Archive by Author | Laura Rinta-Jouppi

Service Design Network Conference at Helsinki

On 3th of September a seminar organized by SDN Helsinki took place at Maxine restaurant. I had a pleasure to be part of the organizing team. The seminar was sold out so we were very pleased.

The day started with interesting topics and keynote speakers. Mikko-Pekka Hanski, co-founder at Idean, pointed out how companies are changing from service providers to customer experience makers with customers.

Tarja MeristöTarja Meristö, futurologist and principal lecturer, told how the customer needs are changing in the future and how services are used then.

FJORD Teemu ÄijäläTeemu Äijälä, Service Design Director from Fjord, presented many interesting examples of living services e.g. Amazon Echo and Dash Button. Äijälä spoke about the fact that customers’ expectations do not compare with similar services. Expectations go across the industries. Customers compare e.g. a visit to doctor to a shopping experience through Amazon.

FJORD Teemu Äijälä

Kamil Michlewski, Brand stategy consultant, academic and author, told how design attitude is rising and why Silicon Valley, IBM or MCKinsey are suddenly all into design. Big companies are hiring more service designers and investments made to service design have grown remarkably.

Kamil Michlewski

Continue reading

An exceptional pharmacy

2nd of June Service Design Network Drinks was organized by Diagonal and a pharmacy Ympyrätalon apteekki.

Do you use pharmacy services only when you are sick or have a hangover? Traditionally pharmacy has been seen as a place taking care of sick people. Now the focus is turning also towards healthy people who want to take care of their well-being. The focus is on the well-being.

Mr. Mikko Koivisto a leading service designer from Diagonal told about the process how they managed to renew traditional business like pharmacy.

SDN Drinks

The project consisted of three parts: customer understanding, concept phase and design and implementation. During the customer understanding part many service design methods was used e.g. mystery shopping, interviews, observation, shop-along, customer journey map, personas and benchmarking.

Customers and employees of the pharmacy was involved at the ideation phase that produced new service ideas. The goal of the concept phase was to produce visualisations of the ideas and concepts discovered through research. The ideas were tested at pharmacies. The employees of the pharmacy were educated to a new service concept and they took it as their own. A manual was produced to summarize all the key elements of the new concepts and services. The manual was also a practical tool to communicate the concepts to the other apothecaries of the (YTA) Yhteistyöapteekit pharmacy chain.



At the moment Ympyrätalo pharmacy offers over hundred different kinds of services. An apothecary Tiina Vaitomaa said that the most popular service at the moment is a salt therapy. It is especially common among singers who have to take good care of their voice.

SDN Drinks2Mrs. Vaitomaa told that the key to success is to do co-operation with other companies because alone it is difficult to succeed. Mrs. Vaitomaa is an exceptional brave and innovative apothecary. She advises to innovate and test new things. One of the most important thing is to find multi-talented and committed employees. In the future consume of the services increases significantly and Ympyrätalon apteekki is already ready for that change.

Text and pictures by Laura Rinta-Jouppi SID student 2014

Knocking on your shoulder

Knock knock… Hi, could we ask some questions from you? This is how we started to gather customer data.

Picture by Satu Pakkala

I have the pleasure to be a part of a service design project that aims to improve Laurea´s student services. The head of the project is a design agency Kuudes Kerros. Other team members are Laurea´s staff members and a group of students including me.

In a first meeting we made a plan how and where we could gather data from customers. Customers are in this case students. The environment should be natural and neutral from the student’s point of view. To get good insights it is important to make observation and interviews in a place and situation that are authentic and comfortable. We decided to make the interviews at Laurea building´s lobbies, cafeterias, libraries and corridors.

It was easy to start a conversation with students. Almost everyone agreed to answer to our questions. We gathered data from different campuses for example at Otaniemi, Leppävaara and Hyvinkää.

Especially one method was effective in every campus. Answering to questions while you are eating might sound disturbing but it was not. We had great chats with students at lunchtime. Another effective way to get good answers was to first observe different kind of situations and later on ask about the situations from students. We used structured questionnaires and also more open and informal ways to start the conversation.

One thing that disturbed conversations was hurry. You could see this through people’s body language and short answers. I noticed that at the beginning the answers were quite cursory. But after few conversations it was more natural to dive deeper in subjects and get more relevant insights. It was also nice to see different kind of styles to reach and make the conversation among our team members. The project continues so you can read more blog posts of the subject later on.

Text by Laura Rinta-Jouppi SID student 2014

Diagonal brought yoga to the airport

Have you ever get bored at the airport while waiting for the connection flight? Would you like to use your idle time for relaxing yoga or have a cup of coffee at the gate served from coffee bicycle?

19th of November Service Design Breakfast took place at Diagonals´ office at Punavuori. Kirsikka Vaajakallio and Jaakko Wäänänen from design agency Diagonal presented their Travellab case with SID Master’s student Juha Vasko from Finavia.

