Entries in conference (21)

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。

 

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.

 

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 :)

Thursday
Jun242010

Designing a better world at Northumbria

Last week I went to Newcastle for this one-day conference to pick up some tips on how to design a better world.

The opening session was really about a discussion of what ‘better’ means to different people, I particularly like Julia Lohmann’s idea of ‘nothingness’, where people have more time to think and enjoy life rather than busy getting it stuffed by stuff…


I am rather impressed by the two speakers from Philips. Gavin Proctor talked about their extended product life cycle that goes beyond the line of consumption, but into disposal and recycle of Philips product as well.

The closing keynote was from the brilliant Josephine Green, who previously worked as the Senior Director of Trend and Strategy at Philips Design. She took us through the change we are experiencing in terms of social structure, or in her words ‘from pyramids to pancakes’. Couple of key characters of the pancake society is around the distributing innovation, collaboration, community and sustainability. Well, according to my knowledge, you can find some related arguments in Zuboff’s Support Economy and Gary Hamel’s Future of Management – both talked about the power shift towards stakeholders and their role in open and social innovation. It is quite inspiring to see how international company that previously has a reputation in manufacturing, such as Philips, stand up and talk about what social change means to them and how they face the challenge to move ahead.

And for fans of social innovation, here is a link from her presentation regarding some tools and methods for social innovation that may interest you: www.socialinnovationexchange.org

There was a concern expressed at the conference regarding whether it is too optimistic to this bright future Green presented, as the environmental scientists are basically telling us it’s too late. Well, wonderful Ms Green replied ‘it is our moral responsibility to keep optimistic in difficult times.’ and she also said ‘Life is a bitch.’ – wise words!

Interestingly, the next day of the conference, I found this rather odd little box outside Waitrose in Newcastle city centre full of green tokens. So it was the Community Matters Theme from Waitrose. They ask their customers to help them choose how much they should fund in community projects, so their investment is driven by community for community. Customer who shopped in the store were given a green token to vote for the community project they would like to support, and then Waitrose will invest money in these projects according to the result of the voting. A rather engaging approach to present community development to Waitrose's customers, don't you think?

By the way, I voted for the wild animal one, and then an lovely lady passed by me, put her token into the same box and told me 'nice choice~' - haha!

So supermarket is catching up by placing themselves as an active part of the community and support local development. Why don't we have Waitrose in Dundee? Can we vote for that as well?

Thursday
Nov262009

Nordic Service Design Conference 09

My horribly busy writing schedule has kept me from doing many things that I should have done for weeks, and... this is one of them... I haven't got time around to report any thoughts on the conference, well, now much of them are already lost in the mist of my memory.


But, there are three good blogposts of this conference online now from others:

1. Jeff Howard's Design for Service: some useful links of presentation and pictures from the conference, and most recently a post about the Service Design Touch-point cards.

2. there is a round-up one the Service Innovation blog - the host of the conference.

3. This one is from a friend of mine (shared with Lauren Tan and JB!) Joyce Lee from the Northumbria University. We met at the conference and made dinner together - the good old days, now seem so far away!


Some materials from me if you are curious what happened:

[some really nice picture of service designers co-creating their own dinner at the conference!]
[here are all the conference papers, I found some really good ones, already used in my thesis as quotes!]

and finally my PPT presentation available here:

Monday
Nov232009

sweet sweet gifts


To be honest, I was quite impressed by the organisation of Nordic SD Conference - received this little pack shortly after arriving at the hotel. Couple cute gifts from the organisor, including a pair of over-shoes to 'protect your favourit e shoes regardless of weather conditions' (shame that my Timberland seem too big for them...) and a set of design cards around touch-points from the AT-ONE project.

It seems that card making is the new 'black' in Design now. we all know the famous IDEO cards, as far as in Service Design, I know of two other sets of cards. One is the SILK method cards made by Engine with Kent city council. The other one was Lauren (Redjotter)'s Master project: Making Service Sense, a set of postcards of SD case samples. Both brilliant projects - I would love to see more likely projects, and also see these methods find their way into organisations and make tangible differences. It would be great if the use of design card becomes as normal as using SWOT Analysis. well... if you know of any other similar card sets, I would love to hear from you!

I mean it's a good thing. It's a sign that designers are preparing to share the authority of being the 'gifted ones' with more people and moving into a facilitating role in order to encourage innovation at larger scale, well and democracy as well. I consider it as a sign of this profession becoming more and more matured, and am happy to see that Service Design is honest to what it claims to be: co-design, and empower others.

