Entries in service design (39)

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

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.
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.

Monday
Sep202010

Thesis Published - practices and principles in Service Design

 

After three years of hard work and countless editing, finally, my PhD thesis is published in the form of a book via lulu.com publication.

"How do service designers manage multiple stakeholder involvement in complex projects? How do they generate knowledge and disseminate it? What is a Community of Service, and why is it important to the future of service design practice? In this book, based on her PhD thesis, Qin Han examines the practice and theory of service design, identifying three common design approaches to stakeholder management, and the knowledge that service designers need to develop projects and groups. This ground breaking study of the relatively new discipline of service design offers a useful summary of existing literature from related fields and places it in a design context. Dr Han concludes with important proposals for the future study, practice and teaching of Service Design. A must-read for practitioners, academics and students of design, business and management."

You can order the book directly here for £24.65

 

Download free summary

Also for those who don’t have the time to read through the whole book, I provide a summary for download here <- it doesn’t cost you anything but a tweet, so please enjoy the work and spread the words.

Sunday
Aug152010

The service design of proposing a marriage




A girl friend of mine told me that a boy asked her for advise on what kind of engagement ring he should get to propose to the girl he loves. And my friend says, ‘it is not about the ring, you boys just don’t get it, it is about the presenting of it.’

Guessing what a girl wants has always been a bit of a mystery to most of the boys. It takes more than a good guess. I suppose many service designer/manager may share similar experiences, you can get statistics about trend, taste and fashion of any ‘thing’, but the difficult part is to deliver the right ‘thing’ to the right person at the right time with the right feeling. What you need is to get advice and inputs from other people. In this case, parents, her sister and girl friends are all V.I.P stakeholders. In some scenarios, blessing or permission from parents are important to this marriage you are proposing. And girl friends will be able to provide useful suggestions from a girl’s perspective, and even probe information for you. Consulting married couples may provide good case studies as well.

And when it comes the big moment, emotions are even more important than the rock (I know the rock costs a lot, but hey…) A sense of commitment is essential, and most of the girls would love to be surprised (just a little bit). After all, it is often the emotion that gets the girl, not the ring. Or shall I say, it is the ‘service’, not the ‘product’ that gets you the big ‘yes’.

Monday
Jan182010

customer experience touch-point cards

Early on, I mentioned that we received a set of cards for creating customer experience touch-point from the AT-ONE project as a gift from the Nordic Service Design conference. Jeff posted some information about what the contents are, and I got really curious about the stories behind the developing and using of these cards, so I contacted Simon Clatworthy, the host of the conference as well as the manager of the AT-ONE project, with a list of questions.

Now let's see what Simon says about these really inspiring cards...

1. Where does the idea of producing touch point cards come from? Who made them? Is there any project context that gave birth to them?


The idea emerged when we started running workshops in the AT-ONE project two years ago. AT-ONE is a project that aims to assist the first stage of an innovation project - the Fuzzy Front End - using service design techniques. In AT-ONE, each of the letters relate to different aspects of service innovation - Actors, Touch-points, Offering, Need, Experience - and we have developed innovation workshops for each letter. As part of the Touch-Point workshops, we found ourselves needing touch-point examples to help with both mapping and analysis work (before a workshop) and for idea generation during the workshops themselves. We started out with lists, then photos and decided that what we needed was a set of cards that could both stimulate new thinking, but also help map out existing situations. When we realised that the conference was coming up, we decided to print up a set for the participants.

The cards were made by Ingvild Støvring and me together, both of us from AHO (the Oslo School of Architecture and Design). She took most of the photos and designed the cards, I created the content list and the tools for their use. We printed at a local printers after trying (and failing) to find a cheap foreign printer.

 

2. How would you describe the process of developing these cards developed? Were they prototyped or tested?

The development process has been kind of evolutionary over the past two years. We have run tons of Touch-Point workshops together with various companies, and various versions of support examples were developed to help communication and innovation. We have moved from texts to images to the combination shown on the cards. We have also developed several tools to help design teams facilitate new thinking about touch-points, and some of them are included with the cards. So, they have been prototyped several times and improved each time, most recently during our master course in Service Design last Autumn. It seems like the forced association method is the one that the students always like to use. I guess its because it encourages radical ideas and forces you to think in new directions.

 

3. Who are these card made for? I noticed there are five different ways you suggestedto play these cards, so I guess the card game is designed not only for design teams, would you describe a bit more about the possible situations that thesecards can be used?

 

The cards are made for cross-functional teams who are at the start phase of an innovation process. When teams come together, there is often an interesting but odd mix of people and varying degrees of design experience. One of the main things that happens in the start phase is team building - finding common ground and pulling together. At the same time, the strategic mandate the project has received is translated into a chosen direction for the project. Its a critical time for the project, since decisions made here have huge consequences for future direction. Hopefully the cards will help the team (or individual members) analyse the present situation (if there is one) and develop ideas for new services or service touch-points. We have tried to design them so that they can be usable by any team member or team facilitator. So far, they seem to work well, and I find myself using them regularly in different contexts.

The contexts for their use are as follows, but we have found that they can be used in other contexts as well.

