acidlabs Studios | We help people design smarter, more efficient and effective digital experiences and organisations
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by Design

We help people design smarter, more efficient and effective digital experiences and organisations

We have a small ambition: to make the world a better place. We think big to solve wicked problems.

Since 2006, we’ve worked with clients to help design, innovate, and build skills to make their organisations and digital experiences better.

Design games in Germany
NAA Social Archive workshop
Affinity mapping at the University of Canberra
Service design

Insights into the flow and model of your business to identify and fix the gaps and the blocks.

We will help drive change and design and build ser­vices that meet real needs and succeed in helping your organisation work better.

Customer experience design

Figure out the who, what, when, where, why and how of your customers and people.

We’ll help you understand the touchpoints your organisation has with everyone it reaches.

User experience design

Research and evidence-driven design for your service, policy, site or application.

We focus on human needs and goals to design experiences online and in the physical world.

Facilitation and workshops

Our workshops for groups from 5-100 teach skills and provide information and tools critical to innovation.

We provide design-led facilitation that offers interesting and effective ways of understanding your challenges.


How we work

We can’t and won’t try to give you all the answers. Unlike big consulting companies, we don’t give you a cookie cutter solution to your (and apparently everyone else’s) problems.

We design for people first. Everything else second.

Organisations we work with are better at what they do because we helped them design it that way – and they’re happier and more effective because of our work.

SAP design thinking Japan team

Some of the organisations we’ve worked with

Read more in our case studies.

About us

acidlabs Studios is different to most agencies.

We’re a small service design agency based in Canberra, Australia. We work with people around the world on solving complex problems, designing and building great policy, products and services, and building skills in thinking differently.

We put people at the center of what we do.

Our people help organisations and their people innovate and grow using design thinking, service design, customer and user experience design, and facilitation. We help create new, sustainable solutions to complex problems.

We don’t keep a large full-time staff. Instead, the projects we do gather teams from a range of small and independent organisations who best fit each project’s needs. They’re the best in the industry, and they gather to collaborate on your project. Most projects need a small handful of experienced specialists such as a researcher, a comms specialist, or a service designer. Other projects will gather a bigger team of people from juniors to industry veterans.

Stephen Collins is acidlabs Studios’ founder and director. Steve has nearly 20 years experience working in consulting, service design, user experience, and design thinking. For every project acidlabs Studios does, Steve uses his knowledge and connections in the industry to gather the perfect team, selected for your requirements. It’s a model that few others use, and the results speak for themselves.

Work with us

Do you have a design problem that needs a jumpstart? If you work at an organisation of any size that’s facing challenges with wicked problems, how your services should work, the way your organisation interacts with its customers, clients and its own people, we’d love to talk to you about how we can work together.

We do our best work when the organisations and people we work with are open to changing things for the better. We don’t breeze in and tell you how to fix things. We listen first. To staff across your organisation, and to your clients and maybe even to your competition. It may be that the janitor or the new hire actually has the perfect insight into the issue.

Even if you don’t have a project in mind we can help with, we’re up for brainstorming how we can work together.

Here are the kinds of projects we love to help with:

  • You want to understand how your services really work and if they’re working right. You’ve been doing what you do for a while, and you know it’s just not quite right. We’d love to be a part of helping you map and understand how your services work now, and helping you redesign and build new ways of doing business that are better and make people happier.
  • You need deep insights into your customers, suppliers or staff and their experience of working with you. Most organisations struggle to understand whether the way they interact with all the people that they come into contact with is working. We have helped a wealth of organisations gain insights and redesign the way they work with customers, clients, suppliers, and even their own people.
  • You want to do something new and want to build it right first time. Imagine getting your new idea up and running and knowing it was going to work out of the box. Our team can help with discovery, research, design, prototyping and user testing to make sure release day is your best day.
  • You want design and user experience as an important part of your project from Day One. Embedding design into a project from its earliest moments will make it stronger and offer better outcomes. We have many years experience serving as the design team on a range of projects.
  • You need a group, board, or team to think differently and need a catalyst for that. We’ve got a long history of being the catalyst or facilitator of design thinking in organisations and have travelled the world helping to make that a reality.

And, in the interest of saving us all some time, here are perfectly good reasons not to work with us:

  • You’re shopping around for the lowest price. We don’t compete on price. We don’t subscribe to market rates. Rather, we operate on value – that’s value realised by you from our work and the value we can provide. We work with every one of our customers to work out a price that’s right for both you and us. We’ll only take on work if we’re confident that it’ll make you more money than you’ll spend on us, so we want to make sure that the investment is worth it.
  • You need something done tomorrow. We’d never say never, but thinking about the kinds of problems you might have there are not likely to be quick answers so the chances of being immediately available are pretty small.
  • Your organisation has rigid contractual terms that are difficult to change. We think relationships should be mutually beneficial. We don’t want to be contractually locked into a specific way of doing and delivering our work that constrains our ability to help you in a creative way. We want the terms to be equally accommodating for both of us to feel excited about working together.
  • You need a local team onsite in your office for the entire project. By virtue of our model, our project teams are often distributed. It’s not unusual for a project to have team members spread across locations and time zones. All our collaborators know how to work well as a distributed team, which makes it all the more natural to work with customers that aren’t geographically close by. That said, we know that the distributed working style isn’t for everyone, and we do onsite work pretty often as a part of many projects.
  • You “just need wireframes”. If you have it all worked out already, we probably can’t add much value for you. We love helping our customers work through problems they can’t solve on their own.

If you’ve read this far, we think you’ll enjoy working with us, and you’ll like the way we do things. Drop us a line at and let us know what’s on your mind.

Get in touch

Phone +61 2 61003002