Service Design Breakfast

What is the Service Design Breakfast?

The Service Design Breakfast is a series of open talks by leading service design experts. All the Finnish service design community is welcome and the main communication channels for the talks are blogs from the Finnish Universities and Facebook community page. To attend each talk you must to subscribe on the Eventbrite website and apply to the specific talk you have interest. The events are going to happen at Design Factory and Startup Sauna located in Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.


Figure 1: Service Design Breakfast audience.

On the following lines you will read a resume from the first talk. In the end you will also will gonna check the first impressions from some of the SID students.

About the introductory talk (by Jane Vita)

The first talk happened on 19th of September 2012. The theme was Service Design – Why should I care? And the speaker was D.Sc. Risto Sarvas, Head of UX & Service Design at Futurice and Docent & researcher at Hiit and Aalto University. D.Sc. Risto Sarvas started his presentation showing an old and memorable camera from Polaroid (See Figure 2), emphasizing how simple and user-centric-designed the object was built. Pressing only one button was possible to take pictures and printing them in few seconds. Some questions came up and we started discussing why these kinds of product are not sold anymore.


Figure 2: Polaroid camera’s tags

Together, speaker and audience found a lot of answers and the most relevant information was around how the company planned the services around the product. The topic “Why should we care about service design” came up. Some questions arose: Was it easy to find photo paper for the camera? Can I take a lot of pictures and print the ones I like most?


Figure 3: Risto Sarvas giving a presentation (by Jane Vita)


Social Context

D.Sc. Risto Sarvas highlighted the importance of the social context. How important it is to include all the products designed in a real context. Validating the real use of it, and how engagement and social interaction and other services are steeped in the whole lifecycle of the product. The user is the center of services and product design. Starting from yesterday the importance of service design.


Reasons for the emergence of service design

D.Sc. Risto Sarvas point three main reasons why service design is so important for the companies:

Reason 1: Software is easier and cheaper to change. Non-technical things can be brought earlier into design. Different from the past, now we can use agile tools and methods to perform our projects. Development can be made in parts and the concept helps to build the whole idea of the project. Research and real context tests make it possible to discover mistakes, possible bugs, and  troubles earlier. Fixes can be done while making the updates to a project.

Reason 2: Services are physical. Designing the UI is not enough. Now we are talking about the experience, the context where the products are applied, and interactions. It is impossible to think about a good service and product without thinking how and until when users will be interacting with this products, how they will get engaged. Designing a good UI is important, but not enough. There are many choices for the consumers (this became a standard now), and we are constantly  looking for better services.

Reason 3: A service has multiple channels. You have to design for a seamless experience across channels. Users are able to connect everywhere. They can search for information on their mobiles, TVs, computers, cars, and displays. Design thinking in multiple and cross-platform became a standard to get the best user engagement.

Scope of design

D.Sc. Risto Sarva also commented about his studies in our professional future and past as designers. He started talking about 90’s until 2000, when the focus was to design better UI and usability, passing between 2000 until 2010 where the users were considered the center of the concept and development, until now, where services support the products and give the users supplements for their needs. D.Sc. Risto talked also about the future, considering design as part of the organization, part of the business and more in future changing the society (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Scope of design pyramid

In the end Risto emphasized the main reasons why we should care about service design: changeable software makes you take more things into account, services are physical (even digital services), any service has multiple channels and we need to design a seamless experience.

SID Laurea students review:

Risto Sarvas brought to the table a clarified and distinct vision of the Service Design importance. Some people could find the whole talk basic, but the talk was  a good reference to convince clients about the benefits of caring about service design. Jane Vita

Risto provides a basic but  interesting point of service design development, yet I would argue that his context focus inclines more on Service Science rather than Service Design itself.  Even though Service design covers multiple facets, in my opinion SD’s strongest characteristic is to provide quality value from the human empathy and cultural research thus making technology a tool of SD rather than the means to gain insight from users. Service Science on the other hand touches more on “relation between elements, structures and mechanisms” (http://www.service-design-network.org/node/1780/). And I fully agree with this. Hugo Molina

“To create a good experience for your users, designing UI is not enough. There are always physical interactions in using a service. Picturing your service from the customers’ perspective is very important – all the tangibles that customers are exposed to can influence their quality perceptions. All the touchpoints and the back-stage processes should be documented and aligned to the user experience. Using a service blueprint technique to understand the importance of physical experience will be beneficial for your company.


Figure 5: Taxi ordering

One of the interesting examples from the first breakfast session is a “taxi button” at Futurice Helsinki office. Ordering a taxi should be very simple. However, normally it requires you to have an access to a phone, make a call to a taxi service, have a discussion with the customer service. Quite complicated process when it could be only one click. At Futurice, by pressing the button you can order a taxi to the office. On a small display you can see the status of your order and the number of your taxi. All in one click.” Ekaterina Zhiteneva

World is changing continuously; the same services. Times when companies offered only one product without surrounded ecosystem are gone. Nowadays, no one is thinking to sell but to expand. I really enjoyed the example of Polaroid camera, which Risto Sarvas presented. The idea was simple and easy to understand. What could be a better example than camera, which delivers to you ready made picture, just within one button click? It reminds me the fantastic idea I read once on OpenIDEO pages, where young designer Simon Finch, had a vision to create service, where you can setup your company within one click.


Figure 6: One-click Company concept (http://www.openideo.com)

In ideal world it would be perfect solution. Unfortunately, world is very complicated, and hats from heads to those who are able to create memorable user experience like Polaroid did. That’s why, I like the example which Ekaterina posted. World would be way much simple if such a solutions like one button Taxi ordering exists in different spheres of life.  We as designers should be more sensitive about surroundings’. Creators, designers, artists etc. are usually described as Highly Sensitive People. HPS’s process the information and experience the world differently. As E. Aron wrote in her book: “HSPs tend to please people. We’re aware of what other people need, and it’s hard not to give it to them.” (Read more here, The Highly Sensitive Person, Broadway Books, 1997). The same should be with designers. As someone wrote: “We need more of those people and we need to encourage them to unleash their potentials!”. Daniel Augustyn

If you found these interesting topics you are welcome to join us on the next events, take a look on the links below:

General information:

Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/ServiceDesignBreakfast

Twitter channel: #sdbreakfast

Introduction talk:

Slideshare presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/Service_Design_Breakfast/service-design-breakfast-by-risto-sarvas

Video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9ZuZkscXxE&feature=relmfu

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