Really look forward to tomorrow, yet, have to prepare for my own speech first... left the speech notes in the UK, so gotta work from scratch again... Well, let's enjoy the next three days!

Tuesday
Jul282009

a bit of travelling this winter in Scandinavian area

Got a bit planning going on - just to relax my fingures from writing...

Am off to Oslo for the conference 24-26, and will be spending 23th -28th there... gotta enjoy the city, don't I?

And I also got a really lovely invitation from Katarina Wetter Edman to visit the Service Research Center - CTF at Karlstad University... excited! So spending two days there will be my plan.

After Karlstad, I quite fancy heading to Stockholm and maybe spend 4-5 days there, just wondering around the Christmas markets!

So basically I have about 3 days free in Oslo and 4-5 days free in Stockholm…

To be honest, I don’t know these areas quite well, so any of you have suggestions of must-visit-places? Or even another invitation to show me around your place?

Definitely would love to make some new friends as well ;-]

Got another invitation to visit Fabian Segelström in Linköping - this journey is becoming more and more exciting now!

Thursday
May072009

D2B2 impression


I presented a paper  in the D2B2 Design Management conference in Beijing last week and also heard a lot of very interesting speech from presentors from all over the world.  Together with the keynote speakers, there were over 50 presentations in total, covering topics from branding to sustainability to a bit of Service Design. Most of the presentations are inspiring, although I guess the use of double languages (Chinese and English) makes it a bit complex when it comes to question time. Happy that I actually benefited from both languages- ain't doing a degree abroad for nothing ;] 

One of the most impressive presentation might be James Woudhuysen's critical insights towards  Design Management by saying" design is not going to save the world, technology and science might save the world, but design can help them". I can't say that I completely agree with him, but I do admire the courage to start a contradictory argument in a conference basically show casing the benefit of design to business. However, it is true that we not only study what design can do, but also study what design cannot do. The role of design is changing, which is also true to many other professions in the world, but it doesn't mean that we can either over or under estimate what design can do. 

This reminds me of John Thackra's talk on Design Council's podcast suggests three lessons they learnt from DOTT, which might give us some thoughts on what design might become.
"
1. We are not going to innovate in the desert. It's already here. In the country our job is to discovery and accelerate the existing grass-root innovation by bring in design skills, bring in technology platforms, bring in resources s and when they are needed.

2. Build unlikely connection (innovation!) and build trust.

3. Think about how do we want to live. Start conversations at local, not telling people how they want to live. "

By the way, James Woudhuysen is having a new booking coming... Energise! it is about energy, science, and our future society. I have not read it yet though... let me know what you think if you did ;]

Wednesday
Feb182009

Richard Buchanan on the 'Four Boundaries of Service Design'

< image from Jeff Howard's Design for Service >

Richard Buchanan's closing keynote speech on the Emergence 2007, very insightful.

Just couple of notes and quotes I put down here while listening... would like to hear what you think :)

Buchanan point out Four Boundaries of Service Design as:
1. information visulisation - build conversations following the visual presentation among community that lead to actions;
2. artefact and service - shift the foucs towards the context and consequences of using artefacts;
3. the different between a system designer and a service designer - system design? organisation design? service design? environmental design?
4. service design and management - is good service design good management?

so this is the bit that makes me interested... Buchanan askes what's things that designers do that managers don't do? He talks about the the lost wholeness of organisation operation in management studies... so are we designers getting it back to the service development? Also designer use visualisation to stimulate meaningful communication. Embodyment of the intagibles, designers re-connect the managers to the day-to-day human interactions on the working grounds.

Buchanan then moved on to ask the big question: what is the definition of Service Design? and then he claims that he was not troubled by it, so the anxiety to define it lost its point. He suggests us to be careful about feeling the need to categorising design, but spend time to find out the core quality of design, not the metaphores. As designer, we talk about techniques, talk about methods, what we don't talk about is the strategies that sets above the techniques and the methods. Methods always contains a conceptual framework, often come from another context. Well, the strategy is the art of using methods - how we involve methods and people in our practice.

Value is central in service design, according to Buchanan. One of the central features is about making people more active in their communities, to become agents of change, to be given the power to act. Designer needs to be very self-critical on how much power we retain. It is about justice.

"We can only act well if we have the right information and know how to use it wisely."

"Service design is adding another bit of understanding to this evolving practice of design thinking."

A ture design thinker.