“We needed a fresh approach, all our clients already know service design and how to use the tools”, starts anthropologist and service designer Veera Suomalainen her talk at October’s IxDA Helsinki meetup.
My first thought was what?! Every time I tell people that I study service design, I have to explain them what it means. I guess the clients of Suomalainen’s Exove are more enlightened.
As Suomalainen’s background is in anthropology, she got the idea to look at rituals and how they could be used in service design. Rituals are repetitive actions with a greater goal and bigger meaning than just the function. Examples of rituals are rites of passage such as the Finnish military service or penkkarit.
Veera Suomalainen explaining rites of passage.
When a person is performing a rite of passage they are in a liminal space, not here but not yet there. This liminality garners great fellowship with others in the same position. Liminality can be found in non-places such as airports or shopping malls as they do not have rich meanings.
12 hours of innovative groupwork, inspirational talks, delicious brainfood and of course: competition. What more could a future service designer ask for on an average tuesday?
USCO (Using Digital Co-Creation for Business Development) is a project managed by Laurea University of Applied Sciences and the University of Tampere. The project involves eight organizations that represent both private and public services.
10.10. 2017 a hackathon of services was arranged at Laurea Leppävaara. The hackathon was based on the human-centered perspectives of design. The aim of the hackathon was to rearrange the services as we know them and to create new human-centered services for the 100 year old Finland. 18 multidisciplinary teams participated in the event and by the end of the day 18 brilliant ideas packed in one minute videos were presented to other teams and the jury consisting of experts. The winners were announced and rewarded in a gala filled with bubbles and balloons.
Our host at the USCO gala
Our team had the privilege to create a service for a fictional persona Matti, a 60 year old chairman of his condominium. The premise of the design process was to create a human-centered service, a design for life. As a result of an iterative and sometimes frustrating process we came up with a brilliant idea that would fulfill Matti’s needs as an enthusiastic chairman devoted to the community: a digital service that connects Matti to the other residents and the other condominiums in the area. Our service Fiksu Naapuri (Smart Neighbour) enables all the residents and condominiums to participate and communicate on different levels.
Did you know that a person’s satisfaction can be observed from the way they are standing? Behavioural scientist Pelle Guldborg Hansen tells us that you can. If a person is standing on their dominant foot and resting the other one, they are happy. If they are annoyed they tend to sway.
Hansen’s research helps companies to improve their services. His company iNudgeYou has done a lot of work with airports. The scientists have sat for hours and hours at different touchpoints collecting data of how people behave and how they might be nudged into behaving differently.
Nudging is defined as any aspect of choice that should not influence behaviour in principle, but does in practice. He gives an example from the toilets of the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Men tend to splash urine around when using the urinals. It might not be a big problem for individual men, but it is a big problem for the airport, because it must clean all the toilets with all the urine on the walls and floors.
Grafia (Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland) organized an event called ‘An illustration in design process‘ during Helsinki Design Week 2017 on 15 September. Graphic artist Leena Kisonen and illustrator Linda Linko discussed about illustration styles and design processes. Leena shared the story behind her own visual language and showed examples of her work over the years. She gave many ideas on developing and finding inspiration for illustration work. Linda walked through the design process from idea and pitch to ready illustration. She also explained how to communicate visually with a customer.
Create your individual visual personality
How to create your own illustration style as a designer? If you want to concentrate on the illustration design process you should create a style that can be recognized. It’s important to create an individual style that can be repeated effectively. Most designers use same software but adding a personal touch makes the illustrations unique.
I had only just started my Service Design studies in Laurea when I noticed an ad on Facebook of an event called Palvelumuotoilun Q&A – Sparraile ja innostu kehittämään (Free translation: Q&A of Service Design – Come to sparr and get excited about SD) organized by a group of XAMK Service Design students and was welcoming everyone interested in Service Design. Due to the event title, as well as the fact that the event was organized and advertised as part of the ongoing Helsinki Design Week 2017, I decided to pay a visit on my way home from work.
Service designers and City of Helsinki employees have developed a new model for citizen participation. One model application is a game that the city service teams, for example in libraries or in health stations, play in order to plan how to increase the participation of their clients.
The goal of Helsinki is to become the best functioning city in the world. According to the new strategy of the City one way to get there is to increase the participation of the citizens.
Service design in the strategy of the City
Although Helsinki is among the top cities in the world (3rd last year on the list of the best cities to live in), there is still a lot to do, since some of the city employees never thought how to make their clients to participate in developing the services. The new strategy gives a strong mandate to the employees to do that now. Service design is in the heart of the City strategy.
“Helsinki is primarily a place and a community, not a bureaucracy. I believe that the City cannot solve the big challenges – nor is it even sensible to do so – on its own, but instead we need strategic partnerships with everyone who is interested in developing Helsinki” – Mayor Jan Vapaavuori in the City news
Ever thought about this? Is service design just one ism, which comes like a wave: First small, getting strong and then fading away. When reaching the end of its existing curve, the ism is so worn out that no-one even wants to hear the words “service design”.
Aalto University Executive Education arranged on the 1st of June 2017, on International Service Design Day, networking event around this very interesting theme. Speakers and panelists who game from different backgrounds looked at the topic in a versatile and detailed way. They represented front line service design expertise: Peter Barkman, Managing Director from Palmu Helsinki, Laura Franck, Client Service Director from Hellon, Ulla Jones, Business Designer from OP Financial Group and Pekka Toivonen, CEO of Muotohiomo. Next I will raise some points from the discussion to give some thoughts to this important heading.
Transformation is the point
Service design have to grow from project oriented way of doing to be way of thinking that leads to cultural change and transformation in organization. “Human” and “experience” should be taken as a part of business plan in the organization. The experts see that service design as a concepts and the term might disappear. The content itself becomes an everyday part of organizational approaches and practices. Whatever the term that is used, important is to make measurable changes with goal of creating better experiences and focus on customer. Continue reading →