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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.

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Reader Comments (2)

Design thinking? or design planning? I think i is very important to a design. It is the first step before anything else. The conversation on this book is really amazing.

August 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheart and attitude

I thing that at first you see the design and then you put it on paper :)

September 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteržogi

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