Tag Archive | service design skills

Can Design Thinking Provide the Breakthroughs We Need to Reduce Global Poverty and Domestic Violence?

 

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Woman cooking next to the port and market in Cotonou, Benin [Image (c) Jeffrey Allen]

By Jeffrey Allen

25 Sep, LONDON – For the past seven years, I’ve designed and managed projects to improve lives in developing countries, focusing on education, health, good governance, human rights, agriculture, employment, the environment… everything that impacts people’s quality of life. It’s a wildly complex field, where managers have to understand business, sociology, communications, technology, innovation, politics, psychology, and more if they’re going to be successful.

I spent the first several years just getting my head around the basics, learning on the job, by trial and error, and by soaking up what I could from those around me. Before starting the job, I had observed international development work – mostly from the outside – for more than six years as a journalist remixing stories published by organizations working in the field. Looking on through my outsider’s lens, I was consistently impressed by the work development practitioners did every day to make lives better and open opportunities for billions of people in difficult circumstances across the globe. Continue reading

The Course for Human-Centered Design: How Might We Enable More Young People to Become Social Entrepreneurs?

The Course for Human-Centered Design (provided by Ideo.org and +Acumen) is a seven-week curriculum, which introduces the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change.  This course has been developed to educate those, who are brand new to human-centered design. No prior experience is required. However, I would recommend this course for anyone looking to improve their human-centered design skills.

What is Human-Centered Design? 

Human-Centered Design (HCD) is a creative approach to solve any kind of problem. The process starts with the people for whom the solution is designed; and ends with e.g. new product or service that is tailor-made to suit these people’s needs. HCD is all about building a deep empathy with the people’s needs and motivations, generating a lot of ideas, creating prototypes, sharing the ideas and solutions with the people; and eventually taking the new innovative solution out in the world. Please see the below video describing the concept of HCD.

Our team and design challenge

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Experiences from the Global Service Jam Helsinki 2015

10393857_741350965951185_8017900955231328757_nGlobal Service Jam is a yearly event enabling anyone interested in service design and design thinking to co-create, experiment and develop new solutions inspired by a shared theme.  This year, the Jam was arranged in 100 cities during the weekend of February 27th – March 1st all around the world.

In the Jam, the participants will go through the entire service design process in one weekend, gathering customer insight, creating new service concepts in interdisciplinary teams, building prototypes and testing the new concepts with real customers.

For me it was the first time I have ever participated in the Global Service Jam. I had high expectations and have to say that my expectations were exceeded. The Jam is an absolutely fantastic event to learn about service design, customer oriented service development, creative methods, concept development along with meeting new people and getting new friends. It is a 48 hour journey, focusing on “doing and not talking”, creating solutions based on real customer needs – and having a lot of fun!  The following video will provide a glimpse of what the Global Service is all about and revealing what the shared theme for 2015 Jam was.

During the Jam we also had inspiring presentations by Jani Turku from IMPROVement and Anton Schubert, the Head of Design at Futurice. The key message from Jani Turku was that creating new services requires you to allow yourself to play, be human, listen, say “yes, and…” instead of “no, but…”, dare to try new things and to be open-minded.

Anton Schubert talked about the importance of prototyping and how everything can actually be tested. It is just the matter of using the right tools and methods. Prototyping is about learning, failing safely and inexpensively, i.e. failing often to succeed sooner, as stated by David Kelley, the founder of IDEO.

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What would Marc Stickdorn do?

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Doing not talking

Just 3 short weeks after our Service Processes and Methods course was the Global Service Jam 2015. What a blast…and what an excuse to bring out the shiny new tools that Marc gave us. I don’t know about anyone else from the SID programme but I was able to utilise both the tools taught to us as well as the facilitation methods.

I know it sounds crazy but after all those Marc Stickdorn heads were circulated for his birthday photo, I couldn’t get his lessons from earlier in February out of my head. That is why I took one of those heads and wrote him a thought bubble. “What would Marc Stickdorn do?” I was inspired by all the Christians in the US who try to answer difficult problems by asking themselves what Jesus would do. It was the same thing (in my mind anyway).

