, and Customer Experience (CX) Design. I feel like there’s still so much for me to learn.” says Tayla.

In her day-to-day job, Tayla recognised that it was difficult to produce exceptional end-to-end service experiences because the banking systems used were clunky, archaic, and did not integrate well together.

Tayla sought to uncover the tools and capabilities that would enable the creation of exceptional services, and in doing so, she began learning about Service Design.

“What I was doing was great, but I wanted to take my knowledge one step further. By understanding the elements of Service Design and how it’s used in practice, customers will be able to benefit from what I deliver in my role. What I’ve learnt about Service Design so far has barely scratched the surface as the concept of Service Design is relatively new in South Africa.”

Over other disciplines such as UX, or Agile project management, Tayla felt that it was imperative to study Service Design in order to understand the entire ecosystem of a service experience.

“I know that every part of the customer experience matters — and by having targeted experiences, you can create customised, user-friendly solutions. As with everything, however, there are always constraints. In my daily work, I have to constantly ask whether what I’m creating serves the customer, and is fit for purpose. Through Service Design, I am able to identify a customer’s pain points and address problems by creating a service that is desirable, feasible, and viable.”

Despite being separated by the Indian Ocean and never having been to Australia, Tayla came across Academy Xi’s Service Design Online course and decided to undertake the course with her work colleague.

“The onboarding experience was so easy and the team have been super helpful. Academy Xi is always responsive to any of my questions. I’ve really enjoyed the video content to support my learning and the reading recommendations are so insightful. I’m really excited for what’s to come, and hope to visit Australia one day soon!”

Before starting her role at the bank, Tayla completed her undergraduate degree in Commerce but wasn’t sure if she wanted to pursue a career in her area of study. Deciding against a traditional pathway in Accounting, Tayla chose to study a post-grad in Marketing and Advertising at Red and Yellow; a creative business school in Cape Town.

Beyond banking, Tayla’s passion for Design Thinking and user-centric solutions comes from a desire to create social impact. “If money, time, or resources were no object, I would solve world poverty” notes Tayla. “No one should be cold or hungry on a Winter’s night. The solution to this problem is still pending!”.


Want to harness the power of Service Design to create human-friendly solutions? Access our Service Design Online course from anywhere in the world and study at your own pace.