Wednesday
Aug272014

DIY 设计工具

 

之前 workshop 有人问到设计工具去哪里找的问题,昨天正好我在 STBY 工作的朋友给我分享了一本她参与写作的 创新工具书: DIY - Development, Impact & You。虽然名字里并没有指名道姓的说是给 服务设计师用,这个项目本身也是关注于 社会创新 social innovation。但是我常说好用的工具就是好工具,这次我终于找到一个中文版的工具大全,看英文头痛的同学有福啦 --》 戳我 下载 PDF

这本书里分享了30个工具,详细说明了在什么情况下可以使用哪些。里面有我 workshop 里面分享的 商业模型(04), 服务蓝图(26),人物形象(17,我们叫用户原型)体验图(27,我们叫它用户体验流程)。 工具本身的价值是很有限的,在对的时候用对的工具,工具的真正价值只有在用的人手里才能体现。不过这个在什么情况下用什么工具怎么用跟谁用的问题,很多时候就是两个字 经验。 想要获得经验,只有不断的寻找机会在工作中,在业余的活动中,甚至在日常生活中不断 尝试咯。

设计就像游泳,只有跳下去 呛两口水 才能达到游刃有余的境界。

 

One of my best Service Design friends, Megha from STBY, introduced me to this book she's involved in writing - DIY, Development, Impact and You.  (@DIYtoolkit) Another great book of toolkits and relevant case studies in the areas of social innovation. Also, they've got a very helpful Youtube channel full of real cases of how these tools can be used.

 

 

Sunday
Aug172014

service design in China 

I spent last weekend in Shanghai, leading a workshop at a Service Design conference, SX summit. It's a first of its kind in China, where Service Design is a growing practice just as it is in the rest of the world. An exciting way to spent the weekend, seeing not only designers talking to designers, but also client-side representative from financial services, hospitality as well as .com platform supplier for a little car renting service. We hear stories about designing a better service using user centred methods, a systematic approach, and strong leadership from good client who'd appreciate it all. Most of it was no big surprise, but have to say I'm very pleased that ideas of Service Design is well received by the audience. What exceeds my expectation is how the Chinese environment being so optimistic for innovation, entrepreneurship and new type of design practice. I've also gained a new bunch of audience, who are thirsty for new knowledge, tools, methods and methodology to design better service systems. Here we go, a bit of East meets West in Service Design will do everyone good, I suppose!

 

周末有幸参加了上海举办的服务设计会议,主持半天的工作坊外加一个小 panel。

第一天会议内容很不错,学术、实践、客户、咨询、创业,一个也没少。在一个会议上能听到这么多方面的观点还是不多的。特别要提一下 几个客户方面的演讲,IHG 一个关于旅馆电子商务的本地化跟 招商银行在电子平台创新的一点自己的体会,两个都很中肯,也很实在。自己作为一直做咨询的人员,每天跟客户各种斗智斗勇,偶尔从他们的角度看看设计,也很有感触。IHG 花了3年时间来内部消化 customer journey 的用途,事到如今他们也只探索了整个 journey 的一半。就像我多次在之前其他文章里提过的,服务体系它是涉及多个 stakeholder 的多维系统,要推广一样创新其中牵涉到各个方面的协调。我自己在维真航空的工作经验也一样验证了这个观点。我们花了近三年时间,现在 维真的客户终于在思路上跟我们的设计师在同一条起跑线上,不过真的要实现我们想要实现的多渠道服务体系,要做多事情很多很多。

  

 

易到用车作为唯一一个演讲多创业公司,其中以人为本的创业态度是挺令人敬佩的。其中他们从线上到线下体验的规划,特别是及时消化用户反馈的技巧,都很让我深受启发。下次回国觉得有必要尝试一下他们的服务。

接下来设计师一个国内的黄峰 (唐硕) 一个的 Stefan Moritz (veryday),作为同行 很高兴在中国找到志同道合的朋友。特别提一下 黄同学 总结了一下要落实好的设计思路,需要几个要点,蛮中肯的:

  • implementation 要上下结合
  • stakeholder 要有好靠山
  • 好的relationship要大家统一理解

 

听多了设计师的讲法,再来看看传统 marketing consulting 如何使用数字化市场研究,零点的曲老师给大家剖析了一下粉丝的商业价值。我以前做  Coca Cola 的脸书项目接触过一点 粉丝体验设计,公司内部有社交媒体(social media)的同事简要的讲了一下粉丝分享行为。我当时只算是了解一点点冰山一角,现在回过头来看看,大公司小公司要能用上粉丝还真不是那么简单的事情。

 

 

这次跟 唐硕两位年轻的设计师远程合作,各种时差各种翻墙最后倒也很顺利愉快。还邀请了向来十分可靠的 夏姑娘,4个女孩一台戏,自己感觉很过瘾。下次估计可以做一天的工作坊,毕竟这次很多工具细节的推进都不是很彻底。

稍微总结一下,半天的时间操练了 4个常用工具:

