Is our Service Design work more intuition or data driven?

Insight Clash is a free-of charge event organized by PTBRiO (Polish Association of Market and Opinion Researchers ) located in Warsaw city in Poland. It aims to clash different, sometimes contradictory opinions. This time the room was full of designers as the topic considered mostly them. We explored one question: Intuition or data – how to make a decision in the area of design? Three presenters shared their opinions: Katarzyna Gawlik (Experience Design Manager at Deloitte Digital CE), Marcin Zaremba (Chief Product Officer at Synerise), Katarzyna Młynarczyk (CEO of Socjomania).

I will share with you main insights.

Katarzyna Gawlik was very into research and collecting data. She explained design process by Gartner graph joining design thinking, lean startup and agile approach for MVP production.

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She understands important role of data collection and research throughout the design process.

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Depending on the stage of the process she recommended the following research approach:

In the Ideation phase, research should be:

  • Representative ( quantitative)
  • Differentiated ( qualitative)
  • Wide scope
  • In-depth

Then, in the Design phase, research should be :

  • Quick and frequent
  • Sufficient not extensive
  • Cheap e.g. corridor test in your company

Finally, in the Development phase, it is believed that research is no longer needed as everything has been already tested, but it is a trap which we should avoid. Research in this phase should be:

  • Constant
  • Inexpensive

Marcin Zaremba represented quite a contradictory approach. He opened my mind towards the advantage of more intuitive thinking. His definition of intuition as unconscious data shed a different light on this phenomenon.

He raised an interesting perspective that “we don’t know how much of reality we’re modelling in the system” and that’s why we cannot base our judgements only on what is visible or possible to catch straightaway. His topic of speech was, “what data does not tell you”:

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If we based our work only on data, in Africa there would not be a mobile market. The research conducted before mobile companies invested there said that nobody used phones. Intuition was needed in this case.

As Robert Trivers, American sociobiologist, said: “we hide reality from our conscious minds to better hide it from onlookers”. The only part of us which has access to reality is  our intuition. We will never be able to experience reality consciously so no research will provide us believable data.

What is more, taking into consideration the true needs of the consumer as the Human Centered Design approach assumes, we would need to create only products/ services which are free-of-charge and work for its users exactly as they want it to. It would also be easy and fast to use. But in reality no company can provide all of it. We are hypocrites and we need to admit it ☺

What is the solution?

First use intuition, then data.

In practice it may mean, first do qualitative research, then quantitative.

Finally, these are the books Marcin recommends:

Katarzyna Młynarczyk, showed the role of data in the design process, sharing her interests in netnography – the ethnographic online research technique used to understand social interactions created by Robert Kozinets.

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This is how, the authors speaks about the method itself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8axfYomJn4

Kasia proposed to use netnography as a tactic/ framework in design process:

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Here is the translation of the text in the picture above:

Combination – tactical use of data:

Attitude -> Design Thinking/ System Thinking

Methodology/ Strategy ->

Zrzut ekranu 2019-04-09 o 22.27.40

Framework/Tactic -> Netnography

An additional takeaway of the event was a Mentimeter tool which allows event participants and organizers to exchange ideas anonymously in the form of an online survey with results available in real time.

The organizers asked us a question via this tool at the beginning of the event and repeated it at the end, comparing the results. The question was: Data or Intuition? How to make a decision in the area of design.

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At the end of the meeting, data was still the dominant response but the percent of votes for intuition increased significantly.

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And what about you, is using data more important in decision making? Or is it intuition? Let me know in the comments ☺

 

What I stole from Marc Stickdorn

Event: The 12 Commandments of Service Design by Service Design Network Finland & Service Design as a Tool of a Consultant by myself

Time: 1.2.2019, 18-20 & 15.2.2016, 16-17

Place: Gofore Oyj, Urho Kekkosen katu 7B & Fraktio, Antinkatu 1

Fraktio does many wonderful things and one of those is Perjantaipresis, an event open for anybody to listen to presentations by talented people from various fields. I got the honour to speak about service design there, and since I didn’t want to copy all the service design presentation I’ve seen during this past year, I decided to talk about something I know, i.e. what does it require to utilize service design as a consultant.

