Tag Archive | book review

Getting in the mood for Design Thinking

As far as Design Thinking goes, I must confess to being quite the “newbie”. Having only recently been enlightened to the magical world of service design, innovation and co-creation, I was excited to learn of the many different models that the design thinking world has to offer.

Katja Tschimmel describes the similarities and differences of the models in both her article “Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation” as well as in the research report D-think. These include IDEO’s 3 I model (Inspiration, Ideation, Implementation), IDEO’s HCD model (human-centred design, Hearing, Creating, Delivering), the models of the d.school (Hasso-Plattner Institute and Stanford University), the Double-Diamond model of the British Council, and the DT toolkit for Educators. Mindshake’s E6 model was also introduced, and I got the opportunity to try it out myself during the course.file-25-09-16-17-59-47-1

During the class sessions, I got a glimpse of how the design thinking process could be applied to solve student-related issues. There was no lack of empathy during this task, as we all dived into tackling issues concerning thesis stress, time-management issues and networking needs.  We grouped ourselves into small multidisciplinary teams, and our team went through a the Design Thinking process to come up with our final conclusion; a service called “Matchup”. It was a service to tackle the issue of networking within our SID group.  The idea actually won!

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Playing with Legos®

On a recent FaceTime session with my five-year-old niece I was proud to report that I played with Legos at school this week. Yeah, my school is pretty cool.

Since then, I have been left wondering what it means that a five-year-old identifies with my day while I am still left struggling to convince some of my client’s executive teams I am doing more than playing with their money. Eager to gain insight into this question, I searched for a way to explain how designers balance the benefits of play and the design attitude within the context of more traditional business attitudes.

Experience

In a way, ‘playing with Legos’ is an analogy for the way others see Design Thinking. What some don’t see is when designers ‘play with Legos’ we are not replacing seriousness with play, but rather using play as a compliment and a method of visual communication (Michlewski 2015, 107).

 

During Katja Tschimmel’s workshop in the M62 methodology of Design Thinking, my team had many ideas both in our minds and on the Post-Its® covering the walls. Yet, it wasn’t until we began to visualize and play that we were able to work through more complex issues of our idea such as:

  • How was the concept different in each of our minds?
  • How would implementation work in a real environment?
  • What tools would be needed to implement the idea?
  • How would the stakeholders interact with one another?

In this fashion, playing with Legos was much more than play; it became an essential communication, innovation and experimentation tool. This is not only my experience, but also one shared by fans of the Lego® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology.

Theory

Just as playing with Legos served as inspiration, exploring the words and experiences of others reminded me of the importance of theory and research to accompany my learning.

Katja Tschimmel’s paper “Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation” provided insight into the role of visualizing methods, such as playing with Legos, in building new perspectives that could otherwise not be realized through standard mental processes (Tschimmel, 2012).

Kamil Michlewski’s book Design Attitude gave me no new methodologies to test, however, it provided three major insights that are equally important to my development as a designer:

  1. This inherent need to prove my worth as a designer isn’t mine alone, it has a name: The professional project. In fact, the design field as a whole is in a stage where it “… strives to legitimize itself in the eyes of other professions, government bodies and the general public in order to achieve a certain social status.” (Michlewski 2015, 7.)
  2. The push for proven over innovative solutions is common. Michlewski explains it is “a direct consequence of consultants being billed on a daily rate and their subsequent need to optimize time spent on any assignment” (Michlewski 2015, 71). Considering my consulting background it is something I will remain keenly aware of and has inspired me to learn more about value-based pricing.
  3. As designers, we are not seeking a singular solution as if it is a rare gem waiting to be unearthed. Rather, we combine our own unique talents, the talents of our team, the insights of those we are designing for and the toolkit of our profession to create something entirely new.

In the end, I am left feeling inspired, reinforced in my career choice and determined to keep playing with Legos despite their misunderstood creative glory.

Ann Padley
Service Innovation and Design MBA Student

Tschimmel, Katja 2012. Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation. In: Proceedings of the XXIII ISPIM Conference: Action for Innovation: Innovating from Experience. Barcelona. http://www.academia.edu/1906407/Design_Thinking_as_an_effective_Toolkit_for_Innovation

Michlewski, Kamil 2015. Design Attitude. Farnham, Surrey: Gower.

Measuring Services – A Book Review

servicedesign

– DO YOUR MATH!

“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.

Contents

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.

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Involving Customers in New Service Development – Avoiding Common Pitfalls

When developing new services or products, interaction with the customers can, at best, result unique, functional innovations, beneficial to both the company and the customer. Still many companies fail either involving customers or achieving the benefits of the customer involvement. (Research suggests that more than 50% of the companies involve customers in B2C context, but their scope is limited to traditional market research techniques (customers as informants), only 6% of the companies involve customers as sole developers, the deepest level of involvement.)

The background for this blog post is the book “Involving Customers In New Service Development” edited by Bo Edvardsson et al. The Book is a collection of some breakthrough researches on customer’s involvement in various industries.

Involving Customers In New Service Development - Book Cover Picture

Roles of the Development Team – Management & Choosing the Right Customers

Successful management of different development process stages enables integrating customer involvement in company’s innovation system. Continue reading

Book Review: Mobile Service Innovation and Business Models

Current trends that shape the western economies are the growing importance of services, the need for innovation, changes in consumer and business markets, and the advancements in information and communication technology. Technological developments like the digitalization of information, the increased processing capacity of computer chips, miniaturization and increased mobility of devices, the use of sensors and location technologies, increased interoperability between services, security, and natural interfaces (Brouwman, Van den Hooff, Van de Wijngaert, & Van Dijk, 2005) enable mature architectures and platforms for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and electronic commerce transactions, anywhere, anytime.

Nowadays development of the new innovative services is an important driver for economic growth. In the book Mobile Service Innovation and Business Models, the authors present a theoretically grounded yet practical approach to designing business models for electronic services, including mobile ones. The book consists of two parts.

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Brand together – Book review

“Brand Together – How co-creation generates innovation and re-energizes brands”
Nicholas Ind, Charles Trevail and Clare Fuller
Have you ever listened to two women talking about brands? Sounds too trivial? Well, this conversation is different…
Such important first impression,  and we are not judging the book by its cover
Tatjana: For me, brand is a ‘loud’ name that represents quality and value. Products and services with solid brand names will win over despite the price margin that I would be paying just for having that label on a product. The reputation that brand has, often comes with a history of quality level. When seeing book title “Brand together” among other very interesting books for the assignment, I immediately knew that this is something I can relate to naturally. The anticipation of something stylish, bright, lightweight and attractive, packaged into one nice word, was on in an instant. The book turned out to be a ‘heavy-reading’, but with interesting insights to compensate for the writing style.

Planning on developing a new digital service? Designing for the Digital Age may just be the handbook you are looking for

Thousands and thousands of new digital services are developed each day, by well-known design agencies, by new start-ups as well as by individual designers or developers in different organizations, projects and associations.  Everyone on these aims to design services that are “easy to use”, “attractive” and “appealing”. However, it is rare to have a comprehensive understanding on how to actually do that in practise. Designing for the Digital Age: How to create human-centered products and services by Kim Goodwin provides concrete guidance and instructions on those ”how to” questions, for running the design process, for designing successful services, for finding ways to deliver great user experiences and to minimise risks of driving customers crazy with complicated, confusing technology.

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