  • 用户原型(persona)
  • 用户体验流程(customer journey)
  • 服务蓝图 (service blueprint)
  • 商业模型画布 (business model canvas) 

前面两个是比较偏向 UX 的工具,服务设计师也用。后面两个比较偏向 服务设计专用,虽然这两个工具本身又是从 银行 跟商业管理那里借来的。工作坊以后,有人询问这个工具的出处,其实本来么,工具不分出生,解决问题就好。这里跟大家分享两个我自己常用的资源类网站,想要理论学习的 同学可以看看是不是需要翻个墙啥的。

服务设计工具大全: http://www.servicedesigntools.org/

服务设计图书馆:http://www.servicedesignbooks.org/

日后有空,我再专门开一贴开展讨论一下 service blueprint 跟 business model。

 

Tuesday
Jan082013

How to kick of organising a jam?

It's that time of the year again - for everyone who is interested in Service Design and wants to develop the community - Global Service Jam is going to kick start in less than 8 weeks time!

I got an email from the good old fellows at University of Dundee and heard the good news that there is gonna be a jam here. They asked for some advice and I realised I managed to email a little essay back in answer. If it's the first time you are about to host a jam in your city, here are some tips that you may find useful :)


First thing is always to pin down the venue, then decide how many people you'd like to invite. We use eventbrite at London, but the Shanghai jam was on an invitation only basis. Make sure you have easy wifi access in the venue and a lot of wall space to put stuff on. If you are organising it in the university it is always a good idea to use a cleared out studio not a lecture room :) See pictures of our London jam here to get a feel of how people might use the space:

Second thing is money, a.k.a who is going to pay for the drink, stationary, cleaning up afterwards, and security. At London we approach design companies to sponsor in exchange of having their logo in our website. At Shanghai it was sponsored by the university who hosted the event.You can also choose to charge a little fee, whichever way you source money, make sure you budget carefully beforehand. If you have spare, start to consider food, at London we don't supply food, because it is easy enough to find food places nearby during the weekend. Well in smaller cities, you may need to think carefully about it for the Sunday when all shops are closed. You can ask participants to bring their own food, as far as it is communicated before hand. From experience, I found it is more important to have enough water and sugary stuff (chocolate, candy, biscuits, julley beans) around to keep the energy level high. You can approach small cafe nearby to see if any would be interested in bringing in sample cakes for free or at a low price - it is an advertise moment for the business to approach students face to face :)

Turn-up rate - if you are offering FREE tickets online, expect a 20-30% drop off rates (people how get the ticket but not show up). Three ways to get around it: 
  1. sale it on a price: no need to be a high one, just a token so people will turn up because their £5 is with you. Disadvantage is that student might shy away from paid event.
  2. oversale: basically sale more than your can take, then let the drop off covered by the oversale. This option can be risky as you never know how many people will drop off and you face the possibility of crowd the room (if you have a big room then it shouldn't be an issue)
  3. have a waiting list and remind people who's got ticket to let you know they are not coming again and again in the last week of the event. People do email and say I can't come so give my ticket to someone else, so we can then issue tickets to people on the waiting list. This is what we do at London, you just need to make sure you have a person who specially handles quires like these, it can gets busy in the last 1-2 weeks.
Structure - we try to use double diamond as a design proces to structure the 48 hours so all teams are more or less in the same phase. It is up to you how much structure you want to enforce, but my advice is that if you are expecting more new to service design people, it is better to give me more support and structured process. Also have a schedule is always helpful, we normally schedule hour-by-hour for Friday evening kick off, then schedule every 3 hours during the weekend. see our schedule for last year:

User research -  Make sure you kick people out to do real user research on the street - that is always the highlight of London event, everyone loves it.

Mentor - ask around on Twitter if anyone knows anyone good to be a mentor in your city - you may find suprise! What we do here at London is that we have a person takes care of a team of 7-10 mentors (we normally estimate 7-10 teams so just enough to go around), then the mentors gets a short brief on what to expect and what to do a week before the event so they come in more prepared. Some mentor can only do half day or one day, so we have to make sure they comes in at the right time (this is where a schedule is useful!)  

 

Also... here's some of my experience of hosting two jams in the past blogpost... more to read if you are all fired up to host a jam > HERE 

Good Luck!

 

 

 

all image used are from Flickr Global Service Jam pool

Sunday
Nov132011

Great Outdoor Of Design 2011


I was invited to attend the GOOD'11 conference on 23 September. The conference took place at a lovley cinema at Shoreditch East London and the hosts, Geke and Bas, are both well-recognised designer and researchers in Service Design for many years.

The conference is organised by REACH, a global network for Design Research. This is their first conference, and to my knowledge, this is the first time design researchers and research designers from all over the world get to attend a conference focus solely on them but nothing else.

