Living in a bubble

Ever worked in a multidisciplinary team? Everything worked out well, people got along and you achieved amazing results together? Or maybe there were some challenges along the way?

Service Design Network Finland organised an event at Futurice on 14th of March about the power of multidisciplinary teams. In a service design spirit, there was both talking and doing.

We had  several insights from both in-house and agency service design on the topic. Eeva Raita from Futurice was talking about embracing difference in creative team work. People are attracted to similarity. If you’re a designer , you like to hang out with other designers. IT people spend time with other IT people. The problem is that too much cohesion is bad for creativity. Desire for harmony makes people inhibit their pursue of new ideas and strategies. We all live in bubbles and there’s nothing wrong with that. But to be able to work creatively in a multidisciplinary team you need to step out of the bubble. How to do that?



There was a mini-brainstorming workshop on working with multidisciplinary teams. Each team was brainstorming on challenges they had faced and possible solutions. Almost all teams came up with some kind of game ideas. One idea for example was that the team would play escape room game together. Many of the ideas were so called  “happy poops”.


Here are the results from my teams brainstorming session:


I think that game idea works well because it helps to break the ice in the team when you have some some fun before getting your hands dirty on real work.

Tuija Ojanen from Palmu shared a good point that you need customers voice to work together. Plan, participate and iterate with end-customer. Don’t forget to include the business controller of end-customer in steering group. For the steering group (who have the money but no time) give small individual comments from customers, not result summaries.

Digitalising Everything

On August 18th I had the pleasure to participate in Aalto University’s annual Make it Digital! event. Having visited the event already last year I greatly enjoyed both the event’s and the university’s focus on the Internet of Things – its impact on transforming business models, enhancing customer centricity, and the application of service design were the themes which I was looking forward to this year. Aalto has clearly understood that digitalisation is the way forward, with more than 100 professors being involved in the subject and ICT in general, and good ties that bring students and researchers together with relevent businesses.

“The technology is ready…are we? We have no choice, we have to take control.”

This year’s keynote presentation by Dr. Martin Curly, Professor and Former Director of Intel Labs Europe, provided an overview of what it means to make everything digital. He shed light on three colliding key mega trends the world is seeing right now: Digital transformation, mass collaboration, and sustainability. He emphasized that industries which were established and shaped during over a century are now going to be re-architected in just under one decade by these trends and the new business models they make possible.


Looking at digital transformation, powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses switch from manufacturing and selling products to offering intelligent services to their customers. The IoT further means that products are not just physical objects anymore. They also have a digital side which is actually much more important than the mere physical object. The digital counterpart, enabled by IoT platforms, collects, stores, analyses and controls all kinds of information coming from the object, its environment and how it is being used by its owner. This technological leap enables mass collaboration: people to people, people to machines, machines to people, and machines to machines. It brings a major change in our interaction with everyone and everything.

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My Service Design day 19.5.2016

CASE OP / 9.15 am – 10.45amNäyttökuva 2016-05-21 kohteessa 12.12.05

Thursday 19th of May I participated OP Bank´s service design 90 minutes seminar at Radisson Blu Hotel in Kamppi. Harri Nieminen introduced us the world of OP and their new strategy behind OP´s customer service. OP has almost 180 banks all over the Finland. They also offer services for their customers from insurance and health care section. One of the most important competitive actors in customer service 2016  is customer experience. For this reason you must know your customers very well. Today´s challenge is not only customer´s service experiences but also technology. Digital world offers and creates new competition worldwide. People are asking service in different ways than before.

Näyttökuva 2016-05-21 kohteessa 11.28.28

Channel experience © harrimatias #OPmuotoilu


To get there what people are waiting for, OP works together with several designers and listens carefully their own customers. Empathy is cornerstone. At OP their want to create services that are meaningful and loveable, they want to solve existing problems together with their customers. For this as a method OP use OP Design Sprint. Design Sprint is 3 days hands on working together with customers: day1 is learning, day 2 is creating, and day 3 is testing.

Harri Nieminen says: ”If we don’t understand and validate needs of our customers, we concentrate easily for wrong details” “Designer is a trustee of client”.

For me message of this seminar was clear and loud – OP Service design is making things visible and understandable, doing in practise in OP world.

CASE DesignersDay2016 / 2pm-6pm

At the same day I participated for DesignersDay 2016 at Apollo Club, Helsinki, organized by Kesko. Idea behind this day was networking with different type of designers. This evening I was privileged to listen lectures from Dutch designer Gunther Bauer and Finnish Service Design expert Juha Tuulaniemi.