I had my presentation pretty much planned and ready, when, two weeks before my presentation, I got the chance to meet my service design guru, Marc Stickdorn, at an event organized by SDN Finland and Gofore. I listened to him sharing his thoughts about service design and the 12 Commandments, and after the presentation all I could think about was “he actually said exactly the same things I’ve been thinking about”. So, on I went with adding some #StickInHel quotes to my presentation.

 

I started from bottom with “It’s all services”. You can’t access a product without touching the services around it, and you can’t offer a great customer experience without aligning the layers around your core offering.

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12. It’s all services.

The next commandment that suited my presentation was “Zoom in & zoom out”. As a service designer you need to both focus on the tiniest details and understand the big picture.

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11. Zoom in & zoom out.

I wanted to emphasize that service design is more about the right mindset than the processes and tools. As Marc said, we are not designing in order to create beautiful journey maps. So, the next commandment that I wanted to include in my presentation was “It’s not about the tools, it’s about changing the reality”.

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9. It’s not about the tools, it’s about changing reality. (And that’s not a walnut but the brain.)

I skipped a few commandments until I found the next one prefectly suiting my needs. Service design is probably 80% about figuring out the problem and 20% about solving it, since the more you know about the problem, the less options you have for the solution. So, “find the right problem before solving it right”. However, as a consultant you need to solve the problem your customer pays you to solve – or convince them that it might not be the problem the actual users would need to get solved.

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6. Find the right problem before solving it right.

As a consultant doing service design you need to accept the fact that the resources – money, time, people – are limited. But even as a service designer you can’t iterate to infinity being all “yes, and”. At some point you need to start doing some “yes, butting” and let go of some ideas. “Yes, and” takes you to new places and should be used before “yes, but”, but the latter is important as well if used wisely.

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5. Yes, but… & Yes, and… For a consultant, it is important to decide which cup to fill first and make sure the customer understands what it means to the end result.

Finally, I pondered the role of service designer and who can and should do service design. I came to the same solution as Marc that in the end, as a service designer “you are a facilitator” who knows a bit of everything but more importantly brings together the people who really know about something.

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3. You are a facilitator.

To me, service design is common sense that everyone can utilize, but if you want to succeed there should always be a purpose for it.

You can listen to my full presentation (in Finnish) through this link: https://fraktio.fi/perjantaipresikset/palvelumuotoilu-konsultin-tyokaluna/

I hope you enjoy it!

More information and ideas:

http://www.marcstickdorn.info/

https://www.service-design-network.org/chapters/finland

https://gofore.com/en/home/

Co-creating a City Family Centre

Kallio Family Centre Workshop for Residents
28.1.2019 Caisa Cultural Center, Leipätalo, Helsinki

For some time already, I have been interested in how the residents of Helsinki are engaged in developing the city and city services. I have participated e.g. in the Participatory Budgeting planning sessions targeted for the residents in November 2018. This time, I attended a workshop for co-developing the Kallio Family Centre, which will be opened in the summer of 2019.

The future Centre will offer a variety of services under the same roof for families with children, e.g. maternity and child health services, home services, social work and speech therapy and physiotherapy. In the service offering,  early support for the families is  emphasized, but the support covers the whole period of family life and the many challenges it might face. The idea is, that also other service providers can offer their services in the Family Centre according to the customers’ needs, such as adult social work or adult mental disorder services. The intention is to strengthen the cooperation with different organizations also offering services for families with children. Thus, the inter-occupational teams are the basis of the operations of the Kallio Family Centre. In addition, the digital services are in focus to be developed.

The Centre is also meant to function as an open meeting point for families with children of the area. The facilities are planned to be open also during the evening time and weekends to enable different activities and gatherings, organized also by the residents. There will be a café-like space and several spaces for team work and gatherings. In the Family Centre project customers have been placed in the center, and the services and the space solutions are aimed to be designed from this perspective. Regarding this project, at least one workshop engaging residents has been organized, in May 2018. According to the City of Helsinki, about ten residents attended the the workshop where e.g. the visual look, waiting rooms/spaces, and furniture were discussed.

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The workshop was held in Caisa Cultural Center and the fascinating facilities of Leipätehdas in Sörnäinen.

