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Co-creating a City Family Centre

Kallio Family Centre Workshop for Residents
28.1.2019 Caisa Cultural Center, Leipätalo, Helsinki

For some time already, I have been interested in how the residents of Helsinki are engaged in developing the city and city services. I have participated e.g. in the Participatory Budgeting planning sessions targeted for the residents in November 2018. This time, I attended a workshop for co-developing the Kallio Family Centre, which will be opened in the summer of 2019.

The future Centre will offer a variety of services under the same roof for families with children, e.g. maternity and child health services, home services, social work and speech therapy and physiotherapy. In the service offering,  early support for the families is  emphasized, but the support covers the whole period of family life and the many challenges it might face. The idea is, that also other service providers can offer their services in the Family Centre according to the customers’ needs, such as adult social work or adult mental disorder services. The intention is to strengthen the cooperation with different organizations also offering services for families with children. Thus, the inter-occupational teams are the basis of the operations of the Kallio Family Centre. In addition, the digital services are in focus to be developed.

The Centre is also meant to function as an open meeting point for families with children of the area. The facilities are planned to be open also during the evening time and weekends to enable different activities and gatherings, organized also by the residents. There will be a café-like space and several spaces for team work and gatherings. In the Family Centre project customers have been placed in the center, and the services and the space solutions are aimed to be designed from this perspective. Regarding this project, at least one workshop engaging residents has been organized, in May 2018. According to the City of Helsinki, about ten residents attended the the workshop where e.g. the visual look, waiting rooms/spaces, and furniture were discussed.

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The workshop was held in Caisa Cultural Center and the fascinating facilities of Leipätehdas in Sörnäinen.

The workshop I attended on January 28, 2019, was named as “Kallio Family Centre Workshop for Residents” (in Finnish: “Kallion perhekeskuksen asukastyöpaja”). When arriving at the workshop space, I noticed that around 20 people were there, and I thought great, people have found the event! However, it turned out that there were only two of us, who were representing the residents. The other participants were from the City of Helsinki or the third sector organizations who are, or could be, somehow involved in the Kallio Family Centre project or operations. So, the purpose of the workshop did not quite have the preconditions of being successful in terms of engaging the residents of the area. However, all the participants were very enthusiastic about the workshop.

The three-hour workshop was divided in two sessions. In the first session we ideated individually activities the Family Centre should offer using post-it notes. Then, we discussed the ideas in groups of 3-4 persons and selected max 5 most inspiring ideas. Then we shared the ideas among the participants and the facilitator wrote the ideas on a flip chart.

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After the ideation session, we had to select one of our ideas to elaborate further during the coffee break. We had to use an experience map, or matrix, in developing the activities. The matrix made us think about the customer experience and journey before, during and after the activity. We had to consider, for instance, what what inspires the customer or what kind of expectations he/she might have.  In addition, we had to describe what happens from the arrival to the end of the activity, and what kind of features would make the experience good or bad. We were able also to use pictures from magazines, draw, or whatever we thought would help to communicate our ideas.

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After working on the ideas for 30 minutes, we shared them in front of the others in the form of four-minute pitch explaining the flipchart sheet.

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As the initial ideas of the groups were written down on a flip chart by the facilitator, and we got to pick the idea for elaboration in our groups without sharing them with the other groups, many similar ideas were selected, and the ideas overlapped quite a lot. Basically, all the ideas that were developed further were initially from the same root idea, a themed peer activity group meeting. However, different perspectives emerged, and that particular idea was elaborated further.

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However, it was a bit shame that there were only two customer representatives. The service providers, or the people who are involved somehow in the project, tend to keep in mind the limitations and restrictions they have at the moment, which narrows their perspective.

There might be many reasons for the fact that so few residents attended the workshop. However, this example shows again the importance of the recruitment and communication of open co-creative workshops, which aim to empower citizens. It is of utmost importance to find the right and functioning recruitment channels, start the communication early enough to reach the residents/customers, not to mention how to ensure that not only the most active residents are participating the events.

