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Acting on design principles that define us

Our signature design approach is built on three distinct principles — Informed Design, PIVOT’s strategic methodology that we apply to each of our projects; User-centred and Life-centred Design, the guiding philosophies that our design practice lives by; and Design Evidence, the definitive record of insightful user research that guides the project design.

Informed Design

PIVOT’s strategic methodology that we apply to each of our projects

Informed Design is both a creative and analytical process that serves up a rich understanding of the people who will use and benefit from the design solution. It empowers a different look at whole systems — one that engages users and stakeholders as worthy participants of the design process.

Understanding and defining the problem

Design is made more powerful through in-depth research. We begin every client engagement by taking the time to learn about and understand you and your users. We create space for learning and critical thinking. We look at the big picture and we look at the details too. We ask the right questions of the right people to eliminate assumptions and gain a clear understanding of the audience and the social contexts in which they interact with your product or service. Then we bring everything together and synthesizing our findings into what we call Design Evidence™.

  • Co-Design Worksessions
  • Qualitative Research
  • User Research
  • Persona Development
  • Stakeholder Research
  • Interviews
  • Contextual Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Field Research
  • Observation
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Landscape Reviews
  • Expert Evaluation
  • Material Audit
  • Analytics Audit
  • Usability Testing
  • A/B Testing
  • Prototyping

Exploring designs and deploying a solution

Time to incubate. Time to brainstorm. Time to dream. Time to ideate viable solutions based on our Design Evidence™ insights. Prototypes are tested with real people so that we are constantly learning and gathering useful feedback to strengthen the design strategy.

  • User Experience Design
  • Interaction Design
  • User Flows
  • Information Architecture
  • Wireframing
  • Content Strategy
  • Prototyping
  • UI Styleguide
  • Visual UI Design
  • Service Design
  • Journey Mapping
  • Service Blueprinting
  • Experience Mapping
  • Future State Visualizations
  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Identity Design
  • Logo Design
  • Moodboards
  • Communications Design
  • Brand Guidelines

Over the 25+ years we’ve been around, PIVOT has been applying our strategic Informed Design process — consistently getting results for products, services, and experiences in Digital UX Design, Brand Design, Service Design, Campaign & Digital Marketing Design, and Knowledge Translation.

Let’s get results together

Our Guiding Design Philosophies

User-centred Design (UCD)

UCD (also often referred to as Human-Centred Design) is the guiding philosophy of our Informed Design approach. It’s a well established framework that puts people, or “users,” at the centre of the Discovery and Design processes. We focus our inquiry on gaining a deep understanding of who will be using a product or service, considering their motivations, contexts of use and potentially unmet needs, in order to take the guesswork out of our design work and create more meaningful solutions. We also learn all about the needs and goals of the organization, the people providing the product or service, and the stakeholders involved to ensure the final solution delivers for everyone.

Life-centred Design (LCD)

In light of the current climate crisis, there is a shift happening in the design industry. At PIVOT, we are applying our Design Thinking lens to our own process. How might we broaden our UCD philosophy to include the systems and ecology that sustain us? LCD does this by taking into consideration the impact the products and services we design could have on the planet, and how they might contribute to a more circular economy. It puts the natural world on equal footing with the user, ensuring sustainability remains a priority for ourselves and our clients as we iterate and design solutions.

PIVOT’s thoughtful and strategic approach to the design process brought a great deal of value-add to this project. They took the time to understand our needs and were close collaborators as we worked through marrying content and concept in a way that would resonate with the user.”

Communications Manager, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Design Evidence

Design Evidence™ is the case we build.

All our research efforts in the Discovery Phase are synthesized into a highly visual document and knowledge transfer session we call Design Evidence™. As the culmination of all our research, Design Evidence™ may include user personas, interview analyses, field research findings, themed user challenges and unmet needs, Worksession findings, high-value organizational opportunities, and recommendations for next steps. Design Evidence™ provides a roadmap to guide creative thinking and ideation in the successive Design Phase, but also becomes a valuable asset for your organization going forward to help inform future initiatives and strategic planning.

AI in UX

We strike a balance between harnessing the power of AI and providing the unique, nuanced perspectives that only experienced UX professionals can offer.

At PIVOT, we recognize that AI represents the next frontier in the evolution of design practices for our clients. Rather than render traditional UX research obsolete, we feel AI is an opportunity and a tool—one of many—to be embraced, to elevate, and to refine user-centered design processes. Through strategic integration of AI, we streamline our workflows to deliver more efficient and effective solutions for our clients. 

From ideation and prototyping to persona generation and research synthesis, we leverage AI to expedite research tasks and enhance data analysis. But we’re careful about it too—we actively assess and look for biases inherent in AI tools, ensuring that our insights remain human-centered and culturally sensitive. 

The proof is in the work we do.

Browse through more examples of how we go about building Design Evidence™ to create winning solutions with PIVOT’s Informed Design process.

See more case studies

The PIVOT team did an amazing job understanding and empathizing with our community and the reality of living with ALS. I appreciated that the recommendations and perspectives they brought forward were grounded in the needs of our community, always reminding us of WHO we are creating for.”

VP Marketing & Public Affairs, ALS Canada
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