Archive by Author | katjak

SXC Day 2 Barcamps – Learning to visualize & Documenting customer journey with Experience Fellow

Learning to visualize – say it in 3 frames!

In my first bar camp session, Mauro Rego from Service Design Berlin promised us the attendees to learn how to visualize and do a canvas tool on anything. First assignment for us was to illustrate in 5 frames how to do a toast (=toasted bread). After the individual assignment, we as a team would have to agree which 5 drawings out of 25 in sequence represented the action best. Then we had to reduce the frames in 3 still keeping the message clear! It is astonishing how well illustrated pictures can speak so much. The next assignment was way more difficult – with the same process we would illustrate as a team how to help a group of people to plan their shared holiday trip. Here the different perceptions of the assignment would step in and we got a bit stuck. But in the end we managed to produce the following holiday planning canvas/tool which is cool! The benefit of these kind of tools is enabling communication.

Introduction to a customer journey documentation tool
The second and last barcamp session was lead by Marc Stickdorn (author of This is design thinking) and Klaus Schwarzenberger. They introduced a tool for making contextual interviews on existing services. The tool is called Experience Fellow and the person making the journey and reporting on it can download it free from application stores for IOS and Android. We experimented on the app and Marc showed us what kind of analysis can be drawn from the data entries. It seemed handy and was priced reasonably for research use.Marc recommended to use diverse data types (qualitative, quantitative), to use diverse researchers and diverse methods when aiming at deep insights on customers. Triangulate – triangulate – triangulate!A bold plan of improving the health of african women

The last key note speech of SXC15 was held by Melanie Wendland, who works for M4ID and teaches also a course in Laurea on SD in digital context. M4ID is involved in an impressive project to improve women’s health in Sub-Saharan Africa with the means of service design methods. They engaged diverse stakeholders of up to 500 persons to the user research, including african health care providers and women themselves to define how to improve services. Codesign was also used. The result was a customer journey of a safe delivery of a baby, one significant outcome of the project being the involvement of men into the journey as fathers or partners.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-22 kello 23.35.21
Ending panel – takeaways 

The short panel in the end encouraged the designers to continue enabling transformation and to dure the struggles of the journey. Adapting slowly by making it work first in teams, then progressing into organization. What happened in Paris during the conference prompted one panelist to point out that development is cyclical in reality – sometimes it goes backwards but then at some point turns again to positive.Last takeaways in a nutshell…


Näyttökuva 2015-11-22 kello 23.32.50

SXC15 Day 1 Bar camps – Playing with IoT Service Kit & Struggling with Culture Change for Design

Futurice has developed a co-creation tool for exploring user-centric IoT scenarios called IoT Service Kit. We played with the tool in our team in the context of conference services. The outcome was inventive, indeed! You can see our persona, her desires and goals in the pictures below. The game board depicts the concepts we developed. For example, in the conference cafeteria the conference participant can check-in within proximity of a beacon of certain coffee table and register her interests or topics she wants to discuss with other participants, who again can see these topics in their conference app map. Interesting, huh? I think enabling efficient networking would be a very welcomed value adding service to conferences or other big meet-ups for professionals.

Struggle with Culture Change for Design

Jan Schmiedgen from Hasso-Plattner Institute has researched the cultural challenges related to adoption of design thinking in organizations. Design Thinking is seen as a path to innovation culture but the hen-egg challenge exists in building the capabilities for innovation.


Jan’s advice to building the right organizational design and environment was to start simultaneously in all of the three main actions of the circle – building innovation capabilities, using design thinking and changing mindset. But the thing is still to start small in most contexts. A good idea is to create an innovation catalyst network and to reframe metrics so that they direct the organization to adopt DT.

He encouraged us to get familiar with Wendy Castleman’s work, she leads an Innovation Catalyst Community at Intuit.

Design around the value for customer


Luis Arnal, founder of Insitum, reminded in his key note speech the service designers to consider the differences in mature vs. emerging markets. In Germany as well as in Finland and the western countries in general, people have scarce time resources but instead money to spend. In Africa it is the other way around. So, the solutions should be designed accordingly, around the value for customer. Value is not always quality!

