Future Service Design: Designing Solutions for Systemic Problems

What kind of future is waiting for us service innovation and design students? How service design is transforming and what kind of skills are needed when working in the service design field in the future? These questions were discussed from several perspectives in the super interesting Palmu Society 10 + 10 event organized in Tennispalatsi.

Many interesting points were pointed out  from new job descriptions to how companies should organize themselves in such way that creativity is easy to release to pace up innovation. Perhaps the most relevant takeaway was that service design is “scaling up” from improving existing single services designed for the obvious user, and that it is going beyond the mere interaction of people and services. Due to the shift in focus, also the designing will change.

IMG_3175

From designing services to changing people’s behavior

When exploring future service design challenges, we are merely not talking about improving the quality of single services. In future, service design will be solving more holistic problems and tapping into systemic changes that require changing people’s behavior. As good services are already mainstream (a fact that rightfully can be argued by many), service design in moving from designing services to designing people’s behavior. In the future, service designers are designing solutions to societal issues of larger scale, for instance immigrants’ adaptation to a new country or helping people to survive exhaustion. In many cases, there are no services yet to improve, so they need to be innovated and designed.

IMG_3179

When designing solutions to societal issues, there is always also business potential to be discovered. It is about finding the link between changing behavior, new habits and business. One fictional example showcased how a health care business could partner with a gym and together they create business opportunities when tapping into the exhaustion problem.

New KPIs and even deeper customer insight to support “super moments”

When dealing with more more holistic and systemic problems with the aim of changing human behavior, the objectives and goals of a design process also change. The KPIs should be connected to the change of people’s behavior rather than the mere interaction between the customer and the service. Therefore, more attention should be put into getting even deeper customer insight, when trying to understand people’s behavior and reasoning as well as trying to find ways how to support that change.

For instance, when solving problems regarding people’s exhaustion, service designers should go way deeper in people’s behavior, to go in the homes and dig into the daily life of the exhausted people in order to be able to find ways to change people’s behavior – and eventually find (business or humanitarian) solutions for those problems. Somehow this did not sound so alien to me as a service innovation and design student at Laurea. But I guess, in practice, getting truly deep customer insight can be easy to overlook by the clients as it is very time-consuming and expensive.

The concept of “super moments” was mentioned several times playing the most important role in understanding the customer. A “super moment” is the point where the behavioral change can be accomplished and when a person is finding and adapting a new thought. People need support in taking a new direction, and service designers need to find the tools for them. This will also have an effect on the actual designing of a service. It will be further explored, how new technology and AI, such as machine learning, can be used to support the “super moments”.

Johannes
Picture: Palmu

New Skills are Required from Service Designers

As service design, or whatever this field will be called in the future, will go even deeper in the people’s behavior and reasoning, and new technology such as AI will be utilized more and in more creative ways, new skills are required from service designers. When technology is exploited even more, there will be even more need for people who are dealing with the technology.

For instance, it needs to be carefully considered which tasks can be given for algorithms to solve and how the machines and AI need to be “taught” and “coached” how to see and understand human behavior. This can only be done by people. Even more skills from different fields such as psychology, behavioral sciences, ethnography and technology, but also business skills are even more required in the service design field. Service designers will specialize more, one good example is the trendy “business designer” job title.

IMG_3192The result of voting the future job titles in the service design field.

***

The event got me thinking a lot about the issue of ethics when it comes to changing the human behavior. We, the future service designers and innovators, need to be even more aware of the motives that drive and biases that affect us, the design projects and the clients, as future service design will play an important role in making more impactful changes in the society, even changing culture.

UX and Service Design: are they essentially the same thing?

Since service design started gaining ground in business conversations, it is not rare to come across questions or comments like: “what do you mean by service?”, and “Ah, it’s basically UX design” or “Ok, but can you make wireframes?”.

In facts, considering the increasing intangibility of products in the digital age, the distinction between products and services nowadays is subject to frequent misunderstandings and many people, both design and non-design practitioners, struggle to see the differences between design disciplines like UX design or product design.

After seeing some patterns in these conversations, I got triggered to make some reflections on the role of service design in relation to other design disciplines, and particularly UX design, and I decided to share them on October 18th at one of Amsterdam’s most popular events in the design field, Ladies That UX.