Juha Vasko, Kirsikka Vaajakallio and Jaakko Wäänänen

Juha Vasko, Kirsikka Vaajakallio and Jaakko Wäänänen

Travellab project started with a positive problem. Vasko told that Finavia had over 200 service ideas from the passengers how to enhance the customer experience at the airports. Because Finavia did not have a system to proceed with the ideas they asked for Diagonals´ help.

Diagonal created a concept called Travellab. Travellab was an effective, reliable and experimental model for testing ideas affecting and improving the transfer passengers experience at Helsinki airport. Over 200 ideas were categorized and prioritizes through “Idea funnel” 12 of them were prototyped and tested. All the prototypes e.g. restaurant day and yoga gate were tested in the real life and context with Finavias´ customers.

"Idea funnel"

“Idea funnel”

I interviewed Kirsikka Vaajakallio about the Travellab project.

Continue reading

Are You a Design Thinker?

Design thinking summarised by Lockwood is a human-centered innovation process, which with a help of observation, collaboration, fast learning, visualization of ideas, rapid concept prototyping and concurrent business analysis produces innovations and business opportunities.

The keynotes that I learned from design thinking gurus Katja Tschimmel and Gijs van Wulfen was:

Note 1: You cannot innovate alone. In innovation process you need to have multidisciplinary team to achieve good results. It is also important to involve customers to the process in an early phase. After the ideation session you need to have people to design the product/ service, to prototype it, to develop it, to produce it, to test it, to sell it and so on.

Here is our Service Innovation and Design 2014 students group photo.

Service Innovation and Design 2014 students group photo.

Note 2: Design Thinking is an experimental and iterative process, not linear process. It is usual that you go back and forth in the Design Thinking process.

Note 3: You have to accept the fact that you might fail. In Design Thinking process there is always a possibility that you do not achieve any new ideas or results.

Note 4: First ideas that pops in to your a head are usually bad ones because they are common and not original ideas. That does not mean that you have failed you just have to rethink you thoughts. In ideation phase it is very effective to think in a divergent way. For example if you are developing a new service concept for pharmacies you could/ should think how Alko or Posti might deliver that service.

Note 5: To make a success in Design Thinking process you have to make outside the box –ideas to inside the box –ideas. After ideation session your group might have plenty of marvellous ideas. But before you present them to your CEO it is a good idea to translate the ideas to your boss’s language so he/ she will not immediately say no. This means that you follow the criteria that were set in the beginning of the process for example the minimum profit margin, target group, possible partners and when the new service/ product would be launched. There has to be real business need and goal for innovation to success. Also timing is very important. If the company is struggling in day-to-day business it is not the right moment for new service innovations.

Continue reading

The Customer is the King

On 24th of September 2014 a group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs participated in a lesson which focused on customer understanding and service-centric business. InnoEspoo organized the event which was a first part of “Osaamista ja oivalluksia” (Know-how and inspiration) entrepreneur -coaching events.

The keynote speaker was Katri Ojasalo who works as Director of Master level education at Laurea University of Applied Sciences (UAS). In my opinion she can be called as a service design guru. Ojasalo has gathered a lot of knowledge and experience about service business via studies and projects during the past 20 years. Ojasalo presented the basics of service design. You might have heard about Bain & Company Survey i.e. 80% of the companies believed they delivered a superior experience to their customer. But only 8 % of their customers agreed. The survey was made in 2005 but it is still relevant.

Jani Jylhä from the company Green Drivers presented how they have managed to make this gap, between service providers´ believes and customer opinions, smaller. Their secrets were to understand customers´ needs and usage of service design in a business concept development process.


Learning by doing

In a workshop part hosted by principal lecturer from Laurea UAS Leena Alakoski, participants worked with customer personas, customer journey and Lean Business Model Canvas. At the end of the session every group shared their results.

I interviewed few entrepreneurs about their customer relationships.

“Today my feeling just got stronger that I am on the right track. I just have to find even more ways to contact and involve customers to my business. It’s really rewarding when you get good feedback from a happy and satisfied customer”, says Pakarinen.

“Today my feeling just got stronger that I am on the right track. I just have to find even more ways to contact and involve customers to my business. It is really rewarding when you get good feedback from a happy and satisfied customer”, says Pakarinen.

Outi Pakarinen/ Kude Design

Outi Pakarinen owns and runs a company called Kude Design. Kude Design offers cloth coaching and Kude is also a clothing brand. Pakarinen has worked many years in clothing and textile industry.

“With the help of my work experience I gathered a great deal of customer understanding before I established Kude Design. I made benchmarking and researched future trends about customer behaviour. I also got to know different industries and found that way something new for my business. I would say I got the whole business idea from the customers. We make products based on a real need. I use a designing by listening –method when designing new clothes. We do not make products if there is no demand from the customer side. I want to have an impulse from the customers so they can e.g. decide which colours they prefer to be in Kude collections.I communicate and gather customer insights through my website and Facebook page. I meet lot of people at the fairs. I am also very active in B-to-B networking”.

Continue reading