Ignacia Orellana

Research on how to better support juniors in GDS

by Ignacia


GDS wanted to invest in hiring early talent and junior staff. Their target was ambitious, and the organisation didn't have many junior staff at the moment.

This was a self initiated project, where from coaching and supporting more junior staff, I had spotted challenges and varied experiences of support from teams, programmes, managers, and communities.

My role and approach

I co-led a discovery with senior service designer Lina Nilsson to understand how can GDS better support juniors staff and ensure line managers, teams and directorates have the right resources, time, and support.

We set up a team of designers and user researchers to conduct in-depth research interviews, surveys and workshops with juniors, line managers, leads and heads of communities.

We gathered insights, spotting pain points and identifying opportunities to improve the experience for juniors as well as the operational aspects of onboarding, learning and development, and training for managers.


These insights and recommendations were presented to GDS’s Chief of Staff and HR team. We also presented the findings to the different communities of practice and team across GDS.

Insights from user research

Recommendations for the Chief of staff and HR team

With Lina Nilsson, Rosie Clayton, Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega, Antonia Awoyemi, Nadia Mugeni and Ia Croxton