Callie Tedder-Hares has years of award-winning hospitality design experience. Joining the cruise community with her first ship, Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady, has only earned her and her team Volume Creative even more accolades. So, when Toby Walters of Cruise Ship Interiors Expo sat down with Callie to talk about her approach to design, it was only natural that she had some great insights.

Design for your operational needs

In particular, it was being asked about the ethos at the heart of Volume Creative that really shone a light on Callie and the team’s tried-and-tested approach towards service design. She said that Volume Creative’s focus wasn’t on a house style. Rather, they focused on creating bespoke designs that centred their client’s operational needs.

Callie’s advice to designers working in the hospitality field is to build your design around the service. Aesthetics are an important consideration but your design should always improve the service. It should not make life harder for anybody interacting with the design. The customer experience should be at the heart of your design, ensuring every element from the layout to the aesthetic detail facilitates the operations and helps deliver the brand experience.

Start by listening

So, how do Volume Creative centre operations? Callie said, ‘We have to listen… We have to ask questions.’ The team aim to embed themselves within each inhouse team to gain a true understanding of how the brand operates. Zeroing into the heart of how to prioritise experiential design, Callie said, ‘If you don’t understand operations, you will not create design efficiencies.’ She strongly advises the designer to ask questions in order to learn the pinch points for the operations team. The design aim should be to create solutions that make the customer and the team happier.

It’s clear that the first step for Callie and the Volume Creative team is learning, and that approach has served them well with their dynamic and modern portfolio.

Catch up on more design and hospitality insights with Cruise Conversations by signing up below: