A trip to the German SDN Chapter conference in Cologne showed that a national chapter is a great forum to share and gain service design knowledge close to home. It also brings local service design people together to share service experiences and ideas from business, academy and the design world. I had a special interest in visiting the conference as Laurea is planning to start the Finnish SDN Chapter this Fall.
The two and a half days offered a robust and fun package of service design knowledge in the form of presentations, workshops and casual networking. All activities were worthwhile but if I have to pick some highlights, they would need to be Fjord’s presentation on the transformative services – not only as one of the speakers, Melanie, is a student in our Service Innovation & Design master program but also because of its practical and appealing content – and Birgit Mager’s opening speech.
You can watch Birgit Mager’s inspiring speech at KISD (Köln Institute of Service Design) here: “From shareholder value to shared values” . In her speech she demonstrated that main statements like “Service Design growth has no value”,” Service Design is superfluous”” and “The customer is to blame” are very true statements as such. But with strategic service design the business can become more profitable in the long run and will create true value to multiple stakeholders.
Melanie Wendland and her colleague Nancy Birkhölzer from service design agency Fjord presented the next generation of services: transformative services. Most of us already have all our basic needs satisfied. Many of us are also getting our experimental needs adequately filled. Therefore, the modern customer /user is increasingly hoping for transformative services – services with a purpose. This will present a new challenge for service designer and developers as the services should allow the user to transform something. You can read Melanie’s and Nancy’s listing of eight criteria which together or in partial combinations can make the services transformative in Slideshare: transformative services.
Besides good topics, it was interesting to see that the whole seminar was run bilingually. Many speeches were given in English but German was also used in some presentations or parallel sessions. Whatever the national language, the language of service design sounds very similar: the aim of all service design people is to make services user-driven, easy and pleasant to use.
Tarja Chydenius / Laurea SID team