The welcoming words of the organizers enlightened us about the movement behind camp event organizing – Service Design Berlin is a knowledge sharing community arranging regularly events on current topics of service design for design thinkers.
In the camp event the purpose is to learn from each other how to go forward with design thinking in our individual contexts. The learning and exchange mainly occurs in bar camp events which is an innovative concept in itself. The participants can bring along with them a topic which they want to share with others in a bar camp session, the idea being a two way exchange of knowledge and resources between the bar camp organizer and attendants. In the beginning of both days, all bar camps would be pitched to facilitate the choice of which camp to attend. There would be from 4 to 6 different bar camps running paralelly, each lasting one hour roughly.
So let’s go camping like good scouts do! But some guidance from key note speeches first.
Louise Down, the Director of Design for Government Digital Service (UK) talked in her keynote about Designing public services – a different approach.
Louise mentioned some pretty interesting figures to begin with. UK government has saved 2,4 MEUR thanks to applying service design. Currently there is a 300 service designers’ community working in the public services. I heard from other camp attendee that UK is considered to be in the forefront of SD adoption in the public sector. So an example to keep an eye on for the Finnish public sector alongside well known Estonian e-service development.
Louise mentioned lessons on how to scale SD:
- hire good people
- build the boring things no-one wants to do (such as identification, payments, publishing)
- understand how services work on the internet (develop consistent style with style guide, define how to ask person details understandably)
- learn by making
- do not give up – be persistent!
According to Louise, service failures cause the biggest costs to the public sector that could be avoided with good SD. She also pointed out how important it is to use “proper people speak” when designing services. See a video she showed us of UK governmental services’ and the user’s point of view about doing power of attorney online.
Another key note speaker was Kristina Rodig from energy provider E-on. To achieve a more customer centered process, new process, roles, tools and methods have been introduced in the company. Touchpoints with customers used to be rare, mainly focusing on the yearly invoicing. They conducted two major journey projects which addressed core processes from meter reading to payment. The work resulted in concepts that allow for individual customer journeys, such as an early warning system that makes it easy for customers to check whether their consumption is in balance with their advance payments or not.
Bar camp experiences to be continued….in the next blog post.