Unfortunately, it is often discovered, that co-creation is not easy. It is rather slow, and it is costly – but still, it needs to be practiced if the service development aims to be customer-centric. It is easy to put a “check” on the “Engage residents/customers” box in the strategy and project plan, and not to worry about who attended or if the residents/customers were involved at all.

It is great to notice that the City of Helsinki is putting a lot of effort in participatory decision-making and involving citizens in developing the city services. I hope that the Kallio Family Centre project will continue engaging residents and other stakeholders in the last phases of the project, as well as after the Centre has opened its doors. It’s the only way to go, if wanting to make a difference in the service offering and the way the Centre operates.

 

Designers share – part 3: Open sessions at Service Experience Camp 2018

By Ninja Fedy

After introducing the Service Experience Camp 2018 in a blog post earlier I am now sharing insights from a few open sessions I attended at the event.

Session 1: Design Sprints 

This session was meant for those who had already facilitated design sprints “the Google way” and was hosted by one of SXC organisers, Manuel Großmann. We shared insights from design sprints we had run in very different settings, issues we had faced, how we had solved them and if we hadn’t, others could suggest their solutions to overcome certain challenges with the process.

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I was able to share learnings from design sprints I have run as I have facilitated them in a variety of settings including both public and private sector and many kinds of problem areas. Participants mentioned hacks such as:

  • Incorporating relevant data of customer segments and persona cards into the first day of the sprint
  • Starting the day with a short presentation on key insights from data (in the original sprint process customer insights are only included in the form of short expert interviews during the first day).
  • Doing a podcast after a design sprint to share the learning in an easy way

Other valuable tips can be found in these photos:

Session 2: Fighting mental shortcuts by other mental shortcuts?

This session was a mix of a lecture and group work about three mental shortcuts that cause biases in the design process. These biases were confirmation bias, the bandwagon effect and the Ikea effect.

During the group work we discussed how these biases could be avoided and prepared a short presentation about our topic, the bandwagon effect, for the others.

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Photo by Silviu Guiman

Bandwagon effect is a very common bias, often prevalent in focus groups or basically any group decision situation. It’s that “if everyone supports it, then it must be right” thinking that often leads to people sticking to the status quo or choosing an option just because more experienced people around them choose it even though they actually think that another option is better. This is why I personally use a lot of silent brainstorming exercises, silent voting and silent commenting – these facilitation methods are actually also used during the above-mentioned design sprint process.

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The presenter slides – including the group work canvases and a few informative slides – can be found on Slideshare.

Here are a few of the workshop cards:

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Session 3: Listen like a poet

“If you’re an amazing listener, people will tell you secrets. As a service designer, finding out the secrets of service experiences enables you to craft delight.”

My favourite session was this one by Frankie Abralind, an experience designer from Sibley Memorial Hospital. He was also one of the keynote speakers but in his open session he talked about his passion rather than his everyday work.

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Photo by Silviu Guiman

Frankie’s passion is to delight others – especially terminally ill patients at the hospital – with poems that he writes on spot with an old-school typewriter based on stories people tell him. Frankie has already started a movement with this work that once began with a “Free custom-made poems” sign in the hospital cafeteria and a few patients that came to him who were deeply touched by his poetry.

What made Frankie’s session so good were not just his amazing presentation skills but also the fact that we could see that he was very moved by his encounters with the patients and that he wants to share his skills – listening and writing – with people who need them the most.

Frankie urged us all to spend more time listening instead of talking and to give some of our time to listen to those whose voices don’t often get heard.

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Frankie has done some videos of good and bad listening to showcase how important it is to really listen, you can watch them on Vimeo.

Read more about Frankie’s movement at: poetsinresidence.org and at: freecustompoetry.org

Photos by Ninja Fedy if not stated otherwise.

