Plugging a skills gap for customers who need extra help

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Plugging a skills gap for customers who need extra help

Sometimes as a company you may realise you have a skills gap in one area of your workflow. This could be development, design, marketing, strategy or anything else a team might need to do; you may not want (or have the budget) to employ the services of a full scale cross-functional team from a third party agency. With tight timescales, there simply isn’t time to recruit for a new, in-house member of the team.

So, what do you do?


At Digital Detox, we understand that companies have very different requirements based on their challenges, budget, audience, existing skill-set and objectives. We’ve worked with a few clients who were ready to start a project but found they were lacking the design element within their team and process flow. They approached us to ask whether we could fill that gap for one-off projects with tight timescales and fixed budgets.

Most recently, we’ve fulfilled this service for clients like Visa and EY, so we’ve learned a few lessons along the way about how to maximise the value we can deliver to clients who need this sort of work. Whilst we are a fully integrated, cross-functional digital agency, we always try to support clients in whatever capacity they need us to. This has given way to our ‘skills gap’ service.

Plugging the skills gap at pace:

In the case of our project with Visa, we had just 3 weeks to get up to speed, assimilate to the team culture and produce useful design outputs the team could develop on.

Visa needed us to reimagine their online offering for clients. We started with some market research and competitor analysis to understand the landscape. From there, we conducted remote brainstorming sessions to share knowledge and ideas between teams. Then we set to work creating some user personas that reflected Visa’s audience. Finally, we moved to storyboarding, where we showcased the visual output of our planning, thinking and discussing phases. Critically, we presented a couple of design options to inspire discussions and further brainstorming sessions to refine the vision into a final product. This is something we try to do on all DD projects for clients, rather than simply offering one option as though it’s a single version of the truth. In this way, we can help steer the customer towards the best final option, with their input, for a better overall result.

We embedded ourselves into the team and adopted their existing culture and ways of working. At the same time, we used the opportunity to suggest improvements and innovative approaches where possible. We tried to challenge everyone to think in new ways and place their customers at the heart of their approach. The team trusted us to represent their brand as if we were native employees - and this showed the strength of our partnership and the mutual trust we shared.

We used, an open source tool, to enable collaborative project sharing with the Visa team. This was a key factor that allowed us to move at pace, keep everyone informed and make sure we were all aligned.

The result:

At the end of the 3 week project, we produced visual designs that reimagined Visa’s digital journey for clients.

We had joined an established team as outsiders, but ended the project feeling like fully fledged members of the team.

Most importantly, we had plugged a skills gap and delivered value within a very short timeframe. We applied our existing expertise and knowledge of common design patterns to produce visual output at the end of the 3 week period.


The experience inspired us to offer our ‘skills gap’ service to other clients. Any company that requires a helping hand with a particular area of their project or processes can get in touch with us.

This is a really effective way for time poor, budget-conscious or skills dependent teams to get valuable results that meet their needs. We look forward to helping other clients get real results and benefit from our extensive knowledge, experience and action-based mindset to project delivery.

At Digital Detox, we specialise in digital design, agile development and digital transformation for a wide range of clients across multiple industries. With an extensive portfolio and a hugely talented team, we’d love to take your vision and transform it into a reality!

If you’ve got an idea, challenge or opportunity to discuss, do get in touch.