Mr Bauer talked about his own company “Pimp my shop”.

His motto “Learn by doing” has brought him in to retail designing. Through Amsterdam based company Finishing Dutch retail design he has worked together for example big cosmetic and beauty shop Etos in NL. In his example during the lecture I found it fascinating how he added music in his slides while telling us about his project; music to attract our senses! Just like you should do when designing services to people; To get their attention you have to catch the people. Mr Bauer used music to catch up our attention! “You must attract! You have to communicate! You have to be there! Customer wants value and you must answer their needs!” – this was bottom line from Gunther Bauer underlined with Ikea commercial.

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How to make drinking water cool

I’ve always liked challenges and when I learnt that Laurea Leppävaara will be hosting the Global Service Jam in February 2016 I decided to take part. So far, I’ve been pretty much a novice in service design, but I like the idea of “learning by doing”, which is a key element of service design and the motto of Laurea. The 48-hour workshop started with an interesting lecture about empathy and how it can be efficiently used in service design. After the lecture we were tense and unsure what the future (evening) holds. The only thing we knew was that within the next few minutes the global Jam theme would be pronounced. The minutes were long and I felt like time just slows down. My heart rate increased by the minute, I was so excited! When the theme was finally released I guess I was not the only one who was totally flabbergasted. They announced the theme in a form of sound that sounded like something had just dropped into water. After that, we (jammers) were instructed to write down one problem which first comes to our mind around this theme. The best ideas were selected by scoring them. Every jammer then chose the most interesting idea out of them and teams were built.

team coolWater

The main problem of our team concerned how to reduce the usage of water bottles (plastic bottles). At the same time we wanted the user look cool when using the bottle. While brainstorming, ideas were eagerly exchanged, laugh could not be avoided and it was funny to note that most of the team members carried plastic water bottles with them. Eventually, we came up with an idea to create an intelligent, cool looking reusable water bottle, coolWater, which can be filled up at coolWater refill stations. We did not want to concentrate only on the appearance but also on the material. The bottle needs to be durable, ecological and easy to carry.  This led us to consider a brand new smart, carbon fibre bottle. We also thought about today´s technology. The coolWater bottle has a sensor which is connected to the user´s smartphone. It provides current data, for example the amount of bacteria inside the bottle and alerts when the bottle needs to be washed. From the health perspective, when the user grabbs the bottle it measures his/her level of hydration and sends the information to the user´s coolWater app.


Finally, last but not least, the bottle label can be personalized. The users can download their own photos into the label which is made of electronic paper. Besides the intelligent bottle, we wanted to create a user-friendly app. By using the coolWater app the user can easily order the bottle with the features he/she likes and the navigation system helps finding the nearest coolWater refill station which can be found on airports, shopping centers, gyms, schools, etc. Therefore, the users are not forced to refill their water bottles in the public restrooms anymore.

In order to understand the need for this kind of intelligent water bottle, we conducted a consumer survey at shopping center Sello. We got a lot of good feedback and most of the participants told us they would buy the bottle if made available. The participants felt that the most important features of the bottle were cleanliness, easy washing and a personalized layout.

As we know, 48 hours is a very short time to create a totally new service design but we made it! We were able to draft business model canvas for coolWater, create personas according to consumer research and make a video which presented the prototype.


Our team had a lot of talent for which I am truly thankful. But we were not the only ones. 48 hours of work culminated in great presentations which all had something unique and innovative for the listeners.

Now, few weeks later I am still smiling. 🙂 It was just phenomenal to work with people you did not know before and build the best group spirit ever. Thank you to my teammates Karolina, Laura, Hanna, Mika, and Jouni for making this possible. I would also like to thank our mentors whose support was supervaluable. Last but not least, a warm thank you to the organizers of this event, you made it memorable. All the information I gathered about service design within these 48 hours is now in use in my daily work. I can easily say this was one the best experiences in my life and I want to say to anyone who has the opportunity to take part in the jams in the future, go for it!


Global Service Jam Helsinki 2016 – rookie´s point of view

Global Service Jam Helsinki 2016 took place at Laurea Leppävaara campus on 26-28th February. There were about 50 Jammers at Leppävaara but we had other Jammers all around world; about 40 countries and 100 cities were Jamming together with us at the same time. The main idea of the Jam is to work in small teams and develop new services and solutions based on a certain theme by processing ideas into hands-on solutions while using service design methods, problem solving, testing and prototyping.

The secret theme was announced on Friday evening; a sound of a water splash! This splash inspired everyone thinking a problem related to this sound which they would like to solve during the Jam. Small teams were created around those problems which we participants found were the most interesting ones.