Over all it is an exciting event, because of the global aspect of the conference, which gathered speakers from not only Europe, but also Asia and South America. It is refreshing to hear how Design Research has been developed outside the areas of Europe and North America. There is a number of presentations that caught my eyes:

IDSL is from Paris, they shared some experience of useing objects to help client build empathy and embrace emotion in product or service innovation process. They talked about using open-ended objects (haven't heard the term? have a look at this paper) to allow developers, designers, innovators to use their multiple senses (e.g. touch) in concept development conversations. It takes them away from being abstract pictures on a paper and people feel and even experience what can possibly become the reality of future. One of the example suggest the use of low tech prototype in concept test to gather early user feedback. With the general growing use of mobile or tablet devices in design solutions, I believe low tech prototype like this can help designers enormously if they are facilitated by researchers to observe and analyse how user interact with smaller screens within a close-to-reality environment.

Image taken from IDSL's conference presentation at GOOD'11

Denmark's Antopologerne bring a case study on sustainable energy use. The start of the project looked like a common user research stage, get user in. Focus group, diary study, interviews, standard stuff no suprise. But, what really interest me, is the research work did not stop here with a thick report. The project made fully use of the 150 user sample and builded an online community with these users, along side the face to face workshops with the client. The use of community proved to offer continous insights such as behaviour change happening with the testing product in their home. It extended the conversation between user and researcher to user to other users, and even user with client, and user to tech support staff. In other word, it simulated a ecosystem that resembled a likely future senario of the energy use solution put into test.

Image taken from Antropologerne's conference presentation at GOOD'11

This made me think what is miss in User Research (attention, not Design Research), is this continous connection between user and the development of the solution. When research are only viewed as an addtional assest to test outputs of projects, have we recognised the value of research as a project that have equal weight to design? Can we design a research project in ways that build real relationship with the user instead of treating them as just another samples? I am not suggesting every project should have a full-on design research process and short-term user research (or user test I should call it) has its position in design process. But if we are really serious about making the best use of research in design, we should have a fuller collaboration between design and research. And along with it, a resource and a marketing system that supports such collaboration.

There is also a Service Design project in the conference. It is Workstreet from a young German agency, Minds and Makers. The project is about helping street kids find jobs that can help their financially and their self-esteem. The idea is simple, find street kids and offer them the chance to do simple hour based work, and gradully bring them back to normal social life and away from theft or drug dealing. And we all know the reality is complex and involves a lot of govermental organisation, business institution and social workers.

The project's collaborative nature attracts me, and personally, I love this type of out-reaching social based project that involves multiple stakeholders. What I am really impressed about their project, is that the design team not only mapped out a user journey for the 'actual users' of their service. They studied and created a journey for everyone who is involved in funding, delivery, producing, and using the service system. Everyone in the system is a service user with their own motivations and needs. I have always emphasised that service designer has an important role in balancing these different faces of service users, and the only way to do it, is to work closely with all of them.

 Image taken from Minds & Maker's conference presentation at GOOD'11

 Image taken from Minds & Maker's conference presentation at GOOD'11

SPUR, with location in both Singapore and Tokyo, provide me with some sights into how Design Research is like in Asia. Their presentation the power of One/Many really showed a global perspective on what happens when Design Research insights from different countries come together. The story started from the unforgetable earthquake in March at Japan and how it changed the whole nation's relationship and persception of energy. Japan is a highly digitised nation. Citizens rely their day-in-day-out basic life on mobile, computer monitored public traffic system, virtual cash, which awere all cut off (or put on limited use) once the energy supply is in danger. The story continued to show us a number of insights gathered by the researchers during their study in energy consumption project conducted in all over the world. 


 Image taken from SPUR's conference presentation at GOOD'11

Good researchers take notice of potential solutions from different cases. An idea tryed and tested in one place may become a seed to innovation in another. Through collaborative research around the globe, insights like this is becoming an important resource of concept screening. This is why researcher should not be 'gone' after their interviews with the user is 'done'. Good researchers picks up trends and even ideas for solutions, I think designers should take advantage of this valuable knowledge, rather than trying to start from scratch all over again. Collaborating with researcher also means become a good listener ourselves.

 Image taken from SPUR's conference presentation at GOOD'11

If you are after a full list of all presentations at GOOD'11, please have a look at here

Note: All images were taken at the respective presentations at GOOD'11 conference, if you would like any of the pictures to be taken out, please contact me and I am happy to assist.

 

Wednesday
Jun152011

Service Design Talk - start from This is Service Design Thinking

Although it's been a while since the event, but think it is useful to share some of the discussions around 'This is Service Design Thinking'. The event took place at LBi in a lovely April evening, with a number of people interested in Service Design from different areas. We are very happy to have Geke from STBY to host the event, and also the authors of the book to agree to Skype in. Unfortunately, due to the connect we lost the authors after 15-minute of tireless trying...

The conversation, although started from the book, moved on to some very generic conversations. Some key points I have noted down:

  • Service Design project case studies in the book look very similar to Agile methodology in software development. But, good and successful Agile projects are very rare (according to the attendee in the event), so how successful are the Service Design projects? I happen to be experiencing some so-called Agile style project at the moment and really feels that to be aspired to work in Agile style does request a lot of effort in behaviour change and change in work environment and a whole culture shift. Project setting, often out of control to designers in many cases, is often the key to a successful Agile project more than anything. I do wonder if this 'Community of Service' concept that I described in my thesis is only ideal environment that a project team can work towards or it is actually something can be achieved over time. I would love to hear if you have any good example of Agile project.
  • T-shape people and the short-coming of generalist.
    This was only touched upon, but I found it interesting because I have branded myself as a generalist rather than a specialist. There are worries about how people might claim to be a generalist to cover up their lack of knowledge in any specific area. I share this concern, but still believe that recognition of generalist is necessary in any broadly speaking discipline (e.g. I would claim to be a generalist in Design but no in Medicine). Or at least one should have equal choices to become a specialist or generalist. But keeping in mind, just like specialist, there are different levels of generalist. Of course, if one is using the term ‘generalist’ to cover up their lack of ability, that is an abuse of the term, but we cannot deny the value of having ‘generalist’ – the ones who can really embrace specialised knowledge and understand the context specific nature of it; the one who can truly transfer knowledge from one knowledge domain to another; one who is adapt knowledge and make working with specialist more effective. For me, the first step is to recognise that we need generalist, and the second step will be to find out what makes a good generalist.
  • What is the differences between Service Design and Experience Design (UX or whatever you'd like to call it...)
    This has been a question comes up each time we talk about Service Design, and to be honest, it is a tasteless topic to me already, but I do struggle to find a good and short answer to it. We had the chance to go around the table so each one of us can say what we think the difference is, so at least we have a collective recognition of what the differences are at this table... Doing this exercise, I am really happy that I actually find a prefect (so far) answer the next time this question comes up again. It is from dear wise Geke: We should no simply say Service Design is the same as any of the existing concept (be it User Experience Design or UX or Experience Design) before we are able to fully explore the potential of this concept. Words set discipline around ideas. When we say Service Design is the same as UX, our assumption is that Service Design bears the same barriers/limitations from UX, and it stops us from pushing what we do further. It also set up a different level of expectation to our client or colleagues. By insisting it is similar (it shares a lot of philosopic principles as User Experience Design) but has differences, allow us to articulate the difference and allow us to push the impact of design further while communicating with client or stakeholders.
Friday
May132011

paper prototype

Paper prototype is a usual method used in testing design concept with end user. It is often recommended to designer as there is not much technique barrier - paper, scissors, pens for drawing and post-it notes are pretty enough for the task. I used paper-prototype in different contexts: signage design, web design and even in writing and teaching.

For those who are not familiar with the concept, here is a fairly self-explain YouTube video:

My recent paper prototype test was last week, testing two sets of user journey for a client project. The functionality is relatively simple; the focus is mainly on how user may read different elements on a screen and what their expectations are after finishing task on each screen.

 

Some reflections here: 

  1. think of realistic test stories and a lot of them
    Like any type of testing methods, paper prototype is only one of a set of tools to interact with your participant and probe information. Paper prototype lets the user to experience a story and try to interact with the proposed system in means as intuitive to them as possible. Good setting allows participant to really engage with the story you propose, thus, may leads to more validate test results.

    For example, I tested a jounry happens after the user purchased a number of things from one place. So my example is Tesco, and I mocked up a Tesco shopping list to help user to get themselves into the role and related the test case to their normal daily interactions, even though the test itself has nothing to do with Tesco.

    Prepare for a number of story lines, and make sure your design template is flexible enough to allow different scenario to happen naturally. Make a lot of small bits that can be replaced quickly is a good tip, also, maybe colour code different bits according to different storylines so you won’t lose count during the test.

  2. pilot with a number of people before go out to real test
    Test the test - this may sounds a bit funny but really key. I piloted it with 4 before I move on to real users, and again this is a very small test I did. In pilots, you learn two things (at least): 1) get familiar with your script. Especially while testing complicated tasks playing the role of a system and record user interaction as a solo tester requires a number of rehearse; 2) it reveals user reaction that you have not covered in the script. As designer, we become blind to the interface we designed. It always takes someone else to spot the most stupid mistakes. Also, it gives the tester a chance get a sense of how user might wish to interact with your setting and how easy they can follow your script. Do they wish to write or draw on your prototype? Would you need different colour coded paper for different path? Pilot gives you chance to think and learn by doing.

  3. prepare for extra sketch on the set
    No matter how well you prepare, there will be things pop up totally off the script. If the user suggested some interaction that I have not considered, then extra paper for sketch some scenario on the set might be helpful. I actually like these moments, as it is often very inspirations moments. I prefer to let these moment push the boundary a bit – letting user dominant the story and play along with the participant until we are seriously off the script. That is when the meaty stuff comes out. Forcing participants back to the script can make good test efficiency, but it might stop them from telling me what they honestly think, and start to treat the session as test to themselves - which should never be the point of any type of user testing. Again, a balance tricky for any tester, often the situation depend whether it is as inspirational piece you are working on, or you just want a clear answer: A or B?

  4. think carefully about how to collect and record user feedback 
    To be honest, I did not film my test often, sometimes due to short preparation time and more often I knew I won't have time to go through them afterwards. But if it is a piece of work involves different tester and might require review in the future, filming is always worth it. Personally, I find that I try to listen more carefully if I know there won't be a chance to go through the interview/session again. Well, I know many won’t agree and I welcome debate... What I do think any tester should spend some good time consider carefully before going into a test is how you want to let your participant give you feedback.

    Some prefer to test in silence because it represents a more realistic and objective interaction a user can have with the system. It allows the user to make decisions without influence from the tester. Then tester and participant can have an review on the session and ask couple of questions to clarify certain points. I tend to use probe questions during the test, but try not to give away too much answers in the conversations. I found these small talks build a trust between the participant and tester, thus they tend to reveal more about their doubts and thoughts. Whichever way, make as less influence on participant’s decision-making as possible.

    Personally, I likes to make small notes on the set, even when there are filming on set, to remind myself of ideas or to check out certain point user rise. Also, I put aside a lot time after each test to make reflective notes. For estimate, a 20 minute test, I will leave at least 10 minutes for notes taking after each session when my memory is still fresh and stimulated by the conversations. If there is a queue of participants, don’t forget to count the note-making time in.

  5. reduce information noise
    Remove elements from the paper prototype that will distract participants. Having said that I would let user go off the script, it does not mean let things get in the way. Paper prototype is so easy to create, it is hard to resist the attempt to add another link somewhere on page, even if you have not thought through what that link does or why it is on that particular page… reduce information noise sounds like a tricky business, but actually really easy to be spotted in pilot test, and all you need is to cut things off the page!

 

 I am no expert in paper prototyping, but I picked it up totally by accident thanks to student project I did back in my Masters at Dundee University. For those who wants to look more into this as a technique, Wikipedia is a good place to start. There is also a book devoted for this one technique. Also, it appears often here and there in all sorts of collection of design tools: e.g. Service Design Tools <- my favourite!

Also, found this brilliant step-by-step how to make your iPhone paper prototype – can’t wait to try out so give me a iPhone project please :)

My colleague just showed me this fab little toolkit for paper prototyping from UXPin  - I am happy with my post-it notes, but their kit does look very professional!

Tuesday
Mar222011

Random thoughts on Service Jam - from organiser

I was quite lucky to co-host the Global Service Jam at London with a group of brilliant people from LBi and outside LBi. It is a 48 hour event bringing people from different backgrounds together to design and develop services under a global theme – and this year’s theme is ‘(super)hero’. We had around 70 participants at London jamming away in two different venues. To find out jam stories put together by LBi experience designers, look here.

The event was a big success and I believe most people had fun and learned a bit about service design and about themselves as well. As for me, I learned a number of rather practical things in terms of organising, but also here are bits that caught my thoughts.

Ice break

Ice break must be wild and bold to get around 100 multi-disciplinary strangers into (semi)functional teams. Luckly we have brilliant Ian Bach who put on a wonderful show to get everyone warmed up – literally.  

Key for ice-break: be stupid and ridiculous to start with, getting people running, leave enough time to talk in pairs or small groups, and throw in enough booze!

Team dynamics

To kick off and get work done with a group of people you only got to know for 2 hours isn’t easy. It requires not only professionalism but also a bit of magic for personality blending. Despite the fact that most people are happy to jump in and just have a good time with others (well, work hard as well), we did came across participants who are not flexible enough to embraces the open spirit of jam.

So what do we do about it? Looking back, it seemed responsible for organisers to keep an eye on team dynamics and even suggest split (in very nice and polite ways) to rescue the people who were stuck with team mate who might not be the best choice for their project. Unfortunately we failed to do that for this jam and really learned a lesson from it, but thankfully most of the London jammers are wonderful and really get the jam going with enthusiasm and professionalism.

Must have mentors

I can’t tell you how important mentors are to events like this! A brilliant and experienced team of mentors are absolutely necessary. Jam of this size is full of unexpected surprises. It is simply not possible to plan for everything, so if you can get helping hands from professional mentor to help adjust your plan on the go, it is priceless.

Absent client and stakeholders

One thing really concerns me is the absence of client and proper stakeholders in the project – many might think this is the best bit of jam as they can do whatever they want to the project. But again, if we agree that co-creation lies at the heart of service design, then we are obviously short of the necessary inputs here. Looking at the cause studies I have done with my research, the engagement of user are important but they are just a beginning point of entering a wider network of stakeholders in a service system. We did manage to push jammers to get out on the street to talk to the user, but how about delivery staff? How about admin staff in backstage of the system? How is it possible to nudge the whole business model to look at service delivery from new perspectives? The absence of a client left us with unanswered questions and lack of necessary critical review on design ideas.