This post aims as summarising my thoughts about this topic and share them with the dedicated and passionate network of Laurea SID students.

IMG_1724.JPG

A snapshot from my talk at Ladies That UX Amsterdam

Beyond tangibility

According to the World Bank’s World Development Indicators, nowadays the services sector accounts for almost 70% of global GDP, as in the index which is globally used to measure the market value of all the goods and services produced in a certain period of time. I find this pretty funny, considering that GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product, but also very representative of the world we live now.

In facts, whether we are aware of what a service is, services are all around us and we experience them everyday. And yet, the word “service” is still very little understood.

Back in time, the traditional distinction between a service and a product was seen as lying in physical evidence: as opposed to a product being something we can touch, smell, and see, a service is difficult to assess. Now, considering that in the digital age that distinction breaks down substantially, if nowadays our job as product designers, UX designers and service designers is about designing intangible experiences, are we essentially all doing the same thing?

My answer is no.

This is because the distinction between a product and a service goes beyond the physical aspect of the experience.

As opposed to a product being something that the customer purchases as a one-off, a service is an intangible experience characterised by an ongoing relationship with a service provider, who offers access to a solution that delivers value.

To put it in other words, the difference between a digital product and a service lies in ownership. If products, once purchased, are owned by the customer, services instead offer access to a solution without implying the ownership over it. Think about Spotify: it gives us access to a vast library of songs, and it’s no longer asking us to buy them one by one.

If we take the distinction in these terms, a service mindset doesn’t only lead to longer term, stronger relationship with customers but often also to a different business model. For these (and more) reasons, the design of a product (be it digital or analog) and a service require different focuses.

 

“A service is something that a customer uses but does not own.”

Mat Hunter, CDO at UK Design Council

 

What UXD and SD have in common

Now that we can agree upon the fact that these two disciplines have a reason to be called with different names, we should start from acknowledging that, as both falling under the design umbrella, they do have a few aspects in common.

1. Designing experiences

One of the reasons why the term user experience (UX) design can be confusing is that all design disciplines should be directed towards designing meaningful experiences. The distinction lies in the fact that some will have a strong focus on the digital environment, some will not.

2. Designing for people

Whatever the type of experience we are busy designing, the ultimate goal of both UX and Service (as well as other types of) designers is to make sure this experience adds value to someone’s life. We aim to understand our user’s needs and design solutions that will help overcoming their main challenges.

3 Drawing from similar tools and methods 

To address design challenges, we arguably go through the same creative process and draw from a very similar set of tools and methods. Whatever the design output, at the end of the day sketching, conducting surveys, facilitating workshops, and mapping stakeholder are our daily supper.

designforpeople

A summary of aspects Service and UX design have in common, from my presentation at Ladies that UX Amsterdam

Service-Design-UX-Design-Infographic-sml

A map of UX and Service Design tools by Clearleft

 

The main differences of a service design approach

In my experience, there are three main aspects that mark a different approach between Service and UX design.

1. Addressing the design challenge from a different height

The most fundamental difference between UX design and service design lies in the nature of the design problem that we are trying to solve. While UX designers typically zoom into designing very detailed experiences which are often confined to an individual “touchpoints” within a service, service designers zoom out and aim to understand the bigger picture.

2. Looking beyond and across single touchpoints

While service designers are interested in users’ experience of individual touchpoints, they are also interested in how those touchpoints are connected, how people interact with a service, and what the experience of that journey is. Provided that UX designers and service designers all start from asking themselves the same questions: “Who are we designing for?”,  “What are these people’s needs, goals, and ambitions?”,  UX designers will focus on identifying the most important tasks a user would want to complete within a website and an app, and turn them into a seamless digital experience. Service designers instead will look into the end-to-end experience across and beyond digital touchpoints. That could concern other touchpoints, the brand, and anything else that altogether forms an experience in the eye of the user.  