From a maze into a daze

Towards solutions via co-creation

 

On December 11th I attended an event called Redi*: Towards Solutions, in Redi*’s Vapaakaupungin Olohuone. Vapaakaupungin Olohuone is a open space for everyone who wants to hold an event, a workshop or just to be. It’s possible to organize events for free as long as they are free for everyone who participates. In this particular event was citicens, students, designers and Redi* workers who wanted to improve Redi*s services.

 

In the beginning of event the Director of Retail Consepts Patrick Sjöberg greeted us and explained that Redi* wants to be a place to meet friends ans spend time, not only for shopping. They hope to create a customer journey that is enjoyable and seamless. After Sjöbergs appearance Putte Huima from Palmu opened the concepts of this evening and why we all were there. Redi* is the latest addition to Helsinki’s shopping mall scene and it opened it’s doors in September 2018. According to the managers and designers Redi* is a wholesome concept, not just a shopping mall for shopping purposes. In addition to the physical spaces and shops Redi* also consists of interaction and encounters between people. Also the renters have their own goals, targets and numbers too that modify the needs of the Redi* concept.

 

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The beginning journey for Redi* hasn’t been as fair passage that everyone had hoped
though. This commercial centre has received quite a lot qritique from the customers and the renters.  The previous Director of Retail Concepts and the Main Architect were aware of the maze like appearance of Redi*. Later the Director of Retail Consepts got fired.

 

 

 

Related to this design process Palmu has started their own work that led to this event. They have even wrote a blog post about the designs of shopping malls that received an immediate response from Helsingin Sanomat in a form of follow up article.

 

Key learnings

The idea of this workshop was to create ways to ease the navigation process and help people to understand the whole concept of Redi*. In the next chapters I will try to unfold the things that I took up from the event.

Firstly, this event reminded me of that how important the right indicators are when you collect data in the beginning of a design process. Right numbers from rightly chosen variables can give you the crucial information for you to find out the problem at hand. Putte Huima and Tomasz Tracewski from Palmu explained us how they have used multiple different measurements and data collection methods to get enough information about the case they are dealing with.

 

Palmu uses double diamond method generally and in this case they have approached the situation in a form of design sprint. Palmu connects user experience with business measurements in aim for the right balance and better services. In this case they have collected information about peoples experience on how easy it is to patronise and navigate in Redi. They have done interviews with people about how easy they experience Redi to be, calculated info stand’s diverse questions, find out NPS’s and CES’s.. On the other hand they have calculated pure visitor numbers, because Redi expects to have over 30 000 patrons monthly. So fas the number has been around 20 000/month.

 

Second notice for me was that a lot of the times the issue is not about the design itself but the people using the service. One has to keep in mind at all times that to whom the design is made and why. Reima Rönnholm explained us that the problem might not be about the physical guidance itself but more about the doing business in Redi in general. People desire experiences that they are familiar with, can predict, sense feeling of the control and feel stressfree. In addition that one should be get things done in Redi, the experience ought to simultaneusly feel nice and hopefully rewarding.

 

Lastly and most surprisingly I learnt that co-designing process can be transferred into a competition! Instead of actually starting co-designing workshop in the end, Palmu revealed a competition regarding the matter at hand.

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More information about the competition you can read from below. Dead line is January 31st so everyone still has time to attend!

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The schedule for the competition.

 

 

The author Siru Sirén is MBA student in Futures Studies and Customer-Oriented Services in Laurea UAS// Licenced social service professional

 

More info and ideas:

 

https://www.redi.fi

https://ratkaiseredi.fi

 

Can big organizations be agile?

For big companies, change is hard and slow. No news here. However, corporations that are successful, keep up with the change. How is it done? A few quite interesting points were raised at an event on how to engage your customers in developing digital services organized by Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce. The event was held on December 10th, 2018 and we heard keynotes from Harri M. Nieminen from Kesko and Mirette Kangas from Yle. In both organizations, service design or design thinking methods were adapted in order to drive change and develop value for the customers. I was keen to hear how change is driven in big organizations, like Kesko and Yle.