How to engage key stakeholder and preserve knowledge created with them is what designer really should learn to achieve real co-creation. Empowering different parts of an organisation to engage with service user is the only way to sustain a service system. But I understand the fact that this is definitely not possible to achieve in a 2-day jam session. I am afraid that some of us who came to the event would bring home the idea of service design = user-centred design, while this is obviously not telling the whole story.

Having said that, I guess the jam as a form of event itself has its limits, and I maybe simply too critical on what I’d like to expect from it. Overall, I am grateful to be able to link to an active and enthusiastic network of people who are willing to give up their weekend to rock up some service design – what is better than finding people of your own kind?

Thank you all for coming, jammers, mentors, my dearest organisors and guys and girls on the internet (especially Adam and Markus)!



Tuesday
Jan252011

Global Service Jam London needs you!

Call for all London Service Design people!

The London jam is finally rolling after a number of hosts putting every effort to make a fabulous event for all Service Design lovers in Great London.

This event is part of the Global Service JAm 2011 initiation.

We are trying to push this event beyond the community of service designers to involve the UX community, user researchers, students, and even (potential) clients. So... want to meet some new people and to crack on some hard work designing a service in 48 hours? Watch this offical blog for the London Jam 

http://www.gsjamlondon.org.uk/

Follow us on twitter:@GSJ11LON

We have our little Service Design Today newspaper as well!

Look forward to jaming with you :)

Tuesday
Dec072010

Service Design & Higher Education

 

I have come across Service Design in the context of Higher Education a number of times recently, most conversations mainly falls into two topics: how to use Service Design to improve Higher Education, and how to teach Service Design in Higher Education.

1. How to use Service Design to improve Higher Education

 I was invited to run a workshop on Service Design at CETIS10 conference in November 2010 by Sharon (@dwrgi) and Paul Hollins (@PaulHollins) from JISC Centre for educational technology & interoperability standards. They commissioned a number of projects to explore the use of Service Design techniques in higher education environments. Their project adopted the concept of student life cycle and aimed at enhancing student experience and their relationship with the universities or institution. I delivered a hands-on workshop exercises introducing Service Design process and techniques such as persona, service blueprint and user journey mapping. It was rather exciting to see a room of educators, IT technical consultants and university admin staff getting post-it away and got really empathy with three student persona I made up with some stories of my friends in the universities. Please find PPT presentation as follow:

(more pictures from Flickr)

My workshop is followed by Jean Mutton's (@myderbi ) case study on a real life project at University of Derby, which provided an interesting example on how Service Design techniques and principles are used in improving university admin process for student experience. They employed techniques such as student video diary to understand student-institute interactive on a day-to-day basis. The interesting thing is that they also involved student interns as part of the research group, thus you have a first-hand student perspective from within the design team as well. You can find more details on their project via their blog SSIS-JISC project.

 

 

2. How to teach Service Design in Higher Education

In the past couple of months, I was frequently asked (via email or twitter) about which course to recommend for studying Service Design. Some are looking for Master courses, some are actually considering invest in a PhD. Having repeated my answer couple of times, think maybe it is worth to bring it up here. Lauren Tan has one posted a list of courses that provide Service Design programmes a while back (check out the comments there are more to find there). And Jeff Howard also recently listed some universities in the US in the area of Service Design. My personal favourite goes to Master of Design at Dundee University (of course!) and Mdes at LCC (London College of Communication). The main reason is that I know both course directors and they are true believers of inter-disciplinary design for the future society. My former colleague Jonathan Baldwin and I drafted a paper on Service Design Education and we agree that there is no point of teaching Service Design in isolation of a so-called 'Service Design' degree. Service Design only happens when different disciplines come together and interact with each other.

This brings me to the other side of the story: how should we teach Service Design.

Jeff Howard has an interesting post on rethink about T-shape designer , which introduces a number of different metaphors. But they are basically express a similar idea: designers need to be able to contextualise their knowledge and communicate with a variety of disciplines. What strikes me the most is how some people consider generalist as the opposite of specialist, while for me, you can't become a true generalist without some good quality specialised knowledge - they are united one. 

If we have what we want to achieve in mind, maybe it is easier to see how we can get there. Don Norman pointed out (very sharply) why design education must change. And AIGA is leading the way towards a 'New context/ New practices' for Design education. The conference discussed issue relates to design in difference contexts: business, social economy, culture and how education needs to transform itself to meet the needs of future design doers and thinkers.

Do we really need a separate course to deliver Service Design in a specially designed curriculum or a stand alone degree? I'm not in favour of it personally. But again, for any student, considering whether a degree is suitable for anyone requires consideration on not only quality of the course and the teacher, but also cultural and budget. So as I have always put in the end of my replies to these enthusiastic young design students – if you really believe in designing for people and design collaboratively as your Service Design principle, you can do it anywhere. 