3. Bridging the voice of different stakeholders 

In UX design, when we talk about “users”, we are almost always talking about customers, or at least an end-user who will be experiencing the service. In service design instead, the approach is again a bit wider. As aiming to understand systems, or rather ecosystems, and connect products and services into a unique experience,  gather the experiences and needs of not only the customer, but also of other users behind the service visibility line, as in behind the front stage. They identify stakeholders and work together on both the customer side and service side to co-create possible solutions and service improvements. This is because the staff, as well as other possible stakeholders like suppliers and so on also interact with touchpoints and the quality of their experience using those touchpoints—as well as the ease of their own journey around the service’s “backstage”—will have a strong impact on the eventual quality of the customer experience.

differences

Another shot from my presentation at Ladies that UX Amsterdam, summarising how a service design approach differs from a UX design approach

 

UX and Service Design to improve patients’ experience across the health continuum

In the attempt to provide a practical example on how service and UX designers can and should collaborate to design greater experiences, I will share some insights on a project I am currently working on in the field of healthcare. In facts, services in the healthcare industry are systems where many stakeholders with different needs interact and share value one another, therefore requiring a thorough understanding of the context not only to deliver value to end users but to improve the experience of different players within the same ecosystem.

In this case, the project goal is to empower patients in having a better control on their health data and take a proactive role in their health management.  

Below a short summary of how we are addressing the complexity of the project from a service (and UX) design standpoint.

healthcontinuum

The health continuum, known as patient lifecycle

 

Designing beyond in-clinic experience 

Usually the peaks in a patient’s journey concern their clinical experience: in the best case scenario, that particular experience might involve professional trained staff, good and prompt communication with the patient, short waiting times etc. So, overall, a great experience. However, research shows that between one visit at the clinic and the next one, there seem to be experience gaps where patients have needs that are not catered to, such as feeling in control over one’s personal health status and being reassured. Essentially, in between one touchpoint and the other, there is often nothing in between. Building on this insight, our efforts are currently focusing on analysing the end-to-end patient journey, or life-cycle, to identify experience gaps and better frame unmet needs. We believe this will help building a solid baseline to support patients in being better informed and proactive about their health.

Identifying new opportunities by listening to different stakeholders’ points of view

 Starting from the fact that this project is aimed empowering people to take active ownership on their own health, one of the main goal we as a team have is to make sure people stay healthy. After starting from framing patients needs we figured out that, if we wanted to understand the context properly, we should not only look beyond touchpoint but also understand the perspective of different stakeholders who are part of this system. As an example, by including pharmacies in the conversation, we found out that people who are prescribed with medicines very often don’t show up at the pharmacy to pick up their drugs. This suggested that, even by designing a great in clinic and home-care experience, if we didn’t cross other (major and minor) stakeholders’ insights we would have failed, somehow, at reaching our ultimate goal and missed out on some good opportunities.

Aligning different visions through service design

When I started this project, it was already at an advanced development stage. On my first week, my team members shared a link to a high resolution interactive prototype of the service we were there to design. Though, as soon as I started reading documents and talking to other team members I figured that there were many contrasting opinions about what the service proposition would be about. People would stress different aspects of it, and as a result, give quite different definitions of the service value proposition. Hence, by zooming out from the digital prototype and taking some time to visually describe a patient’s experience, we brought together all team members and kicked off a conversation that eventually led to an alignment of different points of view. By taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, we are now more confident that the experience on and across touchpoints is clear and complete and that really meets users needs, other than business goals. And mostly, we figured that neither a UX design nor a service design approach wins over the other: in order to deliver an experience that is both good at a high and low level we simply need these two design disciplines to work hand in hand.

 

Fiamma Degl’Innocenti

 

Sources

World Bank, World Development Indicators, http://wdi.worldbank.org/table/4.2 

 

Designing social robots

Event: Social Robotics Breakfast

Time: 29.10.2018 klo 8.30-11.30

Place: Futurice, Helsinki

IMG_6640

Social Robotics Breakfast organized by Futurice brought together people enthusiastic about robots, design and plentiful breakfasts, so no wonder I was there as well.

Introduction to Social Robotics

The morning started with a panel discussion about social robotics. The panel consisted of human experts involved in social robotics research as well as Momo the Robot – Futurice’s very own social robot used for experimenting the different aspects of social interaction between people and robots. I had seen videos of Momo before and I knew that there’s a human behind the screens making Momo talk, but seeing it live was still an interesting experience. I somehow felt like it was Momo speaking despite knowing it’s just a “robot-shaped loudspeaker”.

