Archive by Author | Predrag Miskeljin

Cloud Computing with OpenStack – 2nd Meetup Event in Finland 2014

Second meetup event in Finland dedicated to OpenStack®, the open-source operating system for the cloud, was held in Helsinki on 11th February 2014. Apollo Live Club hosted twice bigger crowd than in the first meetup in October last year, indicating rapidly growing interest in cloud computing. Event was organized by Cybercom Finland and sponsored by Cybercom, Rackspace, Suse and Red Hat. Rackspace is a founder of OpenStack. Cybercom is Nordic IT consulting company providing expertize in connectivity services.

OpenStack Meetup Finland 2014

OpenStack Meetup Finland 2014

Cloud computing refers to use of a network of remote computers to store, manage and process the data (including for example text files, pictures and video), which users can access over the Internet on the device of their choice. It is considered faster, cheaper, more flexible and potentially more secure than on-site IT solutions. Many popular services such as Facebook, Spotify and web-based e-mail use cloud computing technologies. However, the real economic benefits come through widespread use of cloud solutions by businesses and the public sector. That is actually where the contribution of this event was targeted.

OpenStack and privacy aspects

On behalf of organizers, Illkka Tengvall, cloud architect from Cybercom Finland, opened the event giving a brief overview of OpenStack and how it fits in wider cloud stage. Talking about cloud services as modern way of providing computing resources with charging only for usage, he compared them with water consumption. You open the tap and you are charged only how much water is run out.

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Diagonal – Designing Servicescapes for Optimal Healthcare Experiences

Servicescape is the biggest differentiator in healthcare experience. Traditionally, it is designed to satisfy the needs of healthcare provider in terms of performance and efficiency. Starting from patient’s experience and applying service design methods combined with interior architecture, design agency Diagonal has created innovative healthcare experience providing benefits for both staff and patients.

Diagonal – designing servicescape for Fimlab

Diagonal – designing servicescape for Fimlab

Juha Kronkvist from Diagonal has presented the project, as the fifth and final case in the competition for Service Design Achievement of the Year in Finland 2013 in Service Design Breakfast event at Startup Sauna on November 27th. Juha is one of the leading service designers in the field of health care and well-being.

Healthcare design

Three main components of healthcare design are performance, process and experience. As Juha explains, focus is usually on performance and process, while experience is often overlooked. What this case shows is that by studding experience, performance can be increased and processes made more efficient.

According to Juha, one of the key starting points in service design is to find out how people assign the meaning and make sense of the environment. When those assigned meanings are aligned with organizational point of view, they should create positive customer experience. Servicescape is not only about physical things. It is about what those things communicate and what value they provide. Therefore, servicescape is critically influencing customer experience.

The Case

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Service Design as a Tool for Strategy Creation

In the Service Design Breakfast event at Startup Sauna on November 13th, Laura Invenius from ABB Drivers and Lotta Buss rom N2 Nolla have presented the case of strategy creation using the service design as a tool.

ABB and  N2 Nolla - Service design as a tool for strategy creation

ABB and N2 Nolla – Service design as a tool for strategy creation

ABB Drivers, who produce devices that are used for speed control of electrical motors, needed to develop a new strategy in order to create better customer experiences in digital touch points. N2 Nolla was chosen because of their service design approach in strategy creation.

Believing that co-creation is the most powerful way to build internal commitment, they started with putting together right team for the job. From ABB, team joined people from sales, product management, and marketing coms. From N2 Nolla came service designers, market researcher and digital strategist.

Strategy development process started with creation of clear brief. Next phase was about obtaining insights, both internal and external. Regarding external stakeholders, early decision was made to focus on customers, while investors and those looking for jobs were left aside. Internal insights were obtained from the factory tour and discussions with sales and product management. External insights were collected from 8 countries in discussions with end-customers, partners and OEMs.

Strategy development process

Strategy development process

Additionally, they have collected business and project goals, brand guidelines, and a lot of background information like: competitor analysis and benchmarking, customer research, NPS, and market outlook.

Co-creation workshops were the most important events. First one was dedicated to current state analysis; second one was two days co-creation workshop with country organizations, and the last one with the core team was done to finalize the work.


  • Personas used to cluster information about customers and partners
  • Buyer’s journeys and gap analysis used to identify problems and challenges in interactions.

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Power to Change User Behavior

In yesterday’s Service Design Breakfast event at Startup Sauna, Janne Lohvansuu from User Intelligence has presented the case of live UX design in YLE’s Eurovision ambiance. User Intelligence have prototyped and tested new event page for YLE during the Eurovision 2013. Prototype was interactive, connected to live content during the events and tested by Eurovision enthusiasts. That way they have obtained crucial insights for the new service concept that intend to change the way we are watching TV.

“We, user experience professionals have an awesome power to change user’s behavior with the help of technology” Janne said. Research shows that 86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV. This brings an opportunity to introduce second screen on mobile devices and engage users with the content related to TV program. YLE and User Intelligence got engaged to explore that opportunity. That’s how it all began.

UserIntelligence - Ding dong! - Live UX design in YLE Eurovision ambiance

User Intelligence – Ding dong! – Live UX design in YLE Eurovision ambiance

Applying service design, User Intelligence started from understanding the big picture – customer journey. It was about creating event hype stamina, from initial competitions through different events, culminating in Eurovision finals. After the big picture, they moved to details of the customer journey – what happens before, during and after each event.

