We love to create, invent and innovate. We're optimistic and eager to explore new possibilities and opportunities for a better future for our clients, their customers and the world at large. Elf is a digital creative agency. We create positive impact through design, branding, technology, advertising, audio and art. We're excited to pioneer new ideas, solve complex challenges and do work we love.
Designed in the spirit of pioneering agencies and tech startups, Elf is a digital creative agency that works with private companies and the government to create positive impact. We do this by coming up with fresh ideas and new approaches to solving existing problems. We create, design and launch solutions, taking into careful consideration 3 essential factors: people, profit and sustainability.
Creativity and design thinking are part of every step at Elf. We use this approach to generate new ideas, investigate and come up with solutions to problems our clients (agencies, companies and startups) face.
This design thinking approach is scalable - it can be used for crafting a digital marketing cross-platform campaign to designing a small product that you hold in your hands, building an information system, redesigning a city and facilitating solutions for global concerns.
We draw upon market research and our original approach for real-time insight and deeper understanding of what's possible now and in the near future.
Figure on Right:
*Adapted from Good to Great by Jim Collins & global design thinking models
1. Viability - What is technically possible.
2. Excellence - What you excel at.
3. Desire - What people want.
Viable also includes sustainable (eco footprint) and economic considerations.
At the Intersection - Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Building your company, product, service or system around this "USP" drives innovation. This model is also dynamic as your business evolves.
Design thinking guides our process.
Our process is simple and consists of 4 steps:
Discover ---> Decide---> Iterate ---> Launch
We work closely with clients with small, interdisciplinary teams. We're agile and focused on creating great results.
In addition to old-fashioned pen and paper, our favorite sketchpads and whiteboards, we also use specific tools to help guide the process. This includes method cards, iterative designs and rapid prototyping on mobile devices, wireframes and more.
• To add rigor and structure to agile development.
• To build a shared vocabulary for each method among Elf staff and our partners.
• To explain, explore options and harness the power of our proven methodology.
Discover, Decide, Iterate and Launch.
Learn as much as you can about the project and goals. Brainstorm options.
Use what you’ve learned to focus your research. Narrow down choices and decide on a course of action.
Create. Keep improving toward a final product that’s ready to be tested.
Test your research, design and product before market release.
Launch your product, service or system.
Download Elf Method Cards
• To quickly conceptualize ideas within defined restraints
• To identify questions and problems to be solved
• To visualize the final product
Here's an example of a fitness Apple Watch app (on right).
Using rapid prototyping tools helps in identifying problems and questions that may arise such as usability, touch interaction and speed.
You can also clearly define what's achievable within defined constraints beyond your initial wireframes.
Business Model Generation
by Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pignault, Alan Smith, Patrick Van Der Pijl and Tim Clark.
Download Business Model Canvas
From Good to Great
by Jim Collins
Change by Design
by Tim Brown
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
Peter Drucker's Five Essential Questions
by Peter Drucker, Frances Hesselbein and Joan Snyder Kuhl
Masters of Scale
Podcast by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman
When working with or at a federal agency, there are a few things to keep in mind while gathering feedback from the public or user groups.
Information systems that hold information about members of the public or employees likely need to go through your agency’s privacy impact processes. For more on the privacy process, please see OPM’s Privacy Impact Assessment.
It is also advisable to get participants to fill out an informed consent form prior to any data collection.