What is a Social Robot?

The panel started by defining a social robot as a robot whose main task is to interact with humans, which is why designing social robots should be human-centric, not technology-centric. Human-centricity tends to lead into designing human-like robots even though that wouldn’t be technologically reasonable. However, human-like robots are often perceived as “slightly weird humans” having their own personality and characteristics, which may lead into unrealistic expectations towards the robot. Social robot designers definitely need to think about how to set the expectations to correct level and clearly express what the robot is capable of.

The New Era of Robotics

According to the panel, a new era of robotics is about to begin. Robots are no longer restricted in the factories but operate among us, which means that a new social layer is needed to enable safe and comfortable interaction between humans and robots. Even the infrastructure may need to change to accommodate the needs of robots moving around. All this requires cooperation between engineers, designers, UX experts and other professionals. People have traditionally divided things into three categories: non-living things, living animals and humans. Ultimately this new era of robots could even lead into a fourth category of robots emerging.

Social Robotics in Health Care

Niina Holappa from Prizztech, Mika Koverola from the University of Helsinki and Minja Axelsson from Futurice shared their experiences from designing and researching social robots in health care.

Ethical considerations had a strong emphasis in all presentations during the day. With more traditional robots used in diagnostics and logistics or for clinical and rehabilitative purposes, the traditional etchical criteria such as safety and price are sufficient. However, with new types of social robots enabling telepresence, assisting and accompanying the patients, new considerations related to e.g. privacy, fear, affection and confusion need to be dealt with.

Overall the attitude towards health care robots of both the patients and the personnel is tolerant, but there are also worries. The biggest worries of the patients are the lack of knowledge and the fear of losing human contact, whereas the personnel is worried about being replaced with technology and not getting enough technical support.

Summarized, a social robot is ethical if it is supportive and can be used voluntarily.

Creating a social robot

IMG_6644

The event ended with a quick workshop where we got to design our own social robots with the help of Futurice’s Social Robot Design Toolkit. The toolkit consisted of different canvases that guided us from defining the user group and their needs to thinking about different problems and solutions as well as defining our design guidelines and finally creating the robot design MVP.

The canvases loosely followed the double diamond process, though we of course didn’t have time for actual research or user testing. There were also elements specific to robot design such as thinking about the sensors and communication technologies, and defining the possible problems and solutions also from the robot point of view. Also ethics were strongly present on almost each of the canvases.

IMG_6645IMG_6646

Our team came up with Bud – a personalized companion for kids with chronic diseases. Bud welcomes the kids in the hospital and supports them during their patient journey, maybe even turning the unpleasant hospital visits into something cool and enjoyable.

Due to the limited time reserved for the workshop we unfortunately didn’t have time to go through all the canvases properly. However, the process brings a nice human-centric touch to designing robots and I would definitely like to try it again – though as a M.Sc. in automation technology I would only use it as an additional thought provoker to the technical design.

More information and ideas:

https://www.futuricerobotics.com/

https://spiceprogram.org/other-encounter/

DASH 2018 – a walk-through

I had the pleasure of being a participant in this year’s DASH event. If someone doesn’t know what DASH is, it’s Europe’s largest design hackathon organized by a great team of volunteers and professionals. Aaltoes is a big part of organizing DASH as well as many other partners. DASH is not just an individual event, because this year they have also organized a couple of cool seminars before the actual hackathon.

The prep

The whole shebang with the main event kicked off in the prep event on september 29th.  Juska J. Teittinen gave us a great shove in the right direction with his speech on design and the design process.

dashprep5

We also got to hear which challenges we would be attending and I was super excited to be selected in EA’s game design challenge. My not so secret dream is to someday land an awesome job in the gaming industry, so this was a good start to learning more.

dashprep4.jpg

EA’s challenge was not an easy one though, because they wanted us to create a new category in the mobile games market or come up with a mobile game that would meet the needs of an underserved audience. We had the research period of approximately two weeks to look into the design problem and find information to help us solve it before meeting our teams on the first day of DASH.

