Service is the new value. Most interesting case studies from SDN conference (2017)

Service design is creating a new mindset. After SDN Global Conference in Madrid and case studies of new services we can acknowledge that this specific approach to build organisations and their DNA and offer for customers is spreading the word. In this post I want to show most interesting cases from SDN conference to memorise this time and SDN awards winners and those honourable mentioned.

Continue reading

Storytelling – The next generation of narrative

In my Service Innovation and Design studies, I have heard and talked a lot about Storytelling as a tool for innovation. That is why I was excited to attend an event in London organized by General Assembly where Magnus Moar from Middlesex University was talking about Storytelling as the next generation of narrative.

At a General Assembly event we discussed different digital and design trends for 2018, which mostly centered around the major new player on the digital scene: Augmented and Virtual Reality. In the event Magnus Moar, the Head Creative of Technology at Middlesex University, gave a talk about Storytelling and how it will be used in the future, especially in Virtual Reality.

According to Moar, storytelling as a technique is a fundamental part of being human. Stories are designed to reach out and offer an emotional experience and they are the best tool for escapism. Nowadays there is also a close connections between storytelling and technology – in the form of visual immersion.  We don’t have to only use words any longer. Now, Moar says, with Virtual Reality it is now possible to enter these stories. Combining Storytelling with Virtual Reality lets you live the story, as opposed to usually only you’ve been able to hear and observe.

Storytelling has been used in gaming for years, but now it is being brought into marketing and service development in new ways by offering a completely new customer experience through Virtual Reality. In the travel business for example, imagine a 360 panorama of a holiday destination you could immerse yourself in.

However, Moar points out that in order to be effective, in a virtual world it is also important to construct a story not only offer visual experiences. This is why Storytelling is the key and it is what will drive the the medium of Virtual Reality. The challenge of creating a truly immersive customer experience is getting the user to truly engage in the story.

Read more: 5 of the most intriguing Virtual reality stories

Here is Anthony Geffen talking about Storytelling in virtual reality:


Written by: Leena Salo / SID student

The most topical conversation in design is about ethics

After going on different types of design events, it seems quite obvious that there is one topic that seems relevant in all aspects of design: ethics.

In technology+empathy Design Talk, Nelli Lähteenmäki spoke how designers should consider the impact their service has, already before designing it. She mentioned Tristan Harris who has founded a non-profit initiative Timewellspent with a mission to reversing the digital attention crisis and realigning technology with humanity’s best interests. Rolling Stone –magazine named Tristan as one of “25 People Shaping the World” in 2017. Btw, have a look how you can take control of your own (possible) addiction here. I changed my screen into a greyscale straight away! 😀

Capture from Timewellspent

Carla Camilla Hjort from Space10 raised conversation about designers responsibility to design empowerment rather than addiction. She stated that “the secret of change is to focus your energy not to fighting the old, but on building the new.” It seems that future living lab Space10 is in someway Ikea’s way of changing their own brand image into being more sustainable, innovative and ecological but I do not see it as a bad thing, when an initiative like Space10 raises important conversation and shows an example to every other giant company like Ikea.

In the last IxDa-meeting, a community invited everyone to join a bee with an aim on building a guide that integrates children’s rights into the design process. The registration for the event is now open on: The topic is hot, especially after Facebook launched its’ messenger app for kids.

Continue reading

Digital trends: Will 2018 be the year of Virtual reality?


Is 2018 going to be the year of Virtual Reality? Jeremy Dalton, the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Lead for PWC, wants to believe, but doesn’t think the public is ready yet.

Last week I attended a series of lectures in London about Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (VR) and how companies are using them at the moment and in the future to develop their services. The key speakers were Jeremy Dalton (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Lead for PQC) and Sylvain Reiter (Cyber-Duck).

How are Virtual and Augmented Reality being used?

According to Dalton and Reiter, Virtual and Augmented Reality are quickly becoming effectives way of offering unbelievable customer experiences, but also for companies to develop their services. The speakers talked about many how VR and AR are being used by companies from the auto industry to journalism and movies. Brands like IKEA, Barclays, Star Wars and Volvo are already using them in creative and experimental ways.