Kesko’s Lead Service Designer Harri M. Nieminen shed a bit of light to the way Kesko has started to utilize Service Design methods. As digitalization keeps accelerating, the role and power of the customer grows ever more – and in order to stay in the game, corporations, both big and small have to understand the customer. Understanding the customer is the key to provide excellent customer experience, always and everywhere. This is what Kesko is also aiming for. With his designer team, Nieminen is supporting the organization in building up winning customer experience and a seamless connection between the brick and mortar business and digital services.  

Founder of Agile Company Culture Accelerator Mirette Kangas talked about how YLE has transformed their company culture. At YLE, developing company culture is tangible and practical everyday work. Not a program or a project.  It’s all about learning together and curiously utilizing different models and methods. Part of their mindset is also to share the tools used for others to try as well.

Keep the processes light

To me it seemed that at Kesko, they cherish agility throughout their design processes.  To start with, they emphasize the importance of framing the problem in every project. The key question always is: What are we trying to solve and are we actually looking at the right problem? After the framing and solutions and ideas, they proceed quickly to prototyping. Instead of making it a huge and time-consuming project, the testing phase would, ideally, come in the third day of a three-day sprint. Experience at Kesko show that people are surprisingly willing to give their time and participate in developing new services. So, instead of waiting for the investment decision for a prototype, the insights can be gained through light means as well. The idea is to get things rolling quickly.

At YLE the agile company culture is built on experimentation too. And as Kangas emphasized, it’s not just building it, the culture is also changed through experimentation. However, it has to be systematic, not just experimenting for the sake of it. The point behind all these activities is to ensure YLE’s competitiveness in digitalization. The focus is in the future and innovative methods are implemented in everyday work.

How to succeed?

Design methods, experimentation and keeping your eyes in the future. What else is there to keep in mind, when transforming a large corporation? Both Nieminen and Kangas had some useful tips to share. Here’s my summary of their most valuable points.

  • Ensure things get done. When starting a project, make sure there’s ownership in the organization. Otherwise things might just hang loose in the air.  
  • Keep the customer in mind, always. When developing a new service, keep asking how the customer has been involved and what’s the feedback.
  • Base the change of an organization on voluntariness. It’s the basis for growth and mutual learning.
  • Leadership matters. The leader must reflect every day whether s/he is a preventer or promoter.

By the way, if you want to read more about the event, there’s another blog post about it here.

Designers share – part 2: Service Experience Camp 2018

By Ninja Fedy

sxc organisersPhoto: Silviu Guiman

The topic of the fifth Service Experience Camp was “Crafting delight, delivering value” and it was organised in Berlin on November 2-3, 2018. The concept of this two-day event is a so-called unconference: a highly interactive event where service design professionals from all around the world gather together and learn from each other. This year’s camp offered a lot of interesting but relatively short key talks as well as peer-to-peer open sessions that were organised by the participants more or less spontaneously, on the spot.

The first day of the camp started off with an introduction by the organisers Katrin Dribbisch, Mauro Rego, Martin Jordan, Manuel Grossmann and Olga Scupin (photo below, from left) – a lovely bunch of people behind service design initiatives such as the Service Design Berlin community and a print publication, the Service Gazette.

sxc organisers closeupPhoto: Silviu Guiman

The agendas of the two days looked like this before the camp started and the empty slots got filled by the open sessions:

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Key talk by Maria Lumiaho

Maria Lumiaho, Design Director at the Finnish airline company Finnair, was the first guest on stage. Her talk was mainly about how they built up design capabilities and an in-house design team of 90 designers in just a few years and shared some personal experiences like how she as a new employee had asked for a slackbot being created to translate all the acronyms that were used in the airline business.

marialumiahoPhoto: Silviu Guiman

Finnair has to constantly be on top of different cultures and cultural changes all over the world as the company is targeting so many markets with Helsinki as a connection point between the East and the West. She encouraged all of us to start reading Chinese newspapers and reminded us how customer insights come from “all corners of the organisation”, not just designers.