 

P.S. Jonathan and I are looking for a respectful journal or conference to publish our paper on Service Design Education. We are willing have our ideas out there for a wide range of audiences to exam or critic – so if you happen to be an editor of a respectful design/higher education journal, please get in touch :)

I have come across Service Design in the context of Higher Education a number of times recently, most conversations mainly falls into two topics: how to use Service Design to improve Higher Education, and how to teach Service Design in Higher Education.

1. How to use Service Design to improve Higher Education

 I was invited to run a workshop on Service Design at CETIS10 conference (#cetis10) in 2010 by sharon (@) and Paul Hollins (@) from JISC Centre for educational technology & interoperability standards. They commissioned a number of projects to explore the use of Service Design techniques in higher education environments. Their project adopted the concept of student life cycle and aimed at enhancing student experience and their relationship with the universities or institution. I delivered a hands-on workshop exercises introducing Service Design process and techniques such as persona, service blueprint and user journey mapping. It was rather exciting to see a room of educators, IT technical consultants and university admin staff getting post-it away and got really empathy with three student persona I made up with some stories of my friends in the universities.

 (more pictures from Flickr)

 

2. How to teach Service Design in Higher Education

In the past couple of months, I get to asked (via email or twitter) about which course to recommend for studying Service Design. Some are looking for Master courses, some are actually considering invest in a PhD. Having repeated my answer couple of times, think maybe it is worth to bring it up here. Lauren Tan has one posted a list of courses that provide a Service Design course a while back (check out the comments there are more to find there). And Jeff Howard also recently listed some universities in the US in the area of Service Design. My personal favourite goes to Master of Design at Dundee University (of course!) and Mdes at LCC (London College of Communication). The main reason is that I know both course directors and they are true believers of inter-disciplinary design for the future society. My former colleague Jonathan Baldwin and I drafted a paper on Service Design Education and we agree that there is no point of teaching Service Design in isolation of a so-called 'Service Design' degree. Service Design only happens when different disciplines come together and interact with each other.

This brings me to the other side of the story: how should we teach Service Design.

Jeff Howard has an interesting post on rethink about T-shape designer , which introduces a number of different metaphors. But they are basically express a similar idea: designers need to be able to contextualise their knowledge and communicate with a variety of disciplines. What strikes me the most is how some people consider generalist as the opposite of specialist, while for me, you can't become a true generalist without some good quality specialised knowledge - they are united one. 

If we have what we want to achieve in mind, maybe it is easier to see how we can get there. Don Norman pointed out (very sharply) why design education must change. And AIGA is leading the way towards a 'New context/ New practices' for Design education. The conference discussed issue relates to design in difference contexts: business, social economy, culture and how education needs to transform itself to meet the needs of future design doers and thinkers.

Do we really need a separate course to deliver Service Design in a specially designed curriculum or a stand alone degree? I'm not in favour of it personally. But again, for any student, considering whether a degree is suitable for anyone requires consideration on not only quality of the course and the teacher, but also cultural and budget. So as I have always put in the end of my replies to these enthusiastic young design students – if you really believe in designing for people and design collaboratively as your Service Design principle, you can do it anywhere. 

 

P.S. Jonathan and I are looking for a respectful journal or conference to publish our paper on Service Design Education. We are willing have our ideas out there for a wide range of audiences to exam or critic – so if you happen to be an editor of a respectful design/higher education journal, please get in touch :)

Tuesday
Dec072010

A life swinging between UX and SD

Think I really should reflect a bit more on my life after join LBi and my swing between the worlds of UX (User Experience design) and SD (Service Design) till this point. I was introduced to various UX events and presentations by my dearest colleagues. It's been definitely a wonderful journey so far working in big agency like LBi, but what I am sharing here is more of personal reflections on the relation and differences between SD and UX - the two design disciplines which both claim to concern mostly with people and experience.

First thing I notice, is the use of language. For example, the use of 'User Experience'. When I start hanging out in the UX crowds, I realise we are talking about 'user experience on digital devices' in most cases, but substituted with the word 'User Experience'. While in SD, 'User Experience' stands for a more holistic concept that involves inter-person interaction and how individual interaction with their communities in real world. On the surface, it seems just a use of word, but the meaning we give to words defines our perception of the world around and our roles. Of course, it is fare enough that every discipline has its own (yet interrelated) definition of certain word, as far as we are aware of these limits in inter-disciplinary communications.

Couple of weeks ago, I ran an internal session with a group of UX designers at LBi, looking at the three roles of service designer and link it to stories in UX design. For the session, I modified the term into Navigators, Facilitators and Maker to fit their specific vocabulary ( For original concepts on these design roles, please see the summary of my thesis ) We had some fantastic discussions about what in Service Design practice might be meaningful for UX designers. Again communication came up, along with language, such as ‘Do we need to have MBAs (to be strategist)?’