Don’t start a company, start a movement!
The last speaker provoked a start of a movement to create and nurture a culture of innovation in companies. And so a movement called SPARX was born in SXC15 🙂

SXC15 Day 1 Bar camps – Designer in the enterprise world & Data Canvas tool

Designer in the enterprise world by SAP

Marion and Heike from SAP shared their experiences with us on implementing SD in the corporation world. Being a service designer in an enterprise requires expertise in a multitude of areas and teamwork with internal stakeholders that have divergent motivations. In large projects it is crucial to have moments of synchronization to stay aligned. Service designer has to learn to sell the approach, learn the language of business and teams and adapt the vocabulary of “what is design” to get the message through. It is useful to know how to measure impacts, to use the power of data and metrics to convince others. Peers should be made to experience the process, but not by pushing by force.

They introduced an interesting illustration on different work styles and productiveness vs. time, see below. The value of service designer’s work is constituted in the late phases of the project whereas regarding engineering skills the case is the opposite. They also pointed out that the development team members tend to develop empathy for the team whereas it is in the service designer’s role to develop the empathy for the end customer.


Data Canvas

My second bar camp was held by Katrin Mathis, who is currently graduating from Laurea. Katrin has developed a new tool called Data Canvas to help out to consider the role of data when developing services and to understand quickly what data exists for the client organization.

The dimensions used in the canvas are whether the data is internal or external and whether the frequency of update is low or high. Internal data has a higher usage potential as it is under full control. With external data there is the risk of discontinuance and lack of uniqueness if competitors can access the same data.

The canvas can be worked on for example from angles such as what data has the highest potential, who benefits, how to tune the business model to take into account existing data. The business canvas elements can help in structuring the data canvas. The process requires engaging diverse experts. The additional variables are the trustworthiness of data source (expressed with red-orange-green colors of post-it notes) and the structure level of data (expressed with forms square-triangle-round of post-it notes). More on Katrin’s work on her pages.

(SXC15 continues in further blog posts.)

Service Experience Camp (SXC) 2015 – a deep dive into SD and DT with european peers

 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.


Bar camp sessions’ wall

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.

(Yes those wooden boxes are for sleeping!)

Service Experience Trail – from MS Digital Eatery to Deutche Bank 101 concept

I participated the Service Experience Camp 2015 during 12 – 14 November in Berlin.

On the preceeding day of the actual Camp event, I walked the optional 2,5 hours trail in Berlin Mitte with other Experience Camp participants. We got introduced to 4 particular retail spaces.

We started with the Microsoft Digital Eatery, a combination of a café and a showroom. One could try out latest Microsoft hardware and software while sipping a latte or eating a delicious sandwich. There was also an XBOX play corner with sofas and large screens. The Microsoft personnel on the spot can help out with problems or further direct clients to maintenance services and they arrange workshops on their new products and services.


Next stop was the travel agency TUI’s branch which together with 500 other branches owned by Tui group have adopted a concept of a more personal and comfortable travel booking. The branch had a nice open space consisting of a lounge area, a bar, a library area to browse books on travel destinations and the personnel counters that were visible throughout the space. The personnel uses ipads when discussing with the customers of their travel desires on the lounge area. The purpose is to offer the right service in a short time and in comfortable settings. Important part of the concept is to contact the customer after the trip to discuss whether they were satisfied and to get feedback on improvements.


In Ritter Sport we had a tour of the store starting with the entrance where one could order a tailor made chocolate bar to be taken with when exiting the store. Downstairs Ritter would have facilities for organizing chocolate workshops for kids, a concept that has been so popular they started giving workshops to adults, too.


Last stop was to Deutsche Bank’s 101 concept store in the luxus brands’ street in Berlin’s Mitte – a mix of retail banking services, exposition space for partners, concierge service, a café and a customer lab. Deutche Bank has had this concept since the financial crisis of 2008. They wanted to rebuild trust with retail customers and bring something surprising adding more value to the customer visiting the branch. Currently the partner co-using the space is Harrod’s, selling christmas inspirated goodies and products. In the middle of the space there is a lounge area called customer lab, being used to introduce online services to customers and to workshop on service development with customers. On one side of the space the ATM’s are lined up and they use a specific identification method of veins’ recognition to those who have adopted this method of identification. On the same side with ATMs there are bank counters which are very minimalistic, all the banking affairs are done standing with the bank personnel. On the back of the space there is a cozy café with childrens’ play area and spaces for informal meetings with customers. There are also three differently decorated negociation rooms, targeted to young customers, families and young entrepreneurs. And finally a concierge service that can help out for example in customers’ travel or gift arrangements or even give advice to tourists! Quite a versatile concept and a very thorough tour that we received.

