HOLO: A design framework from Tennis

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
― Albert Einstein

At Tennis, we have set our sights high for what we want to achieve and how we want to get there. Over the years, we have refined our purpose and honed our process to suit the increasingly complex challenges we see as technology continues to evolve.

Our purpose has been our north star for many of our strategic decisions. That purpose being, to deliver foundational, frictionless, and engaging customer experiences. Delivering on this purpose is paramount, and obviously, it's far from straightforward. In our digital world, we must simplify messy, complicated problems, and our primary focus is always on framing the right problem first.

The truth of design is that solutions are only as good as a well-framed problem, which gets at the core of our practice. Framing the challenge is critical before forging a path to a solution—ensuring that you solve the right problem.

A map is not the actual territory… An ideal map would contain the map of the map.
—Alfred Korzybski

Strategy, design, or technology decisions within an organization should be made in the organization's context as a whole. There are human dynamics and other systems locked into a dynamic ecosystem. Something as simple as the need—or desire—for a new website results from a complex web of needs and objectives. Positioning our work and decision making in this ecosystem is one of our primary goals.

Throughout the years of developing strategies, creating, building, designing, and solving problems; we have been iterating our process in parallel. Countless cycles, pivots, and improvements have brought us to the current iteration of our design framework.

Enter HOLO—the design framework that we have been refining for years has a name. HOLO stems from the Greek word "hólos," meaning "whole" and "entire." At its core, HOLO represents a holistic approach to design in the digital world. It considers a project in the context of the Humans, Objectives, Landscape, and Organization involved. As its name implies, we designed HOLO to tackle the small and large without losing sight of the whole.

(H)umans: Takes a closer look at multiple audience segments and catalogs the diversity of needs, interests, behaviours, and workflows that need to be prioritized from all perspectives.  

(O)bjectives: Is about both organizational objectives and project objectives. Capturing these objectives creates alignment between various stakeholders while understanding the systems used to measure success.

(L)andscape: An environmental audit of best practices, standards, future-proofing, competitive landscape, non-competitive landscape, technology trends, design trends, and industry-specific trends. The landscape draws a boundary around the domain we can play in.

(O)rganization: Understanding the business structures and workflows within an organization to find opportunities to help support them functionally and strategically through service and workflow design.

As technology continues to evolve, so do its applications, user expectations, use cases, and channels. Without looking holistically at an organization, its users, culture, workflows, and industry, how do you ensure success? HOLO is our answer. It's a lens that frames our work; it's our microscope and telescope, helping us define and deliver holistic solutions.

Design is about building solutions that help make a fundamental change; it has a rich history of developing frameworks, tools, and methodologies to cope with problem framing in an ever-increasing world of complexities. HOLO is our contribution, and as it evolves, we hope that it continues to add value and ensure that our customers continue making an impact on the world.

Our Team

Meet the Author

Marcello Gortana
Executive Director

Working with business leaders to leverage design and technology to make change within their organizations.

Symon Oliver
Design Director

10 years in design, focusing on research, digital consulting, and leading digital projects at Tennis.

Related Insights

Check out some related insights.

All Insights
All Insights