Slides from the talk can be found at:

https://www.slideshare.net/ServiceExperienceCamp/creating-next-level-flight-experiences-maria-lumiaho (video of the talk will follow).

 

Open Sessions

The first key talk was followed by a call-to-action for the open sessions. Anyone in the audience could come up to the stage and pitch their idea about a 1-hour session on any topic. These session topics were then divided into smaller spaces at the event location, Kalkscheune in Berlin, and participants could freely choose the ones they were interested in. The format of the session was free: open discussion, workshop, lecture or a mix of these.

I will share my insight from a few sessions in a separate blog post.

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sxc board manuel . sxc board put

Photos: Silviu Guiman

Other key talks

More key talks were given throughout the camp days by:

 

  • Temi Adeniyi from Blinkist – Data driven intuition and taking hunches seriously (video of the talk will follow)

 

 

 

  • Jay Kaufmann from Zalando – Reimagining fashion and designing at scale (video of the talk will follow)

 

 

Panel discussion

The camp ended with a panel discussion and a wrap-up where the keynote speakers shared their thoughts on current topics in service design. What stuck for me was Hanna Kops’ comment on how important it is to give designers space to do their work. I personally see lack of “empty space” to allow for creativity to flourish as something that is often missing in design projects.

The panelists also pointed out the importance of storytelling: telling about the value you are creating so that users understand it and business people can tell it on when you are not there to justify the design decisions that were based on real user needs.

panelPhoto: Silviu Guiman

Wrap-up

The Service Experience Camp 2018 was wrapped up by the hosts with distribution of prizes and a short introduction to what each of them will be doing in the near future as this event was sadly the last Service Experience Camp.

All the key talks are likely to be shared on Service Design Berlin’s social media accounts so keeping an eye on those will pay off if you are keen to learn more. Most of the slides from the key talks and open sessions can already be found at:

https://www.slideshare.net/ServiceExperienceCamp (including slides from this and previous years’ camps)

and the official photos at:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/servicedesignberlin/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2142090329169408

Thanks for reading! Next up will be part 3 of my series “Designers share”.

 

Designers share – part 1: video tour through Berlin

By Ninja Fedy

I’m on a personal mission: to start sharing knowledge in a more agile and transparent (aka. quick and dirty) way.  My first step on that path is a video I made about a Service Design Tour in Berlin. A first step in sharing insights from conferences and meet-ups that have been stuck in my mind, notebooks and laptop for way too long!

Service Design Tour is an initiative that organises visits to design agencies across Europe. Until now, the tours have been organised mainly for students to bridge the gap between the academia and professional world. According to our host for the day, Kevin Fox, this tour was the first one organised for design professionals and as a satellite event for the Service Experience Camp. Other attendants came from around the world, including Asia, North and South America, Australia and Europe.

As knowledge sharing and personal development seem to be a on-going discussion in many design agencies I chose to make a video about the topic during the tour. I asked our hosts at the tour stops the following questions: “How do you share knowledge?” and “How much time do you use for personal development?”. Watch the video below for quick interviews on the topic and get a glance at the office space of four Berlin-based design agencies: Service Innovation Labs, Fjord, Aperto and Idean!

 

Takeaways and reminders from SXC18

Service Experience Camp is not just another conference. Thought by service designers, for service designers, it is a 2-day “unconference” whose new edition always tops up the previous ones thanks to an amazing selection of design leaders as speakers, a passionate and proactive audience of practitioners, and a long list of carefully planned details that make participants feel like they don’t need to worry about anything else than just enjoying rich conversations and an inspiring atmosphere.