(more picture from Flickr)

A second thing I notice is this emerging ‘schools of thinking’ in both SD and UX. Both disciplines have people from different types of training or professional practice. Individual who works under the same job title might have completely different approach. It is not the different personality types I am talking about here (which you get often in team-building exercises).  It is a school of thinking that people brings with them this belief of what their profession is all about. This hugely impact how people prioritise activities. A behaviour science training UX designer might put more emphasis on analysing the basics than a UX designer from a developer’s background who is happier to ‘fail quickly to succeed fast’ with assumptions. It can be frustration. And it can be confusing for client who has experience working with one type but not the other. The practitioners in these situations may find it hard to describe what they are experiencing, but it exists and should be acknowledged.

A third point is regarding the methods we can borrow from each other. Three month habiting in UX world has opened my eyes to the secret beauty of statistics and quantitative methods (while used properly). I was impressed by the conscious efforts put into balancing the use of qualitative and quantitative methods in understanding and solving problems. Qualitative methods have been in favour by designers for many obvious reasons – rich, engaging and do not ask for good mathematical skills. Yet, I feel the need to justify the use of quantitative methods in Service Design to create a more hybrid approach. Thanks to the very talented media and SEO team, I was shown how quantitative data can serve as an effective tool in monitoring prototyping process and estimating its impact on user behaviour (people don't always do what they say). Imagine how traditional techniques like A/B test and multivariate test can actually mimic in real life scenarios or in physical service ecology. It might seems terribly rigorous at first, but I believe there is value to bring in some sort of modified version of quantitative methods for the use of Service Design. It can then provide good argument in measuring and support business decisions for the stakeholders who are more figures sensitive. UX has been juggling user research for a fairly long time and has learned a lot from other disciplines such as science and arts. Looking into how they have balanced different methods in exploring and measuring digital solutions, it is inspiring to combine the best of the two worlds.

What I found above are the inevitable meesy nature of young fields. As we are expanding our design activities more into ‘new’ contexts (be it emerging technology or grass-rooted social innovation) and multi-disciplinary teams, this is the perfect time to talk about how should we be cautious about the language, assumptions and methods we bring from our own history, and also how we can construct a ‘neutral’ platform to create meaningful conversations.

Think I really should reflect a bit more on my life after join LBi and my swing between the worlds of UX (User Experience design) and SD (Service Design) for the past weeks. I was introduced to various UX events and presentations by my dear colleagues. It's been definitely a wonderful journey so far just for the experience of working in big agency like LBi, but I am sharing here is more of personal reflections on the relation and differences between SD and UX - the two design disciplines which both claim to concern mostly with people and experience.

First thing I notice, is the use of language. For example, the use of 'User Experience'. When I start hanging out in the UX crowds, I realise we are talking about 'user experience on digital devices' in most cases, but substituted with the word 'User Experience'. While in SD, 'User Experience' stands for a more holistic concept that involves inter-person interaction and how individual interaction with their communities in real world. On the surface, it seems just a use of word, but the meaning we give to words defines our perception of the world around and our roles. Of course, it is fare enough that every discipline has its own (yet interrelated) definition of certain word, as far as we are aware of these limits in inter-disciplinary communications.

Couple of weeks ago, I ran an internal session with a group of UX designers at LBi, looking at the three roles of service designer and link it to stories in UX design. For the session, I modified the term into Navigators, Facilitators and Maker to fit their specific vocabulary ( For original concepts on these design roles, please see the summary of my thesis ) We had some fantastic discussions about what in Service Design practice might be meaningful for UX designers. Again communication came up, along with language, such as ‘Do we need to have MBAs (to be strategist)?’

(more picture from Flickr)

A second thing I notice is this emerging ‘schools of thinking’ in both SD and UX. Both disciplines have people from different types of training or professional practice. Individual who works under the same job title might have completely different approach. It is not the different personality types I am talking about here (which you get often in team-building exercises).  It is a school of thinking that people brings with them this belief of what their profession is all about. This hugely impact how people prioritise activities. A behaviour science training UX designer might put more emphasis on analysing the basics than a UX designer from a developer’s background who is happier to ‘fail quickly to succeed fast’ with assumptions. It can be frustration. And it can be confusing for client who has experience working with one type but not the other. The practitioners in these situations may find it hard to describe what they are experiencing, but it exists and should be acknowledged.

A third point is regarding the methods we can borrow from each other. Three month habiting in UX world has opened my eyes to the secret beauty of statistics and quantitative methods (while used properly). I was impressed by the concious efforts put into balancing the use of qualitative and quantitative methods in understanding and solving problems. Justify the use of quantitative methods in monitoring prototype and its impact on user behaviour (people don't always do what they say) and it provides good arguement in measurement and support business decisions.

What I found above are the inevitable nature of young fields. As we are expanding our design activities more into ‘new’ contexts (such as service innovation and social innovation) and multi-disciplinary teams, this is the prefect time to talk about how should we be cautious about the language and assumptions we bring from our own history and also how we can construct a ‘neutral’ platform to create meaningful conversations. Having said that, UX has been juggling user research for a fairly long time and has learned a lot from other disciplines such as science and arts. Looking into how they have balanced, yet diversed, their methods in exploring and measuring digital solutions, it is encouraging to combine the best of the two worlds.