DASH, day 1

dash8

Before meeting our teams and starting work on friday we listened to an awesome opening speech about designing for the future and the challenges we as designers face with the climate change and all of these big questions hanging over everyone’s head. We have the responsibility to start taking our designs towards more humanity-centered solutions.

dash1

Finally time to meet the team. We had an awesome and diverse team of 5 people. Two of the guys were studying computer science at Aalto, one guy was studying game design and other cool things in Aalto, I was studying for my MBA in digital services at Laurea and the other female besides myself was studying vehicle design in Lahti. We instantly hit it off great and had a relaxed atmosphere amongst the team during the weekend.

dash2

On Friday we spent a good amount of time getting to know each other and building up our team spirit. The rest of the time was spent going through thoughts and notions people had found during the research period and starting the ideation based on that. We were pretty scattered with our ideas on the first day, just freely throwing thoughts around and trying to map them out under some kind of headers to get some ounce of clarity.

DASH, day 2

dash3

On Saturday one of our team members had woken up with a clear idea on what would be a cool concept that would meet the needs of an underserved audience. To kick the day off right and get some focus we took the time to go through the top grossing and best selling genres on PC/Console/Mobile and see what the mobile market could pick up from the other platforms. We ended up with the survival genre and amongst the team was also noted that Little big planet-type DIY games were yet to make their big break on mobile (well, Minecraft is kind off diy-typey). So based on those two genres we did the crazy 8 ideation technique, which means that all team members came up with 8 ideas in 8 minutes on both genres. Then we placed our votes on which ideas we found most interesting.

dash6

After talking with the mentors from EA we decided to make a mash up of some ideas from both the DIY and survival genres and also develop further the idea of a DIY storytelling game one of our team members had. After further development within the team on the two ideas we placed a final vote and decided on the idea of a storytelling DIY game based on its uniqueness.

conterators

After deciding on our winning idea each team member started working towards the pitching taking advantage of their individual strengths. This part really rolled smoothly since one team member took initiative in making the prototype, our artist started working on the concept art and logo and the rest of us divided time on working with the pitch materials, the materials for our design process and contents for the prototype.

dash5

We heard a really helpful speech about pitching your ideas on Saturday and that eased our minds because we had a clear check list to follow when preparing our materials. I also wanted to get good tips for future reference, because pitching is something I think everyone could use learning.

DASH, day 3

contevalue

So come sunday morning we were well on our way to finishing our concept. I had the honor of pitching our design to the judges from EA. I had three minutes to go through our material and Izzan had two minutes to show the judges our prototype and we did great! Right on time and had good feedback on our pitch and on the unique approach we had to mobile gaming.

conte

We didn’t end up winning our challenge, but we were happy with the concept we created and the feedback given by the good folks at EA both on the pitching day and even afterwards. Thank you team Conte, thank you EA for the challenge and mentoring and thank you all the folks behind DASH for creating this awesome event.

dash7

Reflections

What would I do differently or what were the main takeaways from my very first hackathon

  1. Do your research – make use of the time between the prep event and the actual event to really dig deep on the challenge so you can start off right away with the insights
  2. Use ideation techniques – brainstorming is great, but to make sure you come out with something tangible use techniques from service design or any other good resource
  3. Focus on the problem – each step of the design process should take you closer to solving the right problem for the right focus group, never lose sight on your challenge
  4. Practice the pitch – make sure your materials are clear and cohesive so that they best support your pitch. Choose a person who is a natural speaker to present the idea
  5. Polish the prototype – make sure your concept is the best possible representation of the final product

Author, Laura Manninen

Dash 2018 Takeaways – How to Approach a Hackathon?

by Miikka Paakkinen

 

Last weekend I participated in the Dash 2018 design hackathon. During the event our team was challenged to design a new service business concept in less than 48 hours. The experience was wonderful, so I thought I’d share some key points on how to approach this type of a challenge.

IMG_5434

Point #1 – Keep the Pitch in Mind

 

  • To present a project, you’ll have to pitch it to your audience.

 

  • Having in mind what’s needed for a good pitch helps you define the key questions you need to answer during the project.

 

  • This helps you in choosing the way you work, the design tools you want to use, etc.