The workshop I attended on January 28, 2019, was named as “Kallio Family Centre Workshop for Residents” (in Finnish: “Kallion perhekeskuksen asukastyöpaja”). When arriving at the workshop space, I noticed that around 20 people were there, and I thought great, people have found the event! However, it turned out that there were only two of us, who were representing the residents. The other participants were from the City of Helsinki or the third sector organizations who are, or could be, somehow involved in the Kallio Family Centre project or operations. So, the purpose of the workshop did not quite have the preconditions of being successful in terms of engaging the residents of the area. However, all the participants were very enthusiastic about the workshop.

The three-hour workshop was divided in two sessions. In the first session we ideated individually activities the Family Centre should offer using post-it notes. Then, we discussed the ideas in groups of 3-4 persons and selected max 5 most inspiring ideas. Then we shared the ideas among the participants and the facilitator wrote the ideas on a flip chart.

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After the ideation session, we had to select one of our ideas to elaborate further during the coffee break. We had to use an experience map, or matrix, in developing the activities. The matrix made us think about the customer experience and journey before, during and after the activity. We had to consider, for instance, what what inspires the customer or what kind of expectations he/she might have.  In addition, we had to describe what happens from the arrival to the end of the activity, and what kind of features would make the experience good or bad. We were able also to use pictures from magazines, draw, or whatever we thought would help to communicate our ideas.

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After working on the ideas for 30 minutes, we shared them in front of the others in the form of four-minute pitch explaining the flipchart sheet.

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As the initial ideas of the groups were written down on a flip chart by the facilitator, and we got to pick the idea for elaboration in our groups without sharing them with the other groups, many similar ideas were selected, and the ideas overlapped quite a lot. Basically, all the ideas that were developed further were initially from the same root idea, a themed peer activity group meeting. However, different perspectives emerged, and that particular idea was elaborated further.

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However, it was a bit shame that there were only two customer representatives. The service providers, or the people who are involved somehow in the project, tend to keep in mind the limitations and restrictions they have at the moment, which narrows their perspective.

There might be many reasons for the fact that so few residents attended the workshop. However, this example shows again the importance of the recruitment and communication of open co-creative workshops, which aim to empower citizens. It is of utmost importance to find the right and functioning recruitment channels, start the communication early enough to reach the residents/customers, not to mention how to ensure that not only the most active residents are participating the events.

Unfortunately, it is often discovered, that co-creation is not easy. It is rather slow, and it is costly – but still, it needs to be practiced if the service development aims to be customer-centric. It is easy to put a “check” on the “Engage residents/customers” box in the strategy and project plan, and not to worry about who attended or if the residents/customers were involved at all.

It is great to notice that the City of Helsinki is putting a lot of effort in participatory decision-making and involving citizens in developing the city services. I hope that the Kallio Family Centre project will continue engaging residents and other stakeholders in the last phases of the project, as well as after the Centre has opened its doors. It’s the only way to go, if wanting to make a difference in the service offering and the way the Centre operates.

 

Latest Trends of Destination Marketing

Digital Tourism Think Tank – #DTTT2018
Helsinki, Bio Rex 29.-30.11.2018

I visited one of the most intriguing events in the traveling field the Digital Tourism Think Tank 2018 last November. Helsinki had the honor to host around 300 participants from all over the world in the event held in fabulous Bio Rex facilities.  #DTTT global is a perfect place to track where about traveling field and destination marketing is now and what the future holds for them.

Personally, I have been working in the traveling field altogether for more than 7 years. Surprisingly, traditionally, the field has not presented the sharpest end of digital and technological development, not to mention service design or design thinking. In my opinion, the field has been rather slow in adapting to the changes and disruptions that take place faster and faster. Due to my maternity and student leave, I had not been attending this event in two years. Now I noticed, that quite a lot had changed since the year 2015.

Many interesting keynotes were presented the day I attended the two-day event: Finnair, Finavia, Australian Tourism Data Warehouse and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) such as Visit Finland, Visit Dubai and Wonderful Copenhagen. They all had their interesting cases, but it would be useless trying to describe them all. What I was after, were the latest trends in the traveling field that would emerge through the inspirational cases and viewpoints.

#DTTT2018 keywords (by the author):
open data, APIs, ecosystem, platforms, seamless customer experience, experience economy, feelings, passion, co-creation, sharing, sustainability, good content

When looking at the keywords I spotted in the event, it seems the traveling business is not anymore that far away from design-led business and innovation approach. Open data, data collaboration and open API’s (Application Program Interface) were emphasized in several occasions to be the key in managing travel experience and offering a seamless customer experience.

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Also Finavia’s Eero Knuutila talked about “API economy”.

Visit Finland has started a large-scale project in data collaboration among the traveling business operators, and the Australian Tourism organization has even a specific Tourism Data Warehouse which collects, manages and shares all the relevant information regarding their business. Most importantly, as Visit Finland’s Kaisa Kosonen stated: “attitudes towards sharing have changed during the last years”.

“Attitudes towards sharing have changes during the last years.”
– Kaisa Kosonen, Visit Finland

This has been a very important step in going to the direction where sharing is viewed more advantageous that keeping information for competitive reasons and trying to do everything alone. Also, the limited budgets several DMOs unfortunately have, certainly have encouraged in taking a new direction in this sense.

Almost in every speech the word “platform” was mentioned, and in many also “ecosystem”. As Finnair’s Kristiina Kukkohovi captured, “digitalization is not about apps and channels but ecosystems and platforms”. The sharing approach has led to the inclusive approach of different actors which form the ecosystem of a good service selection to the traveler. Now, every DMO wants to offer a platform which offers and/or gathers good content and where all the customers, potential and existing, can connect to before, during and after the visit. Some of them have succeeded better than others, and I am very happy to notice that Helsinki Marketing’s MyHelsinki service in top-notch in this category. A service that is referred to by the most impactful DMOs and traveling field actors.

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Tia Hallanoro from Helsinki Marketing presenting the customer journey of a Helsinki visitor.

It is a known fact that feelings and passion are related to traveling ever since it has become a leisure activity. What is new, is that now marketing strategies and even business cases are built on feelings and experiences, such as the new service developed by Finnair, which promotes and sells experiences to their visitors. Also, “customer experience” was mentioned several times during the day. A seamless customer experience is something that the DMOs and other travel operators are reaching for by new means.

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Finnair’s Kristiina Kukkohovi explaining how happiness can be digitalized.

Some of the DMOs are already using co-creation as a means to develop the experience. And at least one of them even has a clear design thinking approach to their entire strategy, like the example of Wonderful Copenhagen, the DMO of Copenhagen.

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Have you ever thought about the locals being the most important factor in the traveling experience for visitors? I haven’t, or at least not in this scale that Wonderful Copenhagen presented. There has been, and still is, a hype around live-like-a-local phenomenon. Many DMO’s, including Visit Helsinki, has put into use the knowledge the locals possess and used that in marketing. Local experiences interest even more visitors, rather than famous monuments or big attractions.

What Wonderful Copenhagen inspirationally pointed out, was that the locals do not live in a destination but in a city. They also suggested that instead of asking what locals can do for you, ask what you can do for locals. They consider locals strategically important factor in the customer experience of visitors. Therefore, it is rightful to ask what tourism can do for locals.

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The background for this kind of thinking comes from over-tourism, which many popular cities and countries as destinations have faced. Amsterdam is one of them, and Copenhagen has faced similar challenges. In a rather small city, the growing number of visitors want to visit exactly the same places at the same time, such as the Little Mermaid, Anne Frank’s house, etc. This has led even to strategies which drive visitors away from these super attractions, even in the outskirts of the city.

Wonderful Copenhagen has valiantly stated that tourism is not a goal in itself for them, but as a means to develop the city. This is their strategic choice, and recently they introduced their new strategy “Tourism for good”.

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This example leads us to perhaps the most important keyword the emerged in the event: sustainability. The traveling field and DMOs are facing perhaps the biggest disruption ever come to their way, which comes alive in such phenomena like over-tourism and people’s changing traveling behaviors, especially linked to flying. This is something which the DMOs still have a very different approach to.

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Visit Dubai announced that they want to grow the number of visitors because they have the infrastructure to support it. Whereas Helsinki Marketing clearly stated that Helsinki seeks “not quantity, but quality in growth”. And then there is Wonderful Copenhagen which bases their entire tourism strategy on sustainability. Clearly, this is the theme that will be, or at least it should be, grasped immediately in the traveling field and destination marketing organizations.

It remains to be seen what the #DTTT2019 will present for us in this sense. And it remains to be seen how, or if, the DMOs will apply design thinking or service design more into their business operations. If you are interested in traveling, and it is in any way possible for you, I recommend attending the next event which will be held in Espoo somewhere around late November this year.

Laura Saksala

Can Design Solve Everything?

Design Forum Talks: Design, Value and Meaning
Valkoinen Sali 28.11.2018

In late November 2018, I attended a seminar organized by Design Forum Finland, which, once again, discussed design and its overarching possibilities in solving complex problems in business, innovation and life in general. Many interesting keynotes were expected, such as Berlin-based phi360 consultant Arndt Pechstein’s “Hybrid Thinking” as well as cases such HEI School, which has successfully combined design and pedagogy. Yet, some very familiar topics and aspects were presented in the agenda: e.g. “Human-centric Design and Value”, “Designing Impact” and “Design Methods Supporting Social Innovation”.

Ville Tikka, the Strategic Director at Wevolve, described how the society has evolved from the 1950’s to 1980’s modern society to the post-modern society (1980’s-2000’s) and further to post-contemporary society (2010’s and onwards). In modern society, it was viewed that the world functioned like a machine and the “truth” could be found. Design was about designing products. In the post-modern society, the knowledge was critically questioned, and the world was viewed as socially constructed and where design created services. Whereas now, from the 2010’s onwards, the post-contemporary society is being viewed as a complex system of systems where design creates platforms.

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This complexity, as we know, makes planning extremely difficult and constitutes new challenges to overcome. As the problems are more complex and wicked, new ways of solving them are needed. As witnessed in this event, today, it is even more common to argue that design can solve many of these problems.

Many brilliant services and solutions embracing human needs and building on empathy were presented, and human-centric approach in designing services was emphasized.

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One of the most inspiring ones was the case of HEI Schools, a pedagogic concept which brings the Finnish preschool system to the whole world. An exiting example of what designing is capable of when practiced carefully and when it is guided by a clear vision and based on in-depth knowledge.

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Pechstein’s keynote about “Hybrid Thinking” was an extremely interesting way of seeing business design of the 21stcentury. It is described as “a combination of the four most powerful approaches of innovation and change management”: Agile/Design Thinking, Biomimicry, Neuroscience and Circular Design and Platform Business Modeling. Basically, Hybrid Thinking puts together different elements of thinking and doing, and intuition is embraced  to achieve trust, loyalty, and emotions. Biomimicry utilizes the power of evolution by mimicking nature in designing solutions. This was something new and interesting, I recommend watching his keynote on Youtube.

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While design as an approach to solve complex problems in people’s lives was presented from many different viewpoints and through various small or large-scale service or business solutions, the big questions were existent and discussed by many of the speakers. It was stated that “design should be everywhere” and that “design should be part of each and every work place, not just a separate department in an organization”. “Design affects everything what is done and how is it done” and that “systemic thinking should come actionable”. “Creativity is in all of us and it should be nurtured”, “and that “human being is the creative, innovator and visionary not only professional designers”. It was also suggested that “we should come out of the concept of design” because “that is also one silo”.

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My question is, how is this achieved? How can we extend design approach throughout our organizations and even stretch it to the level of strategy and leadership? How can we make everyone a visionary, innovator and creative, even those who do not have a slightest idea of design thinking or service design?

These questions are relevant in order to one day reach these declamatory visions, while the ordinary worker still seems quite small and unaware of these great plans and possibilities design hold. Even our managers and leaders have not all assimilated the idea of design as an enabler, let alone to conduct business.