Firstly, they are aimed to be used at the early stages of the innovation process, the fuzzy front end. This is a divergent stage in a project in which various directions are being explored, and many opportunities are still open. The cards aim to help analysis, reflection and idea generation during workshops in which multiple stakeholders are involved. Generally a design team includes stakeholders from across organisational silos and include a broad set of disciplines. The cards should hopefully assist communication accross these different boundaries, and help create a common understanding regarding various touch-point issues. They also make explicit, what earlier has been up inside peoples heads. This is a common comment about design and its role in process facilitation - the use of images creating a common understanding within a team - and its true. We have found that using the cards helps move the team forwards in a good way.

 

Use context 1: Mapping an existing situation.

The cards help map out an existing situation. For example, the team can go through each stage of a service (or customer) journey and pick out the touch-points that are relevant at each stage. From this, many aspects can be discussed, such as which touch-point is most important to the customer, which are (maybe) used in sequence, which are most frequently used etc. This helps get the discussion moving around how customers view the service through touch-points, and how they often jump between them. It can also help raise the discussion about who is reponsible for develping and maintaining each touch-point. It is always a surprise for a team to understand that there is often a total lack of touch-point coordination accross an organisation.

 

Use context 2: Identifying pain points

Once the service journey has been mapped out, then there are loads of things you can do. One of the things we find useful is to identify the touch points along the service journey that dont perform particularly well, and why. This can be a useful means for improving consistency of experience along the service journey.

 

Use context 3: Whose touch-point is it anyway

One of the things we have found out is that in large organisations, different departments can be responsible for different touch-points. This often comes as a shock to an organisation, but is something that is usually noticeable from the customer perspective. There can be different tones of voice, interaction styles, use of images, typography and especially different terminology. Identifying who is responsible for each touch-point and finding ways of coordinating between them can be very useful. So, what we do is simply to note who is responsible for each touch-point used to access the service.

Use context 4: Touch-point migration

An organisation might get lazy, or might just not have routines in place for updating their touch-points. Over time, a touch-point might become out of date or there could be a better touch-point alternative that can be migrated towards. This is particularly relevant when it comes to use of technology and discussions regarding self service. Going through the touch-point cards can give ideas for new touchpoints and can help map out a migration strategy from one touch-point to another.

Use context 5: Touch-point addition or subtraction

This one is aimed at challenging todays situation by removing important touch-points. Based upon the touch-point mapping, remove the main touch point at each stage of the service journey, and discuss how it can be replaced. Surprisingly, you will find that it can be replaced, and this can give you ideas regarding new facets to a service. It it cannot be replaced, then the team has gained a deeper understanding of the touch-points importance and role. The opposite of this is to pick a random card at each step of the service-journey and discuss how it could be used to improve the service. We have added some specific touch-points for this, such as "service integrated into a product" or "smart phone". This can be a useful task in many ways, particularly to help challenge todays situation, which might have deep historical roots and need updating. Thinking about how an iPhone app could improve the service is never a bad thing anyway.

Actually, a bit of a sidetrack here, but when we started the project we had one card for mobile phone. However, we realised quite quickly that technological development has moved so fast that there are mobile phones, internet enabled phones and smart phones running apps. We had to create several categories of phones, and will probably have to add even more over time, such as tablets perhaps.

Use context 6: Forced association to create new services

This one is a favourite in workshops, even though it doesn't always generate that many relevant ideas. In this task you are forced to create a service based upon random cards: pick two (or more) random cards from the pack and design a service for your client based only upon these two cards. Forced association is a well known technique to force you away from logical thinking, and doing this with the touch-point cards is a good way to force yourself to think differently. Quite often you will end up with useless combinations, but its easy to put the cards back and pick again. Its a fun and challenging way to look at touch-points, and often unearths useful reflections regarding a service.

As you can see, the cards help stimulate both understanding and various kinds of innovations. They can be used for anything from analytical approaches to idea generation to impulsive and radical new solutions, depending upon the project and project context. They can be used alone or in teams, and work well together with clients.

 

4. Have these touch point cards been used in projects yet? (for example student projectin AHO?) It would be great to have some examples of these cards being used indifferent context or projects.

The cards have been used in student projects and together with several service providers. The project has a collaboration with several organisations in Norway, but two main ones - a large insurance company (Gjensidige) and the National Lottery (Norsk Tipping). We have carried out two iterations of the methods used in AT-ONE per year, so have already run through 5 iterations of the process. The experience so far is very encouraging, and we are in the process of validating the process and individual tools at the moment. This is not an easy thing to do, since innovation is not always easy to measure. Where do ideas come from, where do they go, and do how do they become adapted underway? Is organisational change a more important innovation than the number of ideas generated? Does the focus upon touch-points that this particular tool encourages (there are tens of other tools too) lead to better consistency in a service over time? What we have found is that the tools help generate a lot of ideas. They also help give new perspectives and understanding, and particularly help companies understand how customers view their company through touch-points and over time. So far, we are pretty happy with these cards, and we will definitely print up some more quite soon. In addition, we will make them available as a download on www.service-innovation.org, together with the other tools we are working upon.

If we were to remake them, I don't think I would change many things. There are some formulations that could be improved, and we have only scratched the surface when it comes to how to use them. I think its a good idea to set them free, so that people can add cards and add tasks. In that way they could continually evolve, which would be nice.

( from Simon Clatworthy, 18 Jan 2010)