 

  • You might want to follow a design thinking model if a free-flowing way of working doesn’t feel natural to your group.

 

  • Here’s an example of a pitch structure that was suggested at Dash:

 

  1. Tag Line – The reason you exist for. Catch the interest of the judges.
  2. Problem – What is the problem you’re solving and who’s experiencing it?
  3. Solution – How are you solving the problem?
  4. Value – Why would someone give you money?
  5. Business Model – Who pays, how much, how often?
  6. Competitive Landscape – Map of competition + how are you different?
  7. Team – What’s your unfair advantage, why are you working on this problem?
  8. Traction – Why will it generate money, how much money per time unit?
  9. The Ask – What do you want from your audience?
  10. (Design Process) – This is specific to a design hackathon: you’ll need to be able to explain briefly how and why you got to your solution.

 

  • Points 2-5 are especially useful to keep in mind during the process. If you’re not solving a real problem that people face at a price they’re willing to pay while also generating profit, your project does not have real-world potential.

 

  • When it comes to the actual pitch, every second counts. If you’re lucky, you’ll have up to five minutes – use your time to deliver the essentials.

 

 

IMG_5446

Point #2 – Have Something Tangible to Show

 

  • It’s easier for your audience to understand your concept if you have something that in a very concrete way illustrates exactly how it works.

 

  • This could be, for example:
  •  
    1. Raw version of an app or software
    2. Interactive demo
    3. Animation of how your solution works
    4. Website
    5. Any sort of rapid prototype
    6. Video

 

  • This separates you from teams that have just a good concept or idea.

 

 

IMG_5451

Point #3 – Enjoy the Ride

 

  • Learn as much as you can from others.

 

  • Be open to new ideas and ways of working.

 

  • Don’t stress too much – you don’t have the time to achieve everything you want.

 

  • And most importantly: have fun with your new friends!

 

A big thank you to Aaltoes, the Dash crew and the challenge partners – see you again next year!

 

 

The author Miikka Paakkinen is an MBA student in Service Innovation and Design with a background in business management and information technology.

 


 

 

Design Sprint as Tool for Non-profits

By Salla Kuuluvainen

Last week I attended an event by Järjestöjen palvelumuotoilijat – Service Designers in Non-profit sector, an informal network by people who work in the NGO sector in Finland and are interested in service design. The event was organized by Kukunori, and organization that works with mental health and well-being.

00EACD4E-A86F-4C29-BAA3-8445733DC10E

Saara Jäämies illustrating her experiences with sprints.

The theme of the evening was Design Sprint and how that process can be used in the non-profit sector. Design Sprint process originates from Google, where it was developed by Jake Knapp, who now has his own agency GV. The GV site has great resources and videos regarding Design Sprints, and Jake Knapp’s book Sprint – Solve Problems and Test New Ideas in Just 5 Days gives a thorough explanation of the sprint process.

 

What Is a sprint?

I sprint, as I just learned in the event is a 5 day design process model that allows a team or company create and test new ideas fast, and within the 5 days arrive at a fairly well-developed concept. The GV website defines sprint as a ”five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.”

The sprint process in divided into days, which all have a specific outcome, e.g on Monday you start with defining a goal, learn more about the challenge and set targets, on a Tuesday you start to ideate solutions and recruit customers for testing, and so forth.

How Can You Use Sprint in Non-profit Organizations?

In the event we heard from three different kind of experiences with sprint: Milla Mäkinen told about their experiences in creating an inclusive strategy process for Kukunori, Saara Jäämies (also a service design student at Laurea!) told about experiences with using sprint in digital service design, and Nora Elstelä, Antti Haverinen and Hanna Jaakola told about their experiences with sprint process when starting a professional collaboration together.

Some takeaways from their experiences:

  • The design sprint process as itself is not very inclusive, since the customers are only included in process in the very end. For example Kukunori took their different stakeholders as full co-creators from the start of their process in order to have a really inclusive strategy. Most non-profits would like to co-design with their stakeholders and ”customers”, so it is a good idea to modify the sprint process in this regard.
  • When co-designing with a non-hierarchical collective, it’s good to take  into account the Decider role in sprint process, who usually is someone in the company leadership, and does not necessarily participate in the whole sprint. Who makes final decisions in the process?
  • The sprint in its original form is done in consecutive days, which can be difficult to organize in non-profit environments. Elstelä, Haverinen and Jaakola had experimented with a sprint which had some time days between the phases. They noticed that in this case it was important to use time in the beginning of each new sprint day to remember what happened the previous time, and use the same visualizations to help the memory.
  • Saara Jäämies remarked that the tools and methods in sprint process are especially good since they allow people to work both independently and in a group, thus allowing for different kinds of personalities to work together productively.

