Snook is a service design consultancy based in Glasgow and working all over the world. The company was started by Sarah Drummond and Lauren Currie in 2009 and has been growing ever since, with ten designers currently working in the Bath Street studio. The studio sits at the top of the Butterfly and the Pig Tearooms, a location that does cause some confusion to clients and visitors but means that Snook's creativity is fuelled by plates of eggs florentine.
Snook works with a range of Public and 3rd Sector organisations to re-design the products and services that make up our everyday lives, by rethinking them from a user-centred perspective. Throughout each project they involve the people who deliver and use the services they are re-designing, to really understand the issues and opportunities that need to be addressed. This way of working ensures that the final outcome really meets the needs of the people they are designing for; an approach that they joke is hardly rocket science, but is one that a surprising number of public services out there seem to ignore. Everyone has felt frustration at one time or another with a service that fails to help them achieve what they need. As Mike Press, Chair of Design Policy at DJCAD, said at the Design for Public Service event in the Scottish Parliament last year "Public Services should be enjoyed, not endured".
The Snook studio is a constant hive of activity. At any one time there could be a workshop of six teenagers talking about sexual health and relationships in one room; a client meeting discussing the contents of a project report, whose sharpie-amended pages cover an entire wall in the second room; and the remainder of the team are hidden behind their MacBooks working their Adobe magic in the third and final room. There is a tiny kitchen where numerous cups of tea are made throughout the day, and a small roof terrace where the occasional sunny lunches are had.
Wall space is at a premium within the studio, with project visuals and post it notes vying for space. The back wall of the final room is covered in industrial fridge doors, used as make shift whiteboards for drawing out user journeys and navigation routes through websites. There are a number of shelving units to hold project folders and workshop tools such as lego, rubber chickens, paper toolkits, badges and sharpies by the jar full.
Snook's clients include the Scottish Government, Stirling Council, Architecture and Design Scotland, STV, Mozilla Open Badges, Technology Strategy Board and the NHS.