Gathering around 300 people from all over Europe on the first weekend of November, unfortunately this year’s edition – the fifth –  was announced to be the last. Perhaps this was the reason why its bar-camp, a grassroots format to provide participants with an informal space to run their own sessions, was so successful.  In fact, throughout the two days participants held a total of 30 open sessions, alternated by keynote speeches, networking moments, and delicious meals.

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One of the sessions run by participants

 

Before SXC18: Service Design Tour

This year, the conference program was preceded by a day-long Service Design Tour across 4 Berlin-based service design agencies. Having planned a longer stay in town, as soon as it was announced I immediately reserved a spot to discover different agencies approaches to service design and collect insights on how they overcome their most pressing challenges.

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The Service Design Tour kicked off at Service Innovation Labs

 

Starting the day with a breakfast in Kreuzberg, we first spent a couple hours at Service innovation Labs and then moved to Aperto by IBM. After a quick lunch on the way we visited Fjord, and lastly, Idean.

Here is a summary of my key insights from the Service Design Tour.

 

  • Impact beats enthusiasm

Whether we mean “impact” as financial, societal, environmental, or most often as the effect of our work on the client, the random and enthusiastic use of design thinking in business contexts seems to have come of age, leaving room to an increasing tendency towards making sure our service design efforts have a meaning and leave a long lasting, positive footprint not only on our users and clients but also (sometimes) on a larger scale.

 

 

  • The rise of new professional roles, a.k.a. what the heck is a business designer?

Something that really caught my attention concerns the rise of the new role of business designers, which just a bunch of years ago was not common at all. Perhaps due to the two world of business and design increasingly leaning towards each other, not only all 4 agencies we visited have business designers in the team, but they are actively recruiting more! Hence, upon investigation, I now understand a business designer is someone who is in charge of researching, testing, measuring and implementing a range of business related aspects into the service development process (like business models, service pricing, etc.).

In addition to business designers, another emerging professional role seems to be that of legal designers, as in those figures who take care of different legal aspects to take into account in innovation, and that are no longer engaged as an external party as in the past. In facts, it seems like almost all agencies we visited, regardless of stressing their core value proposition around service design, try to build a team of different professionals whose aim is to address and overcome challenges in the innovation journey from many different points of view.   

 

  • Team work

As opposed to the classic consultancy offering, most of these service design agencies seem to believe in building up (internal) multidisciplinary teams around a challenge, rather than allocating individual consultants to project. I really liked learning about this, as I strongly believe that sharing the joys and sorrows of a winding road with someone that has your same mindset leads to greater results.

 

Service Experience Camp 2018

Following the past edition theme “struggling for change”, this year focused on the topic of “crafting delight”, meant as the art of crafting experiences that delight users.

 

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Top 3 talks

Like in the past years, this edition’s content was very well curated from A to Z. Yet there are 3 talks that, in my opinion, will stay memorable:

1) Designing for Future life events  – Karolina Kohler, Lead Design Researcher @ Kaiser X Labs

Having never worked in the insurance industry nor bought myself an insurance, I had hardly reflected upon how different the characteristics of an insurance service are in comparison to any other service. Through her fun, engaging speech, Karolina Kohler walked us through her reflections on how aspects like value proposition, touchpoints and loyalty require a different approach in designing insurance services. In facts, in this context the purpose is not to delight users with enjoyable experience, but rather to provide concrete and efficient help whenever a tragic moment in life happens. And since that future tragic moment is something people prefer to not think about and that, by definition, is unexpected, insurance services are like “buying shoes that you receive yearly updates on, but never wear”, “or buying a movie by only knowing the title but without being able to watch it before the next 30 years”. Through a bunch of simple examples we all realised the design of insurance service runs on completely different premises than any other services!

