Entries in higher education (1)

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 :)