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Case

UngLiv:
Digital Sprint Brings Balance and Product Development to Youth Counseling Enterprise

For the company, UngLiv.dk and its founder, psychologist Marianne Schøler, the digital sprint program has placed focus on balance in communications, something which is crucial for a venture that seeks to help young people in distress

For psychologist Marianne Schøler, the pathway into the sprint process began with her own thoughts on how her ambitions to grow and her company’s profile were starting to grate against what she describes as a somewhat outdated digital profile.

 “Our messaging and the signals we were sending out did not suit our purpose. Our entire image was unfortunately too dull and one-sided,” explains Marianne when discussing the reasons which led her company, which she founded in 2006, to do a digital sprint. 

UngLiv.dk provides therapeutic counseling services to vulnerable children and young people. The company’s digital communications seek to reach three primary target groups: vulnerable children and young people, their relatives, and professionals who work with vulnerable kids and teens. 

“This is a large and diverse target group and we were well aware that this posed a challenge to us. Our messaging was too disorderly and we needed help to streamline our platform and our communications,” explains Marianne Schøler. 

But for a small company, it can be difficult to find a clear way forward through a problem like this. What tools should they invest in? What is needed to make a difference? These were questions to which Marianne needed answers. First and foremost, there was a need to clarify and establish exactly what it was that was going to help UngLiv.dk. They needed to land on a solution, and preferably one with long-term prospects. 

“We didn’t want to just buy a cut-and-dried solution, rather we wanted to make sure that our growth ambitions and our values would be integrated into our digital messaging,” she explains..

A brand new perspective

The actual sprint process was very different from what Marianne Schøler had anticipated. She found it difficult to prepare as she was unsure what it was exactly that her company needed. “Once we got started, it became completely clear what the sprint process would be able to do for us. The method forced us to look at our company from brand new perspectives. We finally got to grips with our thoughts on what expertise we have and what services we offer – but with greater focus placed on our three target groups. We were pushed into taking a very solid position on the messages we wanted to convey and how we prioritize them. 

The need for a sharply defined hierarchy of priority became clear to us,” explains Marianne Schøler who took part in the sprint herself together with a handful of colleagues in different roles. The group then went on to decide how their communications should be formed and conveyed to their three target groups. The sprint became an impetus for a new website for UngLiv.dk. But the company also became aware of other new products which stretched beyond their original conceptualization as to what they had to offer and provide. 

“Among other things, we discovered that users on our website often searched for information on things such as psychiatric disorders, and this has helped sharpen focus on precisely what we want to post about and link to. For example, this might be information on ADHD, or links to visual materials, patient associations, or articles. This doesn’t necessarily drive footfall, so to speak, but it is a service which we hope is in line with the values we want to emanate,” explains Marianne Schøler about the new design of their website, UngLiv.dk.

Informing without selling

Another important lesson which Marianne Schøler and her colleagues have learned from the digital sprint is the importance of balance between overselling and under informing. 

“Before the sprint, we were perhaps a little too modest and we didn’t say all that much about the things we are great at. The sprint showed us that this was something we ought to do. We are proud of our professional expertise and it is not something we want to hide. So it’s perfectly in order for us to blow our own trumpet a little bit and highlight what we do well,” she says. 

According to Marianne, striking the balance in a company that offers psychiatric services means not creating a need. 

“Landing on the right mix is a very delicate balance. We need to be careful not to inflate our products and skills in such a way that they lure people into making purchases. There is an element of both ethics and sustainability which we need to incorporate into all of our messaging. It’s the balance between encouraging people to seek help but without overselling. I believe that the sprint process helped us to find a sober and proper balance in regards to this,” Marianne Schøler continues.

 The sprint has also given the entire company a new way of thinking about the work they do on a daily basis.

 “First and foremost, we have consistently learned the importance of adopting our clients’ perspectives. We stop and critique whether what we believe is right is also what will be right for them. It has become a reflex for us now to constantly stop and consider how recipients will interpret our messaging,” says Marianne Schøler.

The Digital Design Sprint

Over the last three years, DDC – Danish Design Center has worked with several leading design agencies in the Sprint:Digital project to help more than 100 Danish SMEs future-proof their businesses by developing new digital services or products.

The process is known as a design sprint and involves mapping out, developing, and testing a brand-new digital solution over just five days. The magic formula behind this ultra-compact program is design methods that shorten the distance between thought and action, ensure effective collaboration, and maintain focus on the user throughout the process.

Download the book, Overhal Fremtiden / Overtaking the Future, about the project, in Danish or in English.

About UngLiv.dk

Founded: 2006
Headquarter: Ryomgård
Employees: 14 permanent employees and 30 mentors

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