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