Virtual and Augmented Reality elements are being used in production line testing and to drive consumer sales, for example with mobile apps that let users put furniture in the own homes in the right scare or in real estate projects for visualization of not yet built houses. However in the USA Walmart is also using Virtual Reality for training purposes by giving their employees the possibility to learn in real life situations, and a UK based company used it in high court to illustrate how a traffic accident had occurred.

Virtual and Augmented reality can also be a force for social change. In the UK it is used to fight racial biases by making the user by giving them a change to experience bodyswapping or dealing with people from different countries. Virtual reality has also been called “The Great Empathy Machine“. United Nations has used it to put people in the shoes of immigrants for them to understand their experiences in a completely new way.

Taking VR and AR to the next level?

Even with all the new VR and AR experiences the public is receiving from different players in the field, the speakers reminded us that there are still many barriers for people adapting this new technology. At the moment they list four main areas for further development.

  1. The Cost

According to the speakers at the moment there are three different ways of users getting the VR and AR experience: home based technology, VR headset units such as Oculus Go and portable smartphone based technology. Dalton and Reiter however believe that the cost of using and developing VR and AR needs to be brought down. The technology is complex and in order to receive a high quality VR experience one must have a high quality headset, which is still expensive.

  1. The User experience

At the moment the speakers feel that the user experience hasn’t been optimized in terms of the technical delivery.  Especially with Virtual Reality, the technology is still complicated to use, when is should be easy and intuitive. Moving in the virtual world doesn’t always work in the best possible way, and in order to get a high quality optical experience, one might need a large and heavy headset.

  1. Content

Since VR and AR are still new technologies, there is a limited amount of good content out there. Companies are developing more and creating new experiences, but lack of user base means lack of content which doesn’t drive commercial sales. This leads to companies not adapting this technology in the services.

  1. Education

Adapting to new technologies takes time. According to the speakers, even though Virtual and Augmented Reality have been around as concepts for years (you might have seen it in Star Trek when you were younger), it was 2012 when they really began to catch on. However, there are still many misconception and misunderstandings about the technologies. People might think VR is only for gamers, or that in order to enjoy AR you need expensive smartphones and other technology. This is why most of the public hasn’t really had a high quality experience with these technologies yet, and educating people about the wonders of VR and AR is the next step that needs to be taken.

So do the speakers think that the year 2018 will be the year Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality really become a huge trend? The less expensive and more easily adaptable AR is already being utilized by more and more companies, but Dalton still believes that the public might not be ready for Virtual Reality yet. Give it a few more years, he says…

Written by;
Leena Salo
SID student

Designer is an agent of change

Disruptive Innovation Festival is an online festival of ideas that asks: what if we could redesign everything? The 2017 festival was organised in November but all the content is available online until 4th of January. So go and have a look during the Christmas holidays, there’s lots of interesting stuff!

Capture from thinkdif instagram

Design as a empowerment was a topic of Joana Casaca Lemos’ keynote. She shared her Phd research in which she created a design tool to empower small business to communicate qualities of sustainability in order to make impact. The design tool is called Communication Assembly.

Joanna sees designer’s role shifting from being the expert on design more into being facilitator or enabler. Nowadays everyone can be a designer, and the difference often is that a professional designer is the one creating the methods and tools so that anyone can be a problem-solver aka everyday designer.

Designer is an agent of change that wants to empower people to make the impact. Joanna claims that designers often share one quality that is ‘care’. Designers are interested in making other people flourish in order to design. With that care also comes an understanding that “everyone is an expert of their own experience”, hence everyone brings value to the process.

Capture from Joana’s tumblr.

Joanna presents concept of “Design as flourishing” meaning that in order to design social-change that is lasting and effective, it must not be about the designer, the change has to be rooted in empowerment of beneficiaries. In order to do so, Joanna created Communication Assembly that brings together small businesses to create their own story of impact. By giving away the power, the designer can enable the ones affecting by the design to make the change.

The role of designer is changing; everyone wants to be a designer, or at least think like one. Have a look at this article stating that “Our profession is in between ‘utopia and oblivion.’ It will be oblivion if we continue focusing on minor aesthetic problems.”