Women in Tech 2015 – match-making across industries to discover hot spots of innovation!

Women in Tech 2015 was arranged on 7th October in Helsinki with the theme “Make a difference!” and lured women of all ages with an interest in the future of business and technology to participate.

The guest speakers Stephanie Keller-Bottom and Tammy Noll motivated us as women to be the change we want to see.

image image

Besides talking on the issue of women in tech, Stephanie introduced current trends of which corporate venturing standed out to me – that corporations are developing startup mentality and launching projects inside corporations. Tammy encouraged us to have more tolerance for risk of failure and more resilience. We should “fall gracefully” and move on with our focus – with devotion.

After the speeches I participated a nicely organized and lead workshop by Tieto Experience Hub’s Ksenia Avetisova and Fanny Vakkila on the theme Industry match-making as a strategic tool for innovation.

Tieto is approaching innovation and design with strategy driven collaborative models, engaging in the strategic themes of gamification of health, medializing commerce and energizing economy. They believe that innovations with breakthrough potential can be discovered in the hot spots between industries, companies and cultures. The goal is to create maximum impact and superior customer experience.

In the workshop we were divided into 8 teams. We started off with sharing our “superpowers” .

Continue reading

Lean Startup & how to test our most dangerous assumptions in an affordable and quick way?

Tuomas Mikkonen from company called Connection held a one evening course on agile product and service business development with lean startup method. I attended this course in the end of September as it was available in the series of events organized by IT-Ekonomit and Ekonomiyrittäjät.

We all in SID 2015 have recently gotten familiar with Lean Startup concept, as one of our basic DT courses (New Service Development) has the Harvard Business Review article by Steve Blank as compulsory reading. So, I will not present detailedly what Lean Startup as a methodology is based on but instead will pick the major insights of the training.

“If they come, we will build it.”

Building a new business model starts with understanding the customer and creating the right hypothesis of her/his problem. The problem has to be…






and not yet solved.

It is crucial not just to test the hypothesis and the solution with real people, but also to test whether they are WILLING TO PAY FOR IT.

“Do not pitch the solution yet!”

When in the stage of testing our hypothesis of a solution, we should define the most DANGEROUS ASSUMPTIONS about it and test them. The ones that can cause it to fail – and those ones usually relate to the ACTUAL BEHAVIOR of people, not on technical challenges or organizational problems.

We should not fall in love with our idea in this phase – so pitching the solution is not the way to go yet.

3 principles of MVP

Coming up with a minimum viable product presumes we are able to assume we are wrong in everything before we have tested and proved the solution works. The second principle guides to observing the real behavior – not what people say, but what they actually do. Third principle is that of virtue of laziness – testing the most dangerous assumption in the most affordable and quickest way.

So how to test affordably & quickly?

Smoke test: test the interest towards your solution with a web page. If people choose the solution, direct them into a newsletter or a waiting list for your solution. Measure the conversion rate – how many choose vs. do not choose the solution. (Tools: Wix, Unbounce, Launchrock, WordPress…)

Video MVP: create a video explaining the basic idea of the concept. Direct interested people to a waiting list or a crowdfunding site. (Tools: Moovly, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Youtube, Vimeo…)

Concierge: create a personalized automatisation to target group (or an illusion of automisation). Ideal for testing solutions that need a lot of coding or infra with small investment. Not easily scalable but works for learning – to validate which features are necessary and which not.

Wizard-of-Oz: automating or imitating service to the target customer. Service is embedded into other services or processes, not visible. Ideal for testing services needing plenty of automation.

Prototype / wireframe: physical product or software is prototyped, for exploring market potential and testing features. (Tools: Balsamiq mockups, Kinetisse, Axure…)

Lessons learned?

During the course we would work in groups on a hypothesis. Our group on my suggestion took the challenge of immigrant integration into Finnish working and civil life as a challenge to work on. At first we got along with the subject very well and the discussion was versatile, we could see that all the criteria of a relevant problem were fulfilled. The challenges started in the testing phase. The lean startup as a method is more suitable for ideas that have a strong web-service based element and for ideas that are very well and narrowly defined. But I did get a good repertory of ideas from the team!