Our team´s problem was: How to reduce the use of water bottles and still look cool when drinking water. On Friday we started brainstorming ideas and themes around this problem. We used Legos building up different environments where people use water. We also thought of different purposes people need water for. Based on this, we ended up thinking if people would know the closest source for water, would it reduce the amount of bottled water purchased from e.g. supermarkets and stores. As a solution we created a mobile application “Easy Water”, which finds you the closest water point based on your location and provides you a map to locate it. We built a paper prototype of the application to show to people at Sello shopping center on Saturday.



On Saturday we interviewed people at Sello and showed and talked them through our application. At the same, we gathered their ideas and development proposals. Back at campus, we tried to develop our idea and application further based on that information. Because none of use hadn´t shoot videos before, we started working on a power point presentation as our final presentation to show on Sunday.

On Sunday we continued working on the final presentation when heard from mentors and tutors that power point presentations were not liked (at all) as a way of presenting. We didn´t know this, being rookies all the three of us… We had roughly two hours left before final presentation show time to come up with totally new idea of conveying our solution to other and to judges. We ended up acting it!! What a relief it was when the presentation was over. We made it, with so little experience and in such a short time!

My advice: Go Jamming even if you´re a rookie! It will be a learning lesson by doing, not lectures. It feels difficult and frustrating at times but you also gain those Ahaa!-experiences as well. And you learn a big deal from others; mentors, tutors, visiting lecturers, other teams and from your own team members. You even might want to go jamming again!

Work- a Head

I was also participant in Jamming last week at Laurea Leppävaara-campus. Service Jam is about developing new services.  Teams will move from ideas to hands-on solutions using methods from service design, innovative problem solving, and rapid prototyping”.  Testing and prototyping and making new app was very interesting. it was hard and busy time, but I like it and enjoyed it much.

There were 4 of us in our team. We had good feeling and everybody made excellent work. Our problem was “How to help young people to find a field of study/Work that suit them best?” I wanted to find out, how hard that is to the young people find summer  job or field to study.  We came up with an idea of new  application which will help young people to find easy work. Young have to fill up some personality information and profile like what he or she is interested in. After that the application will send five companies name that might be suitable for you.

We started our work whit brainstorming session and decide four question that we will use Saturday morning in Sello. We  made about 20 interviwed  and made after that firs prototypes of our application. People was easygoing and they had time to discuss whit us.





Field work in Sello

We find out that young people need to have work experience to gain work experience. Future work life wants multitalents, but the government wants us to pick one study path. New generations are no longer willing to accept job that don`t suit their personalities and interests.   On Saturday 4 pm. we started to make finally application and started to make handwrite about our presentation.  Sunday morning we made our video hand started to make the presentation. Our project was ready at 2.30 pm. We made digital applicantion and video of our  solutions.  It was very nice to solve the  problem by  using methods from service design.


Prototyping the new application

I can also recommend Service Jam for all students who have even a little interest for service design. Today in many case it will be useful to face a problem by using service design methods. At the Jam you can meet new people and get new friends. I want to thank Heidi, Veera and Pilvi they all are skillful young ladyes.


Service Jam newbie’s experiences in the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2016

On Friday evening approximately 7 pm about 50 participants of the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2016 sitting in the auditorium in Laurea Leppävaara heard a sound of a water splashing. That was the secret theme of this year’s Jam.

After hearing the secret theme the jammers had to think up a problem that needed to be solved that came to their mind from the theme sound. Then the jammers chose seven most interesting problems, everyone picked the problem that interested them the most and the teams started to build around the problems. I chose a problem called: “how to reduce the use of plastic water bottles and still look cool when drinking water”.

Our team had lots and lots of ideas and the conversations were really active the whole Friday evening. We collected all our ideas and the concept called “coolWater” formed quite fast. coolWater concept consists of an intelligent, reusable water bottle, a mobile app and coolWater refill stations, where the user can fill up their water bottles.  You can read more about the concept here .


On Saturday morning we made our first very rough prototype of our idea and then headed to Sello shopping mall where we made a short survey by asking people if they carry water bottles with them and what they thought of our idea of coolWater concept. After the research we came back and continued building the prototype and describing the customer journey by making videos where we showed the actual user situations of the concept. We also described four different user personas and made a business model canvas of our concept.

Sunday morning went fast while finishing the prototype, user situation videos and the presentation. Our presentation was a video consisting of the backgrounds of our concept, user situation videos and drawings of the prototype. We finished our presentation video only few minutes before the deadline on 2 pm.

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