Recently, it has been academically argued that the hype surrounding the concept of design thinking has resulted in a need to understand its core essence. It also has been argued that the concept is vague and that the effectiveness of the approach is unclear. (e.g. Hassi & Laakso 2011, Johansson & Woodilla 2010) Two separate discourses on the topic of design thinking have been identified: the “design discourse” and the “management discourse” the first having a history of about 50 years focusing on the cognitive  aspects of designing (“the way designers think as they work”) and the latter appearing around the change of the millennium which regards design thinking as “an overarching method for innovation and creating value” and focuses on the need to improve managers’ design thinking skill for better business success. (Hassi & Laakso 2011, 2) It is also argued, that the management discourse lacks empirical evidence on the usefulness of design thinking and that it’s not linked to a theoretical base. (Hassi & Laakso 2011)

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As service design students, it may be useful to acknowledge this ongoing academic debate around the concept of design thinking (if not familiar yet) and about the lack of academic evidence on the effectiveness of design thinking. This debate came into my mind when going back to these pleasant and declarative visions of design (thinking) taking over in every organization and in society heard in Design Forum Talks event.

To conclude, we do not know if design can solve every wicked problem in this everchanging world. Furthermore, there is a long way of making an ordinary manager a design thinker, innovator and visionary. However, design (thinking) indeed has the characteristics and capabilities built in to have the potential in drastically changing the course of thinking and doing things in the society – also in doing business.

All the keynotes can be watch on the Design Forum Finland website.

Laura Saksala

References

Hassi, L. & Laakso, M. 2011. Conceptions of Design Thinking in The Design and Management Discourses. Open Questions and Possible Directions for Research. Conference Paper. Proceedings of IASDR2011, the 4thWorld Conference on Design Research, 31 October – 4 November, Delft, the Netherlands.

Johansson, U. & Woodilla, J. 2010. How to avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water: An ironic perspective on design thinking, strategy, and innovation. 8thEuropean Academy of Design Conference: April 1-3, 2009, Lisbon, Portugal.

Designers share – part 3: Open sessions at Service Experience Camp 2018

By Ninja Fedy

After introducing the Service Experience Camp 2018 in a blog post earlier I am now sharing insights from a few open sessions I attended at the event.

Session 1: Design Sprints 

This session was meant for those who had already facilitated design sprints “the Google way” and was hosted by one of SXC organisers, Manuel Großmann. We shared insights from design sprints we had run in very different settings, issues we had faced, how we had solved them and if we hadn’t, others could suggest their solutions to overcome certain challenges with the process.

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I was able to share learnings from design sprints I have run as I have facilitated them in a variety of settings including both public and private sector and many kinds of problem areas. Participants mentioned hacks such as:

  • Incorporating relevant data of customer segments and persona cards into the first day of the sprint
  • Starting the day with a short presentation on key insights from data (in the original sprint process customer insights are only included in the form of short expert interviews during the first day).
  • Doing a podcast after a design sprint to share the learning in an easy way

Other valuable tips can be found in these photos:

Session 2: Fighting mental shortcuts by other mental shortcuts?

This session was a mix of a lecture and group work about three mental shortcuts that cause biases in the design process. These biases were confirmation bias, the bandwagon effect and the Ikea effect.

During the group work we discussed how these biases could be avoided and prepared a short presentation about our topic, the bandwagon effect, for the others.

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Photo by Silviu Guiman

Bandwagon effect is a very common bias, often prevalent in focus groups or basically any group decision situation. It’s that “if everyone supports it, then it must be right” thinking that often leads to people sticking to the status quo or choosing an option just because more experienced people around them choose it even though they actually think that another option is better. This is why I personally use a lot of silent brainstorming exercises, silent voting and silent commenting – these facilitation methods are actually also used during the above-mentioned design sprint process.

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The presenter slides – including the group work canvases and a few informative slides – can be found on Slideshare.

Here are a few of the workshop cards:

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Session 3: Listen like a poet

“If you’re an amazing listener, people will tell you secrets. As a service designer, finding out the secrets of service experiences enables you to craft delight.”

My favourite session was this one by Frankie Abralind, an experience designer from Sibley Memorial Hospital. He was also one of the keynote speakers but in his open session he talked about his passion rather than his everyday work.

