The success of Kone is one of the top examples in Finland of how bringing service design into the company’s strategy has benefited the customer, the firm and probably the whole market. I think if elevator business can do it, we all should be able to do it, too!
How do they do it
The latest Kone strategy has turned the strategic thinking from inside out to outside in. That means every development effort starts from customers’ needs, not from the company’s ideas. Kone has focused on how to stand out in the elevator market and come to the conclusion that the human centered approach to services and innovation is a key to success.
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.
Can you kill with a pencil? Yes, and not just literally as pen(cil) truly is mightier than a sword. A mind shaking two-day crash course to design thinking by Katja Tschimmel and Sanna Marttila began with an exercise on creativity and a lesson on the importance of luck. One should strive to be creative – and can train for it – but the uniqueness of your idea often is a matter of pure chance. Suggesting a new use for pencil as an eyeliner calls for creative thinking. But from the group of some 60 eager students attending the same course, others had also come up with the same idea. Being creative is a must, but being lucky can make the difference between success and failure.
Tim Brown suggests that thoroughly understanding what people want and need in their lives is the very core of design thinking. To someone coming from a background of international development that sounds oddly familiar. We learned that people tend to use what’s familiar to them to boost creativity and make sense of the unknow. As a complete rookie to design thinking, that is exactly what I did.
“There is no universal best DT process model, the choice innovation managers make depends on their disciplinary background and their personal taste.” says Katja Tschimmel in her article about Design Thinking process models and tools (Tschimmel 2012, 11). And this is also what she tells us listeners during our first hours of Design Thinking course (Design Thinking 2017). The decision of choosing of an appropriate Design Thinking model is influenced, among others, the characteristics of the task in question, its context, the composition of the team and its dynamics, the number of designers involved, and the time available for the process (Tschimmel 2012).
Although I had previously read a few books on Design Thinking as well as participated in a Service Design course organized by Aalto PRO, I still learned so many new, exciting things at Katja Tschimmel’s course on Design Thinking at Laurea. And that learning of new aspects to Design Thinking is also what inspired the topic of this blog post. Because to me it felt like since Design Thinking is not a process with strict rules, it might sometimes be a little difficult to get a thorough overview of what is actually Design Thinking? Even though you kind of know it, but you might still struggle a bit if you need to explain it to someone else. Katja did a great job of giving us space to figure this key concept out by ourselves and didn’t give us pre-determined answers.
As Katja explained during the course, there are several Design Thinking models and tools available (IDEO’s 3 I model, Double Diamond model of the British Council and the Service Design Thinking (SDT) Model, just to name a few). In my opinion this just goes to show that there is no one, correct way to carry out a Design Thinking project. Therefore I felt like it might be easier also to explain Design Thinking via examples of its typical elements and principles rather than in one, all-inclusive phrase or explanation.
Nearly two decades ago I completed my Master’s Degree in Business. My work history is in consumer marketing and brand management. In the marketing, thinking “outside the box” has been a common way of working. Now, as a new Service Design student at Laurea, I am learning to become a “Design Thinker”.
Design Thinking is a methodology applied in Service Design to solve problems in order to improve existing services and innovate new ones. I look forward to discovering the creativity in me, something they did not teach me at business school.
Design Thinking Course at Laurea
My Service Design studies started with a two-day intensive Design Thinking workshop presented by Katja Tschimmel. This course was an introduction to the concept of Design Thinking, its history and different process models developed to take Design Thinking into practice. Continue reading →