(This post contributes to the course of Current Topics in Service Design.)

Digitalization has to be lead in organizations – but how?

On 30th September I had the chance to participate an event organized by PRY (Projektiyhdistys ), which is the local Finnish association belonging to IPMA (International Project Management Association). IPMA is known for its project management certification system.

The purpose of this theme event of digitalization was to get introduced to methods and lessons that can be of help in advancing digitalization development in organizations in Finland and thus lead us as an economy back to the growth trend.

I think this as a current issue in design thinking as service designers participate in design projects involving digital concepts and their skills are also needed in transforming an organization’s mental mode towards design thinking (DT), due to the growing pressure to digitalize processes or entire business models that requires DT approach.

Why is everybody now talking about digitalization?

Vesa Ilmarinen, the founder of Katalysti company, probed us first on our perceptions of digitalization. He defined it as an operative change that needs leadership. Currently, digitalization is a hype term in the media and it arouses both concerns and hopes. Concerns in that it destroys many jobs and hope in that it creates new kinds of businesses and job opportunities. One could imagine service design to be one of those new opportunities. Vesa mentioned trends leading to digitalization being rapid technological development that affects consumer behavior patterns, shift of power from service and product providers to consumers and thus the increased demand for rapid responses, honesty and transparency from organizations.

Finnish success stories of digitalization

Vesa has recently published a book together with Kai Koskela on challenges of digitalization in Finnish companies, called Digitalisaatiohaaste – Yritysjohdon käsikirja. The first edition was sold out in a month and second one is coming soon. There are plenty of examples of Finnish success stories in the book, here a few he mentioned:

  • Kalevala Koru – 3D-printable plastic jewelry
  • Finnmatkat – travel agency online services
  • Enevo – optimizing disposal of garbage with garbage bins containing sensors

Elementary in making digitalization a success story

according to the authors is not solely the technological capabilities,

but introducing new kind of leadership and ways of working to the organization.

Digitalization often requires renewing strategy,

operative model of the company and the company culture.

How to proceed with this change?

Vesa introduced four lessons on how an organization can take leadership in the digitalization development. They are grouped on the following image with related activities specified further.


During the remaining part of the event, project manager Pirjo Saksi from Ministry of the Environment shared her experiences on stakeholder management as a tool for leading change. Her project is the first joint development project in the public administration (national register for housing company shares of stock) involving diverse public actors. Thus stakeholder analysis is of great importance to engage everyone and to enable decision making.

(This post contributes to the course of Current Topics in Service Design.)

Invention Cycle – How to bring your ideas to life

In the very first day of SID program, I spent evening after the course getting inspired by Tina Seelig, a Stanford University Professor and co-director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. The forum was Aalto Design Factory’s series of Thought Leaders’ Talks. Tina has been recognized as a national leader in engineering education and she teaches courses on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Yep, you remember correctly, the same institute from which Katja Tschimmel introduced us one of the pioneering innovation models.

Invention Cycle

Tina spoke about how to get rough ideas out of our heads into the real world and further into ventures. She introduced us the tool she has developed, the Invention Cycle.

We started off with the concept of Creativity. What is creativity essentially? We have to agree on the basic concepts and to create a common vocabulary first to make communication easier. Creativity is a skill we can learn, by practicing.

In a nutshell, innovating starts with Imagination – envisioning things that do not exist yet. Creativity is needed in using our imagination to face challenges and in innovating unique solutions to them. We also need Entrepreneurship to apply innovations.

All of these elements (Creativity, Imagination, Innovation, Entrepreneurship) make an Invention cycle, characterized by relationships, attitudes and actions.

Going further into the imagination phase, Tina pointed out how true passion is evoked with engagement. We need to be motivated and to motivate others and have the right mindset allowing experimentation, which generates us the data we need to carry ideas further.

Pretotype before Prototype

Regarding experimentation, Tina introduced the thought of doing pretotype before prototype. The example given that enlights it well was offering a new dish in the restaurant menu just to see if it would be ordered or not. This way we can rapidly see if the concept is worth developing further or not.

Framestorm before Brainstorm

We should put a lot of time and attention to looking our ideas from different angles – we should ask the right question before ideation phase. There exists an infinite number of solutions. To maintain the right set of mind, Tina suggested that in the beginning of innovating we ought to fall in love with the problem, not the solution.