I was trying to channel my inner Marc to have the strength and clarity to proceed through the next 48 hours to change the world…well, that is what we were told we were doing.

Letting go: the theme is what? Huh? Did he just say….?

As a first-timer I felt strangely calm (it might have been naivete) as the process started. The anticipation of the revealing of the theme and the inspirational talks by Jani Turku and Anton Schubert were a great start to the event. I really enjoyed the humour and the ease at which Jani was able to teach us some lessons about interaction and fun. Who knew it could be so interesting repeating 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3! But I also enjoyed Anton’s inspiring story of his “humble beginnings” as a mechanic.

As for the challenge…I think that everyone was stumped when the theme was revealed. I even sarcastically joked that “that must be the theme” when the instructions for the origami fortune teller was revealed…unfortunately I was right. What a theme. Not what I expected at all. But it really put us all in the same boat. This isn’t something that one person could say that they knew and that they were an authority on…it was a leveller for sure. The atmosphere when everyone (finally) realised the theme was electric. The buzz was confusion, anticipation…but mostly confusion from what I saw.

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I’m in Service Design Heaven!

Yes, of course. This makes sense. I want to test this asap.
SID program’s Design Thinking session in September 2014 by Katja Tschimmel and Gijs van Wulfen made me realize something I had unconsciously incubated – and to desire further information. Think if we could learn to love our challenges and transform them into innovation opportunities by design thinking and its systematic approach to problem solving.

Why not ask the customers?

Effortless customer journey and second to none customer experience are key topics for me in my daily job. We scrutinize our customers’ feedback, we evaluate our process steps and customer touch points, we think of new service offerings. And yet, do we really know what our customers think and feel during their journey? Could we ask them? Should we invite them to join us in developing our services? How about observing them in each process step in natural environment?

Design thinking is a human-centered, culturally sensitive, experimental and iterative process. It offers an empathetic and visual approach to get closer to our customers and at the same time learn a lot. How to begin? Tim Brown’s advice is to start by asking right questions. One of them might be: What are the real customer frictions?

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Measuring Services – A Book Review

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– 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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Service Design meets Futures Thinking #4

A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo (LinkedIn) and Anu K. Nousiainen (Linkedin).

Part #4: We are in the Service Innovation business!

Our three (and a half) previous blog entries have been summarizing the purpose of our study initiated in 2012 and the main findings from the study including the synergies between (Service) Design Thinking and Futures Thinking, and our illustration for Futures Research enhanced Service Design process. After some more investigation (selection of 150 books and articles) and integrating the strategic business thinking into the model with Katri Ojasalo (Linkedin), (our Head of Master’s Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design here at Laurea University of Applied Sciences) we are proud to announce our forthcoming chapter in an international Handbook of Service Innovation (to be published by Springer in early 2014). Indeed, we have came into a realization:

What we’ve done so far is not only about Futures enhanced Service Design – instead, this is the next chapter in building unique, synergistic and dynamic capabilities for Service Innovation.

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Take a novel path to create new business opportunities and new value

 It has been clear from the beginning of our study that Design Thinking and Futures Thinking share a strong synergy in their principles and targets. Now it is crystal clear that by combining their unique approaches in innovation process results in bright and viable business opportunities (see process framework A. below). While Futures Thinking concentrates on driving forces in complex evolving systems and alternative contexts, Design Thinking embraces the viewpoint of system constraints and people oriented solutions. Not only this powerful combination gives you options for decision making in strategic and offering creation level but it tackles the two critical challenges in today’s (and tomorrow’s) business: Uncertainty and timing in creating Value Roadmaps in the interconnected and changing world. Here, Futures Thinking helps to make uncertainty easier to approach through providing alternatives for decision making and therefore improving organization’s readiness to act. Design Thinking improves the organization’s agility to seize the change with emphatic, adaptive and deep research approach and through iterative co-designing with customers to provide desirable, feasible and viable options for solutions.

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