“Service Design: From Insight to Implementation” by Andy Polaine, Lavrans Loevlie and Ben Reason (2013 Rosenfeld Media) is a positively different service design book, whereas this – rather loose – book review is written as an extra assignment of the course New Service Development by Tiia-Marina Tuominen de Sousa e Silva from SID Master Program ’12.
I must say, when I got the task to read yet another book on service design and write about it to this blog, I sighed. As a student of the subject I feel I have already covered all the angles the books can present. Service Design books seem to appear like mushrooms in the rain. However, the authors of this book think there are only a few of them – and they are right.
The books that I have come across are either about the (superb) philosophy and thinking behind service design, or listings of its various (trendy) methods. The merit of this book is that it aims at being the first real textbook on the subject, connecting the philosophy with the practicalities on grass root level. I can picture this book being learned in management studies everywhere.
“You will do yourself and the field of service design a great favour if you always include the definition of performance indicators in your proposals.”
The book is divided into nine chapters in addition to the intro that explains its existence. First, the basic difference between product and service is explained in the chapters 1-2. The following chapters 3-4 are about people, understanding their relationships, and how to capture the insights of the people’s everyday life into the design. Chapters 5-6 cover the defining and mapping of the service ecology and describe how service blueprint is used to view the service through the eyes of customers and users.
I participated in the first Global Governmental Jam that was held in the fancy ICT House (pics in the end of post) in Turku on the 5th and 6th of June. The idea of the service jams was familiar to me: we were supposed to create as many prototypes of new (public) services as possible in 48 hours. The jams abroad had been started already the evening before. However, the “common theme” was to be released only on the 5th, at 9 a.m.
We had to decipher the text (left) in order to reveal the theme. It couldn’t be anything as square as an anagram, so our team depicted funnels (cones) representing a new kind of customer service process– and a symbolic drag queen (transfering customer identity).
Then we were told to create a prototype of a service around whatever we had come up with the text. So basically there was no common theme, unless the biggestcommon nominator“public service” counts as one.
Only later we were explained the phrase “Here be dragons” that is a medieval metaphor for dangerous or unexplored territories.
Apparently, the purpose was to make public services less frightening and more approachable. Our service was to transform the employment office into an office of opportunities, where customers wouldn’t have to feel ashamed of visiting.
The prototype, the pilot, was a one year opportunity to change one’s status from unemployed into “a status of choice”; the ultimate goalbeing getting rid of the term “unemployed” altogether. See Prezi here