#Snapshots and Service Design

Browsing through a mountain of photos.

Browsing through a mountain of photos.

“I’m walking over a pile of 900 000 photos representing an amount of photos loaded daily to Flickr, image hosting website. It feels weird to step on photos, on someone’s face, on a cute baby, a guitar… I don’t think I have ever done this before, not in a photography exhibition at least”.

That was part of my customer journey through The Finnish Museum of Photography’s #snapshot exhibition that was co-designed with Futurice, and with help of Tampere University and Aalto University. Risto Sarvas from Futurice and Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger from the museum presented their case for the Service Design Achievements 2015. This was also the last Service Design Breakfast of this year, and what a great way it was to end it at the Finnish Museum of Photography.

Service design challenge

The service design challenge with #snapshot exhibition was to turn culture into something that people can walk into and have an interactive physical experience. The #snapshot exhibition’s objective is to explore how the Internet and digitalization has changed contemporary photographic culture. As you all probably know there’s a large amount of photo sharing websites and applications, and everybody’s basically carrying a camera with them in their smartphones.

Futurice was really up to this challenge, as they wanted to design for public good purposes and make a social impact. And of course it was also a very interesting design challenge. It was different from their typical project as there’s no technical platform, no clear organizational structure in museum, no existing solutions, no business drivers, and no ready brand.

Anna-Kaisa and Risto presenting #snapshot.

Anna-Kaisa and Risto presenting #snapshot.

Walking on a photomountain.

Walking on a photomountain.

How to tackle the challenge?

The whole process started approximately a year ago. The team realized that they couldn’t start with a typical design research and needed help from Academia (Tampere University and Aalto University) resources who had been researching photography for years. Then of course co-operation with the museum was needed, as they are the experts in organizing exhibitions. First of all, interviews were conducted, and after the interviewing process became the ideation and concept phase, followed by designing and finally building the exhibition, which opened in August 2014.

After interviews nine different profiles of people aged 13-52 were created. Then nine target visitor profiles were created. The team wanted to consider how to make it a rich, coherent experience. Through service design process team used tools such as brainstorming, Lego blueprint, working on paper, making prototypes, and building customer journeys. With prototyping they tested customer feelings and emotions by making an exhibition about people’s private photos and by observing their reactions. Futurice also build a mini customer journey of the exhibition in their office so they could test how the journey actually worked in practice.


#duckface, #flexing, #meitsie…

Why do I take photos -wall.

Why do I take photos -wall.


The end result; #snapshot exhibition

The end result is an interesting and interactive exhibition about the ongoing cultural change in photography field. The exhibition is about the photographs we all capture and share. It’s also about snapshots of tragedies and snapshots with political impacts. Additionally, the exhibition includes contemporary artwork by Catherine Balet, Erik Kessels, Niklas Kullström, and Sisse Stroyer.

After the presentation we had an opportunity to take a journey through the exhibition guided by Risto Sarvas. The photos on this blogpost, honoring the spirit of the exhibition, are snapshots from my iPhone captured during the journey. My snapshots might have shortly flashed through the real time Instagram feed wall at the exhibition. What’s more, I even learned a couple of new terms like #vadering and #meitsie. It’s good to learn something new every day 🙂

Taking a closer look at Niklas Kullström’s artwork at the exhibition.

Taking a closer look at Niklas Kullström’s artwork at the exhibition.

Risto from Futurice guiding us through the exhibition.

Risto from Futurice guiding us through the exhibition.

The #snapshot exhibition is open at the Finnish Museum of Photography until 18th of January 2015, so you still have a chance to check it out before it goes on tour to Germany! You also have a chance to view the whole presentation here.

Written and snapshots by Heini Kauppinen, SID Student

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