This blog post was written by,
Emmi Kinnunen
SID student

Inspired by SPACE10

Who would have knew that Ikea is actually the coolest kid in town with their living lab Space10? I think Carla Cammilla Hjort’s keynote on Future Living Lab at Asuntomessut Digitalist –event was the most inspiring speech I’ve seen in a while. Ikea definitely is ahead of their game when is comes to design thinking, co-creation and storytelling!

Picture from Space10 Playbook

So, first shortly, what is Space10?
It is Ikea’s future-living lab on a mission to design a better and more sustainable way of living. Space10’s Playbook explains it well:

Ikea has a vision to create a better everyday life for the ,any people and acknowledges that to fulfil this vision, we need new ways of doing things. That is why they have set up SPACE10, a future-living lab for exploration and inspiration, rooted in the idea that together we can co-create a better and more sustainable life.

We all have a choice to make. We can close our eyes and hope for the best, or we can come together and shape the future we dream of.

What is does?
In Space10, Ikea is able to:
–> Experiment and co-create new ways of designing for a better future
–> Look into new directions and explore emerging potentials
–> Work with global collaborative network of experts and forward-thinking partners
–> Test and try new ideas and solutions in a non-commercial environment
–> Storytell and share everything we do to spark the discussion, make ideas stick and move people to action
–> Create a playground for IKEA to be inspired and connect with new opportunities

How is it done?
Space10 uses a collaborative network driven approach. Camilla explained that Space10 team is small, only about 30 employees, but they work with a large network of experts in different fields. In that way they are able to truly co-create and also have customized teams in each project.


Picture from SPACE10 Playbook

Space10 uses a set of tools, and they believe that a good tool is a job half done. The most inspiring tool they use is called Playful research. A great example of it is e.g. ONE SHARED HOUSE 2030 is a playful research project by anton & irene + SPACE10 that aims to get insights on the future of co-living through a collaborative survey. The project is a sequel to the interactive documentary ONE SHARED HOUSE.

Picture from

The process Space10 uses is innovation framework that has three stages: explorations, prototypes and pilots. The process emphasize testing as early as possible. “We know that the longer we work on our plans in a vacuum, the more likely we are to fail”.

WHY is it done?

In her presentation Carla showed this striking photo and asked “How can we design empowerment rather than addiction?”. “Technological breakthroughs” is one of five macrotrends Ikea have identified.

Picture from Carla’s presentation

Carla stated that if a company does not change the way people behave, they won’t change the society neither. She also highlighted the importance of designing social interactions, not only to design services or products. She claimed that a lot of things have been build, but if these things lack the culture, they lack life. I guess the same goes with any products, or services, or companies. If one does not engage with the users and the community, the end result is empty.

How cool is this? Every company should have its’ own lab to explore the world and its’ opportunities. Space10 also proves that Ikea is definitely not settling, it understands that the world, the business and the people are constantly changing. IKEA has to keep up. And maybe not just to keep up, but to lead the way. With Innovation lab, they invite the best designers, influencers and the critical crowd to be part of their story.

This blog post was written by,
Emmi Kinnunen
SID student

Design is an opportunity to differentiate from the competitors

IxDa-meeting gathered interaction design community together to mingle and discuss under the theme: Being Different.

In his keynote, Reaktor’s Design Director Timo Ilola gave three steps how to stand out as a brand:
1. Differentiate on all levels
Brands should identify where a difference can be made and then use that knowledge in all levels. As an example Ilola used Netflix, that uses cards as identifying element. And cards are used in all of their touchpoints and channels (except in the service itself!)


2. Design strategically
Ilola stated that only trendy brands should follow trends. If a brand tries to follow trends, it will end up only copying others. Brands should be internalised and a good tool to do that is to create design principles and drivers. Good way to define these is to collect all the information there is available about the brand in a one big board, and then as a team start putting pieces together as principles.


3. Be memorable
Memorable brand experiences are designed in the heart of user value, business value and brand value. Experiences should be memorable in order to stand out.

Great case example about designing brand experience that stands out, is Reaktor’s work for Finnair. By understanding the customer journey they defined Finnair’s customer experience as “Peace of Mind”. All services, like Finnair app and in-flight entertainment system, is designed the design principle in mind. Here a video about the services and here’s the whole case.

All in all, Design is an opportunity to differentiate from the competitors.

This blog post was written by,
Emmi Kinnunen
SID student