Douglas Helman

Service Designer

“My goal is to make sure our clients are answering the right questions; the questions that their clients want them to answer.”

Douglas joined DA as a freelancer in 2014 after working with Josh and Mat at various organisations for 10 years.

Douglas met Josh and Mat while studying a Bachelor in Industrial Design at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Mat was Doug’s tutor and Josh started one year after Doug. Doug graduated in 2003 with First Class Honours and was awarded the Sue Park Memorial Prize for Excellence and Enthusiasm. After working for a number of years as a Casual Academic in the Industrial Design program at the University of Newcastle and as an industrial designer at Banlaw, he moved to Sweden to study a Masters of Science in Environmental Management and Policy. Doug graduated in 2007 after being awarded the highest possible grade for his thesis titled Engaging Service Providers in Continuous Improvement.

After finishing his studies in Sweden, Douglas worked as a Senior Consultant at sustainability consultancy thinkstep. His role involved advising clients on how to integrate environmental assessment of their products and processes into their design process.

In 2014, Douglas established his own business, Standing Man, as a service designer. Douglas brings his wealth of service-related product design knowledge to the DA team.

Now based in Germany, Doug is responsible for making sure that we always think about the service components of the products we design. He is heavily involved in the Kickstart Workshops as a critical reviewer of your ideas and prepares many of the topics that we discuss. He then takes a fresh look at the outcomes of the workshops to formulate a set of next steps. He is also deeply involved in our Design Review process, casting his critical eye over your ideas, challenging your assumptions and ensuring that you are designing the right product. Doug writes our project proposals, contributes critical feedback to every product we design, manages our website and content and ensures that the way we interact with you makes sense (he basically designs the way we deliver our services). You might not have much direct contact with Douglas, but he’ll have contributed to reviewing and providing feedback on your ideas.

As a service designer, Douglas’ most important contribution to your project is to ensure that we are designing a product based on evidence and user needs. He makes sure that your product will be successful by challenging your assumptions, ensuring that we have evidence to support design decisions and by thinking about the future of your product and its users.

Doug loves having heated discussions with Josh about what the real value of a product is. The tension that arises between their product-oriented and service-oriented perspectives results in really well thought through designs.

Douglas Helman facilitates a design workshop
Douglas Helman delivers a Bench Talk at INNX on Service Design Day