‘Sisu’ is needed on the way

When achieving the implementation phase of the Innovation Cycle, we need entrepreneurial spirit: capability to inspire others to invest on our idea and to build a good team. We also need grit or sisu to push through the greyest stone. Tina referred to storytelling as an aid to create a compelling sales pitch.

(For our fellow foreign students, check the meaning of sisu as explained by Wikipedia.)

In the conclusion of the lecture audience posed a few questions to Tina. One of them was how to implement the cycle. According to Tina, we should first figure out where we are in the cycle. We need people with diverse sets of strengths – creatives, innovatives, entrepreneurs and so forth. Then we should share the essential vocabulary, inspire our team and excite our imagination with problems!

The other question which alerted my curiousity was about whether this concept or tool is transferable interculturally. I disagree on its transferability, as the degree of power of authority in societies varies a lot. You need a culture with low degree to enable the equality of team members and thus enable them to contribute to the process. I would gladly receive comments on this thought on the blog comment section.

Tina has published a book that goes deeper into these lecture topics. It is called “Insight Out” and is available in Amazon, currently being rated 4,5 stars by 23 readers.


(This blog post contributes to the course of Current Topics in Service Design.)

Service Design enables functioning urban environments

In Helsinki Design Week 2015 I attended City Design Meet-Up on 7th September, an open event arranged by Design Driven City (carrying the legacy of the design capital year 2012) and Forum Virium Helsinki.

What is the so called new design?

What common elements are there in traditional industrial design (such as Kaj Franck’s drinking glasses) and in the new design or service design?  The host of the event pointed out that design has removed itself from the center of attention: the spotlight is now on the users/customers.

In the opening speech the Helsinki city vice mayor Ms Sinnemäki stated the goal of designing the city as creating a space based on openness – a city that belongs to its citizens. The role of service design is to bring together the perspectives of diverse stakeholders and to integrate their planning practices. In city design, the way city inhabitants experience daily life service processes is the focus of attention. City design aims at creating more wellbeing with shrinking resources. City design also contributes from its part in increasing the international interest towards Helsinki as a city that nurtures its Finnish traditions of good design.

In the following speech, a communications expert and representative of Kaskas Media introduced a new web publication bringing forth both Helsinki area’s efforts of urban design via case stories and also clarification of service design terminology to the great public. The publication’s Finnish and English versions can be found at following locations: (Finnish version) (English version)

Service Design as an instrument

The main body of the event consisted of three city designers (engaged in the city of Helsinki projects) representing their insights of using service design in city design. I will introduce here the thoughts of one of them, Mr. Kutvonen. He summarized his insights from three different angles: 1) the journey (Matka) 2) the design (Muotoilu) and 3) the turning point (Murros).

According to Mr. Kutvonen’s experiences, influential persons with a vested interest in the change are needed to accompany the journey. Designers should also always strive to have something concrete to show, for example by using storytelling. Acknowledging unpleasant facts as they emerge during the journey was seen by him as an important skill that service design education does not prepare for. As part of the journey, a radical experimentation questioning the existing patterns of operation in the community should be carried out. Kutvonen experienced that implementing service design is a lesson in leadership in practice. He pointed out that organizations are today faced with being offered separately packaged development solutions of service design, lean development or agile approach – all having similar ideological background. This must be a bit confusing, I wondered. Regarding the emerging need that an organization has for a turning point, service design can serve as the tool for attitude change – by putting the customer needs forth, openly engaging stakeholders to participate and by implementing development through experimenting. City designers reminded the audience also on how crucial it is not to forget joy and playfulness when encouraging innovation.

The skills and abilities of a new generation designer (edited/translated from Mr. Kutvonen’s presentation)

The skills and abilities of a new generation designer (edited/translated from Mr. Kutvonen’s presentation)

The remaining part of the event introduced experiences on implementations of urban service design via case studies. One of them was the smart city project of Kalasatama. The project representative emphasized the importance of human centeredness, being one of service designer’s main responsibilities. According to her, the main benefits of using Kalasatama urban area as a ”laboratory” for service experiments is the instant feedback gained not only from user experience point of view but also the experiences obtained from actually producing the services tested.

(This post contributes to the course of Current Topics in Service Design.)