Archive by Author | Susanna Turunen

The Course for Human-Centered Design: How Might We Enable More Young People to Become Social Entrepreneurs?

The Course for Human-Centered Design (provided by Ideo.org and +Acumen) is a seven-week curriculum, which introduces the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change.  This course has been developed to educate those, who are brand new to human-centered design. No prior experience is required. However, I would recommend this course for anyone looking to improve their human-centered design skills.

What is Human-Centered Design? 

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is a creative approach to solve any kind of problem. The process starts with the people for whom the solution is designed; and ends with e.g. new product or service that is tailor-made to suit these people’s needs. HCD is all about building a deep empathy with the people’s needs and motivations, generating a lot of ideas, creating prototypes, sharing the ideas and solutions with the people; and eventually taking the new innovative solution out in the world. Please see the below video describing the concept of HCD.

Our team and design challenge

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Experiences from the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2015

10393857_741350965951185_8017900955231328757_nGlobal Service Jam is a yearly event enabling anyone interested in service design and design thinking to co-create, experiment and develop new solutions inspired by a shared theme.  This year, the Jam was arranged in 100 cities during the weekend of February 27th – March 1st all around the world.

In the Jam, the participants will go through the entire service design process in one weekend, gathering customer insight, creating new service concepts in interdisciplinary teams, building prototypes and testing the new concepts with real customers.

For me it was the first time I have ever participated in the Global Service Jam. I had high expectations and have to say that my expectations were exceeded. The Jam is an absolutely fantastic event to learn about service design, customer oriented service development, creative methods, concept development along with meeting new people and getting new friends. It is a 48 hour journey, focusing on “doing and not talking”, creating solutions based on real customer needs – and having a lot of fun!  The following video will provide a glimpse of what the Global Service is all about and revealing what the shared theme for 2015 Jam was.

During the Jam we also had inspiring presentations by Jani Turku from IMPROVement and Anton Schubert, the Head of Design at Futurice. The key message from Jani Turku was that creating new services requires you to allow yourself to play, be human, listen, say “yes, and…” instead of “no, but…”, dare to try new things and to be open-minded.

Anton Schubert talked about the importance of prototyping and how everything can actually be tested. It is just the matter of using the right tools and methods. Prototyping is about learning, failing safely and inexpensively, i.e. failing often to succeed sooner, as stated by David Kelley, the founder of IDEO.

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Building Mobile Wallet Pivo

The series in the Service Design Breakfast (#SDA15) continued with an exciting topic on November 5th, when OP-Pohjola, the largest national bank in Finland, and design company Nordkapp presented how they designed and developed the Mobile Wallet Pivo – one of the most successful banking applications in Finland.

Pivo Wallet has an intuitive and simple UI.

Pivo Wallet has an intuitive and simple UI.

What is Pivo?

Pivo is a digital wallet application for smart phones. With an intuitive and simple UI, it offers an easy way for customers to glance at their account balance, while simultaneously viewing their purchase history and an estimate for future spending based on their buying habits. It helps customers to be in control of their daily spending and to know what they can afford. Pivo has also integrated loyalty programs into the service offering, such as PINS and Cityshoppari, enabling the customer to find offers and coupons based on their interest and location. Thus, Pivo is a platform for mobile payments, focusing on the purchase moment, before and after the actual payment. The aim has been to develop one common brand for other partners and banks to build on.

Continuous feedback from the customers

A Lean UX design process was used to develop Pivo Wallet, with the continuous circle of thinking, iterating and measuring. Customers have been involved throughout the entire design process. Actually they were involved already before the concrete concept was defined. Feedback was asked from customers based on a vague idea using a video prototype communicating the concept thinking. A lot of qualitative and quantitative user research was made already in the beginning of the process. The hypotheses were validated with interviews, demos, usability tests as well as private alpha and public beta tests. Pivo also has an active user base providing continuous feedback and improvement ideas via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Lean UX process was used to develop Pivo Wallet.

Lean UX design process was used to develop Pivo Wallet.

The UI is the actual product

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Transform Your Business Through Design Thinking

The postindustrial digital age and the emergence of the experience economy have fundamentally changed the requirements and the expectations how companies develop and deliver new services. Well-known brands like Airbnb, Mayo Clinic, Bank of America and HBO have all understood this shift and successfully utilized holistic design thinking approach to transform their business. They have created profitable business through sophisticated, emotionally satisfying and meaningful experiences to their customers.

Design Thinking

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking can be described as human-centered (designing “with” the users instead of “for” the users), exploratory and integrative innovation process that emphasizes observation, collaboration in interdisciplinary teams, fast learning, visualization of ideas, rapid prototyping, and concurrent business analysis. Design Thinking essentially is a way of thinking, applying designers’ sensibility and methods, leading to transformation, innovation of new products, services, business strategies and even new organizations.

The best part is that you don’t need to be a professional designer to master in Design Thinking. Nevertheless, the following key abilities are important for a Design Thinker:

  • visual and divergent thinking
  • empathy and cultural sensitivity
  • integrative and holistic thinking
  • the ability to think in analogies and metaphors

Models and Tools for Design Thinking

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