 

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Karolina Kohler, Lead Design Researcher @ Kaiser X Labs

 

2) How making accessible services benefits all users – Alistair Duggin – Head of accessibility @ Government Digital Services UK

1/7 people in the world suffers from disability, and with an average of population age continuing to rise, it is likely that sooner or later disabilities will affect us – either directly or indirectly. With the mission of designing digital services that any citizen in the UK can use, Alistair Duggin reminded us how solutions designed for extreme users may positively impact other “less extreme” users. For instance, providing users the option to indicate whether they prefer to be contacted via written text only, they not only remove barriers for people with speaking impairments, but also for people who can’t answer calls during the day or that have very limited time to check their phone.  

 

3) Future-proof design for urban mobility in growing cities – Hanna Kops, Head of Experience @ Transport for London

Starting her speech with a blunt statement: “design is not about solving problems, it is about creating a space for people to experience something differently”, Hanna Kops set the stage in no time, walking the audience through a few important moments that marked the interesting story of the London tube. One of these is when the first pocket map of the tube was distributed in town: it was visual, tangible, and it helped people have a reference when defining London’s boundaries. By including all tube lines – from the central ones to those that touch upon the greater London geographical area, this first version of the London tube made people living in the most remote outskirts start feeling like they belonged to the city. “If the tube gets me home, I am a londoner too”. By redesigning the way people would experience public transport as a public space, over time London created a culture of public transport, by design.

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Hanna Kops, Head of Experience @ Transport for London

 

Cool hacks

During the conference I spotted a few practical example of cool workarounds that people have come up with to overcome their daily challenges.

  •  Lost in Jargon

The airline industry, like any other industry, is packed with acronyms and abbreviations. To deal with complex jargon, Maria Lumiaho and her team at Finnair created a Slack bot that, upon request, will suggest what these acronyms stand for whenever being lost in jargon during a meeting.

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Finnair team’s slackbot to navigate through acronyms and abbreviations

 

  •  Spread the news

To deal with complex stakeholder engagement, Frankie Abralind from Sibley Memorial Hospital hospital came up with the idea of making weekly postcard-like micro reports of his team work’s status updates and started distributing them on desks of key internal stakeholders, with the aim of informing them and making them feel like their involvement counts.

 

 

Takeaways and reminders

 

  • Stakeholder management goes beyond PR, a.k.a. design for perseverance

 

In a session about stakeholder engagement, we all found each other on the same page in facing lots of difficulties engaging with people in the organisations where we work. The conclusion drawn during this sessions was that we should apply some simple tricks like inviting people for coffee or having a smoke together to set up a space to communicate informally. I must admit, I was pretty disappointed about it. In facts, stakeholder engagement needs to push itself way beyond the basics of PR to really be effective. Thankfully, later Frankie Abralind reminded us during his talk that no matter the environment where we work, the only way to break through is to be persistent, make and update internal stakeholder maps on a regular basis, and create ownership over progresses by keeping everyone informed. In a nutshell: try, try again, and again.  

 

  • Will ethics in design ever go beyond recommendations?  

 

Two years ago I was sitting in the main room listening to a talk about ethics in design. In this edition, two years later and in the same room, here we go again. For how interesting it always is to listen to different people’s perspectives on the topic, I couldn’t do but noticing that in the meanwhile conversations about ethical design are still where they used to be, meaning they haven’t really moved beyond a set of general recommendations about aspects to take into account. So the question is: will they ever?

 

  • The measurement tension

 

From these two days, it emerged really clearly that nowadays everybody is busy measuring the tangible and mostly the intangible (yes, against all odds even More Than Metrics has fallen into the measuring trap), yet everybody is still struggling to prove the value of service design and having troubles showing that we are actually able to bridge concepts to implementation.

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A snapshot from a session of SXC18

  • Many in distress make the sorrow less

 

300 people is not a huge number. However, the audience at SXC18 was a very specific crowd of passionate people who are deeply involved in practicing and advocating for service design, from an organisational to a a global level. To this extent, the fact that that the service design community might not be enormous, but that on the other hand is very active, collaborative and dedicated was a good reminder. No matter how challenging our journey as practitioners can be, it made me feel like we are all allies in driving a disruptive, powerful mindset change.