As a final takeaway I really loved the Kukunori space and it’s interior decoration with all kinds of quirky fun ways to visualize their strategy process and different team dynamics – I was a little surprised to find such a cool innovation space in the rather bleak suburb of Malmi in Helsinki. Good job for the interior, Milla Mäkinen!

 

 

 

 

Practise, practise, practise.

Michihito Mizutani from Siili Solutions held a short introduction to service design as a part of Design Track in School of Startups. Instead of inclusive theory lesson, he kept the workshop more hands on. His work history is strongly related to user experience and service design. Currently he is facilitating co-creation design workshops in different subfields such as Internet of Things, augmented reality, service design processes.

I enjoyed about having the opportunity to get hands on experience on different kinds of tools. I believe that practise is important in order to learn design process methods and facilitating workshops related in the matter. I also felt more confident after the workshop. Mizutani used a climbing metaphor to explain design process. You have a starting point and a goal where you want to go. The process happens in between and there is the work.

 

IMG_3733.JPG

The content of the workshop was well presented. After forming groups it was time to find a problem, create outcome (tomorrow headline) and between we used tools to solve the problem and figured out ways to illustrate and test the ideas. The problem ideating was well thought: first we all thought by ourselves general problems in everyday life and wrote them down to post it notes. After that we collected problems, clustered them and used three votes each to determine the ones that would proceed in the process. Common problems that got most votes were chosen to be worked with in teams. The reason I think problem ideating was well implemented was the level of work. Having common grounds helps the team to work with the solution. General identification is important because the team needs to be on the same page. In that sense problem finding was a good excerise.

 

Using tomorrow headlines, SAP scenes and Marvel POP for prototyping was good practise because you need to know the tools you use. It migh have been good to have a little bit more introduction to the tools, since some of us were using them for the first time. In order to use tools efficiently in short period time would require a short introduction to principles so that working would be more smooth.

 

 

For me the workshop gave opportunity to also reflect my skills as a facilitator and a member of a team. For example, I noticed that my team members had a little difficulty in defining the tomorrow headline in unison and what kind of prototype we would create. I tried to focus staying neutral and help teammates to collaborate. Some people have hard time to give up their initial idea when collaborating and co-creating. Making sure everyone gets heard isn’t easy, and I wanted to practise that also. It might have been good if the facilitator would have time to see each groups working process more. There were eight teams of three people going through the design process, which is a lot to juggle alone.

That juggling leads me to my key learnings when facilitating service design process. This workshop reminded me of my other course, where I’m currently planning and later executing a workshop. Some of these thing scame from this workshop and others are ideas that originated later. Firstly: timing. Timing is crucial factor for me when facilitating a design workshop. Having adequate time for all the steps in process ensures good results. Plannig tables according to aquired team sizes ready before the workshop, helps people to set up in the right places right away, so suffling tables around would’t be nececcary. In the beginning the whole group also might need support when narrowing down the options. For example  clustering might be done by facilitator to make things smooth. Clear instructions on diffecent phases are important, and I believe it is handy to leave them on display when working starts. People tend to forget easily.

For me it makes sense, that when organizing a design workshop, it might be a good idea to have two persons present. Then you have two sets of eyes and hands to help teams to work efficiently. Some teams need help from the facilitator in order to move forward. Having two people facilitating gives opportunity to keep everything in order: clear instructions, support for the teams, timing, handing out supplies etc. Nothing is more frustrating than running out of time just before it is time to present your results to the other participants. That would leave the workshop incomplete.

More info and ideas:

https://www.siili.com

http://www.servicedesigntools.org/tools/14

https://experience.sap.com/designservices/approach/scenes

https://marvelapp.com/pop/

 

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