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Collaborative Project – North Highland

11 January 2017

4 mins

Though students have now completed their Collaborative Project module, we have lots still to tell you about it! Yi Jin, a Design Innovation Management student documents her group’s visit to the North Highland office in London. Many of the students visited their project partners in November to get a better feel for the company and how they work.

About North Highland

North Highland is a global consulting firm with over 3,000 employees in more than 60 offices worldwide. Our are collaborating with them try to improve recent problems in universities.

Project Briefs

We can choose from these two topics:

  1. Design a solution that disrupts the way universities attract and enroll A-level students
  2. Design a solution to provide universities with a new way of understanding their students and engaging with them throughout their course, with the goal of improving their ranking in the NSS.

Our Visit

Their office is in 8th floor of the right building

The itinerary

We arrived at 1.00pm, with our project tutor Surya. We were warmly received by the company representatives, Andrew and Michelle, who had been involved with our project from the start.

Their reception and the windows face the St.Paul’s Cathedral

The colourful, quirky office walls


After the manager Chris Lamont introduced the company and our project, Michelle and Andrew took us on a tour around their offices, which had a modern and creative feel.

The doors of the office rooms are decorated to look like telephone boxes, which makes the space quirky and fun. They have a colorful and open work space, with table tennis, a kitchen, and seminar rooms with see through windows. It definitely encouraged collaboration and creative energies.

The map shows the cooperation works of North Highland around the US

Ideation task

Then, their a graphic designer, Beccy Robinson taught a short lesson about ideation. She introduced how they start with a creative idea, and how they work on the building the idea through a step by step process. She asked everyone to fold a piece of paper into 8 parts, using one minute to think out an idea about how to improve the social scene in Loughborough University London, and moving into another idea in the next minute, drawing or writing them no matter how stupid or unreasonable they may seem. Normally, we would have swapped our papers with others, shortlisting and improving them, but time was limited, so we finished at this stage.

After this, Michelle Freeman, Paul Hutchison, Clare Flitton taught us how to measure CX(customer experience), how to build apps, and how to map customer journeys, respectively. As we submitted our proposals last week, they tailored these to our projects. They tried to help us in any areas we lacked experience and we learnt a great deal from them.

Michelle told us about how to measure customer experience which is highlighted by their company when they deal with their real projects

Paul introduced all sorts of software and useful resources for building apps


Finally, we summarized the things to take away from the day’s sessions in our groups, such as: mobile technologies, mixing ideas, journey map. We learn a lot from the North Highland staff about each of their specialisms.

What we took away from the sessions

Our group using the innovative office spaces to continue our work on the project together








After the session, we decided to stay at the office for a while to continuing our work together as a team. We used the “magic” white board to post our ideas on the wall and analyse the feasibility of our idea. We also asked Michelle to give us some feedback to improve on our ideas. It was as if we were working in a real company to solve the project problems, which was a meaningful experience for us.

At the end of the day we took one last look at this amazing view!

For a few of us, this was the first time we had visited a company in the UK. The North Highland office is creative, fun and relaxed, it was a great organisation to visit! We acquired professional knowledge from their experts, and it helped us improve our skills and understand their needs better. I enjoyed the unforgettable trip, and, on behalf of group 14, thanks to North Highland consultancy for inviting us to visit their amazing office, we thoroughly enjoyed the session!

Thank you to Yi Jin, a Design Innovation Management student at Loughborough University London, for writing about the Collaborative Project. Credit to Yi Jin for all the included images.

To find out more information about North Highland, visit their website.

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