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Photo by Silviu Guiman

Frankie’s passion is to delight others – especially terminally ill patients at the hospital – with poems that he writes on spot with an old-school typewriter based on stories people tell him. Frankie has already started a movement with this work that once began with a “Free custom-made poems” sign in the hospital cafeteria and a few patients that came to him who were deeply touched by his poetry.

What made Frankie’s session so good were not just his amazing presentation skills but also the fact that we could see that he was very moved by his encounters with the patients and that he wants to share his skills – listening and writing – with people who need them the most.

Frankie urged us all to spend more time listening instead of talking and to give some of our time to listen to those whose voices don’t often get heard.

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Frankie has done some videos of good and bad listening to showcase how important it is to really listen, you can watch them on Vimeo.

Read more about Frankie’s movement at: poetsinresidence.org and at: freecustompoetry.org

Photos by Ninja Fedy if not stated otherwise.

From a maze into a daze

Towards solutions via co-creation

 

On December 11th I attended an event called Redi*: Towards Solutions, in Redi*’s Vapaakaupungin Olohuone. Vapaakaupungin Olohuone is a open space for everyone who wants to hold an event, a workshop or just to be. It’s possible to organize events for free as long as they are free for everyone who participates. In this particular event was citicens, students, designers and Redi* workers who wanted to improve Redi*s services.

 

In the beginning of event the Director of Retail Consepts Patrick Sjöberg greeted us and explained that Redi* wants to be a place to meet friends ans spend time, not only for shopping. They hope to create a customer journey that is enjoyable and seamless. After Sjöbergs appearance Putte Huima from Palmu opened the concepts of this evening and why we all were there. Redi* is the latest addition to Helsinki’s shopping mall scene and it opened it’s doors in September 2018. According to the managers and designers Redi* is a wholesome concept, not just a shopping mall for shopping purposes. In addition to the physical spaces and shops Redi* also consists of interaction and encounters between people. Also the renters have their own goals, targets and numbers too that modify the needs of the Redi* concept.

 

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The beginning journey for Redi* hasn’t been as fair passage that everyone had hoped
though. This commercial centre has received quite a lot qritique from the customers and the renters.  The previous Director of Retail Concepts and the Main Architect were aware of the maze like appearance of Redi*. Later the Director of Retail Consepts got fired.

 

 

 

Related to this design process Palmu has started their own work that led to this event. They have even wrote a blog post about the designs of shopping malls that received an immediate response from Helsingin Sanomat in a form of follow up article.

 

Key learnings

The idea of this workshop was to create ways to ease the navigation process and help people to understand the whole concept of Redi*. In the next chapters I will try to unfold the things that I took up from the event.

Firstly, this event reminded me of that how important the right indicators are when you collect data in the beginning of a design process. Right numbers from rightly chosen variables can give you the crucial information for you to find out the problem at hand. Putte Huima and Tomasz Tracewski from Palmu explained us how they have used multiple different measurements and data collection methods to get enough information about the case they are dealing with.

 

Palmu uses double diamond method generally and in this case they have approached the situation in a form of design sprint. Palmu connects user experience with business measurements in aim for the right balance and better services. In this case they have collected information about peoples experience on how easy it is to patronise and navigate in Redi. They have done interviews with people about how easy they experience Redi to be, calculated info stand’s diverse questions, find out NPS’s and CES’s.. On the other hand they have calculated pure visitor numbers, because Redi expects to have over 30 000 patrons monthly. So fas the number has been around 20 000/month.

 

Second notice for me was that a lot of the times the issue is not about the design itself but the people using the service. One has to keep in mind at all times that to whom the design is made and why. Reima Rönnholm explained us that the problem might not be about the physical guidance itself but more about the doing business in Redi in general. People desire experiences that they are familiar with, can predict, sense feeling of the control and feel stressfree. In addition that one should be get things done in Redi, the experience ought to simultaneusly feel nice and hopefully rewarding.

 

Lastly and most surprisingly I learnt that co-designing process can be transferred into a competition! Instead of actually starting co-designing workshop in the end, Palmu revealed a competition regarding the matter at hand.

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More information about the competition you can read from below. Dead line is January 31st so everyone still has time to attend!

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The schedule for the competition.

 

 

The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional

 

More info and ideas:

 

https://www.redi.fi

https://ratkaiseredi.fi