Having in mind different screen sizes of mobile devices, User Intelligence came up with event page concept. That was based on mapping of event’s time dimension (before, during, after) on different type of devices. Event page concept helped them to understand the change and to enter the cycle of rapid prototyping. For example, “before” page contained down counting ticking clock. “During” page had 2 tabs – one to watch TV show and another to watch next to TV content, like current ranking of songs. Depending on device, one or both tabs were present.

In-event testing was not done with ordinary, but extreme users – Eurovision fans. Their needs are quite the same as ordinary people have, just amplified and therefore easier to identify. Separate room was decorated to resemble home atmosphere, with sofa and multiple mobile devices scattered around – phones, tablets, and laptops. Users were freely using and changing device. For example, when following live content if they noticed their favorite is moving up, that produced more interest and made them change device looking for video content. Most useful were video clips. If they missed something they were able to find it.

Design process – the wheel of UX with key additions.

Design process – the wheel of UX with key additions.

Interactive co-creation went on through multiple iterations, finally producing pages that scale both time vise and device vise. The result has met YLE’s expectation – meaningful concept of second screen and user engagement. As such, the outcome is seen as a significant step towards changing a paradigm how people are watching a TV.

How to change paradigms, or key learning from live UX design in YLE’s Eurovision ambiance case:

  • Have enthusiasm and energy – go out and interact with users
  • Engage extreme users – get into their mind set
  • Make the process lively – engage users with fun and excitement

Written by Predrag Miskeljin.

Energized by Design Thinking

Evening after the final contact session of Design Thinking course ended at Laurea, we made a family visit to our friends. Right from the door, they asked about my studies and that pretty much set the course of the evening. Eager to share the experience, I started telling about Laurea environment and learning principles, new colleagues I got to know, and especially about the content of Design Thinking course by Prof. Katja Tschimmel and Gijs Van Wulfen.  I was so highly energized talking about design thinking and innovation process, tools and practical exercises that my wife commented that she didn’t remember me being so passionate about particular topic for very long time. That made me to stop for a moment, asking myself what actually happened to make me feel like that.

Ever since, attempts to answer that question have only opened new ones as I entered the exciting journey through Design Thinking. This article is my reflection on couple of “energy sources” found along the way, rooted in fascinating perspective of changing landscape of business, culture and society.

The Purpose

Traditional purpose of business – to make money, focuses companies to maximize short term profits and delivers returns to shareholders. Great companies, however, believe that the business is inherent part of society as they, being so powerful, effectively shape the lives of their employees, partners and consumers. In those companies, people and society are not afterthoughts or inputs to be considered and discarded but the core to their purpose. (How Great Companies Think Differently by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business Review).

Design thinking is the collaborative process by which the designer’s sensibilities and methods are used to match people’s needs, not only with what is technically feasible and viable business strategy, but what generates social value. It is new powerful and effective approach applicable in different domains that enables non-designers, individuals and teams, to produce breakthrough innovations (Change by Design by Tim Brown). As such, design thinking in now becoming a new competitive advantage.

The Way to Do It

FORTH innovation method

FORTH innovation method

Continuous improvement as commonly practiced in organizations is not enough to ensure competitiveness in the future. For that, companies need to establish systematic innovation process.

One approach is FORTH – innovation method by Gijs van Wulfen. FORT consists of 5 stages which organization can complete in 15 weeks ideating several innovative products or services. It starts with out-of-the-box thinking. First by setting the focus, then continuing with observing and learning about customers’ needs and innovation opportunities, and finally coming to the point of raising and testing ideas. It ends with “home coming” or putting it back to the box in a form of new mini business cases to enable decision making for the implementation.

FORTH comes accompanied with comprehensive set of design thinking tools meant to free and speed up thinking process and ensure more effective interaction with stakeholders (Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation by Katja Tschimmel).

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Example of Extremely Lean Service Design and Development in Reactor

In the second Service Design Breakfast event this fall organized by Aalto University and Startup Sauna on October 16, Reaktor presented the case where they integrated service design with lean software development.

The project, done for Barona, was about creating software that would find best match between jobs and job applicants. Starting point was construction sector where Barona had to do a lot of short term contracts but didn’t have IT support in place. Paper form that was used for the contracts had 200 fields! Unsurprisingly, success rate in finding the best match was not at adequate level.

Karri-Pekka Laakso from Reaktor

Karri-Pekka Laakso from Reaktor talks about how Reactor integrates  service design with lean software development

Project was done following Kanban method. Initial hassle involved producing a lot of UI design and heavy discussion what were the most important features that would actually be developed. The main challenge was how to define minimum viable product (MVP) to be able to launch early and enter the loop of learning. Getting early to production appears so crucial that the Reaktor’s learning suggests that is better to go early with minimum product (M_P) even if it doesn’t do much useful things, then to do too much with viable product (_VP) and waste time and money.

Reaktor’s team decided not to have Product Owner, as it was very difficult to get a good one in the past. Instead, they asked customers directly what the value would be. They selected key stakeholders from customer side – real people with whom they develop good relationship. They brought them together to discuss and prioritize features. Their input helped in defining MVP. After the launch, in addition to regular users’ feedback which was about “what” worked, what didn’t and what is missing, those stakeholders were able to answer important question “why”. Such understanding enabled team to start fixing the product remarkably fast releasing the most valuable changes to production within four days!

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