Despite the Service Design discipline increasing its profile in both the private and public sectors, there is still a lack of condensed and effective materials that clearly explain and communicate the value of Service Design; specifically to the business sector. In order to ensure the growth of the industry is it essential that the value of Service Design can be communicated.

This video is a studentwork that was created as part of my "Design for Services" course at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee. For the Masters Strategic Information Design module as a team we were working on a brief for Nile, an Experience and Service Design company and the Service Design Network (UK Chapter), on producing materials that clearly communicate the value of Service Design to the business sector and here is the final outcome.

Here you can find more information about the project and it's whole design process. Please feel free to share and use, this is for the whole community.

London’s First Maker Faire Celebrating Creativity, Science, Technology, Art and Craft Comes to the London College of Communication and Victoria and Albert Museum in July.

The Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire, London’s first Maker Faire, will be taking over the London College of Communication on Saturday, 6th July 2013 from 10:00–18:00. It brings together Makers, designers, engineers, tech enthusiasts and more to share their amazing work and passion for making with the public.

Mini Maker Faire Meetup 

On Saturday 7th July at the Victoria and Albert Museum will be followed by a Mini Maker Faire Meetup.  I will be part of a panel discussion  to explore the idea of "Politics of Making"and the social and cultural significance of the Maker Movement further.
Keynote speakers on the include:
  • Cory Docotrow: Blogger, journalist, science fiction author and co-editor of weblog Boing Boing
  • Tim Hunkin: Engineer, cartoonist, writer, and artist
There will be three panel discussions with:
  • Martin Dittus:  Member at the London Hackspace and part of the Occupy London Tech Team
  • Sarah Corbet: Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective
  • Nelly Trakidou:Member of The Change Makers
About The Politics of Making; Making in Design Education; Maker Urbanism. Panelists include Makers, hackers, academics, writers and designers drawn from organisations including: London Hackspace; Raspberry Pi; Changify; Craftivist Collective; University of the Arts London; Dundee University; and the Royal College of Art.

Hosted by Chaired by Eva Verhoeven, the event will be held in Victoria and Albert Museum, at Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre on 7th July 2013, 10.30 am

Further information and tickets are available online:
BBC Documentary - Horizon: The Creative Brain How Insight Works 

"Today, scientists are using some unusual techniques to try to work out how these moments of creativity
whether big, small or life-changing - come about. They have devised a series of puzzles and brainteasers to draw out our creative behaviour, while the very latest neuroimaging technology means researchers can actually peer inside our brains and witness the creative spark as it happens. What they are discovering could have the power to make every one of us more creative."

  • Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO urges designers to Think Big: the design profession has a bigger role to play than just creating "nifty, fashionable little objects".

  • Bas Raijmakers, creative director of STBY, explains how he uses film to portray user's needs and desires to inspire service innovation projects. Instead of directing ethnographic films hilmself, he helps users direct their own films, in order to get as close as possible to their daily lifes.

  • Service Design and User Experience: Same or Different? Oliver King, co-founder of Engine

What is service design? – Birgit Mager (Köln International School of Design)

The Co-Design process from social design agency thinkpublic 

Meroni A. , Sangiorgi D (2011) Design for Services

In Design for Services, Anna Meroni and Daniela Sangiorgi articulate what Design is doing and can do for services, and how this connects to existing fields of knowledge and practice. Designers previously saw their task as the conceptualisation, development and production of tangible objects. In the twenty-first century, a designer rarely 'designs something' but rather 'designs for something': in the case of this publication, for change, better experiences and better services. 
The authors reflect on this recent transformation in the practice, role and skills of designers, by organising their book into three main sections. The first section links Design for Services to existing models and studies on services and service innovation. Section two presents multiple service design projects to illustrate and clarify the issues, practices and theories that characterise the discipline today; using these case studies the authors propose a conceptual framework that maps and describes the role of designers in the service economy. The final section projects the discipline into the emerging paradigms of a new economy to initiate a reflection on its future development. 

Polaine A, Løvlie L, Reason B Service Design: From Insight to Implementation

"Along with many other insights, this book offers:
A clear explanation of what service design is and what makes it different from other ways of thinking about design, marketing and business.
Service design insights, methods and case studies to help you move up the project food chain and have a bigger design impact on the entire service ecosystem.
Practical advice to help you sell the value of service thinking within your organisation and to clients.
Ways to help you develop business, design, environmental and social innovation through service design."

"Interviewing Users will explain how to succeed with interviewing, including:

Embracing how other people see the world
Building rapport to create engaging and exciting interactions
Listening in order to build rapport."

Stickdorn M, Schneider J (2012) This is Service Design Thinking 

"This book outlines a contemporary approach for service innovation. »This is Service Design Thinking, introduces a new way of thinking to beginners but also serves as a reference for professionals. It explains the approach, its background, process, methods and tools and connects theory to contemporary case studies.
A set of 23 international authors created this interdisciplinary textbook applying exactly the same user-centered and co-creative approach it preaches."

"We’re filling up the world with technology and devices, but we’ve lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. "

Viladas, X (2011) Design at Your Service: How to improve a business idea with a designers's help

"Service design is a new discipline which allows us to effectively set up an offer consisting of both tangible and intangible elements, through the combined use of methodologies and knowledge which come from design and social sciences. This book examines the rise in service design as a discipline, reviews its main tools and proposes a model where design can give value in each and every one of the phases of a new service developing process. The aim of this text is to at least stimulate interest among members of both groups: companies and entrepreneurs, who, hopefully, will have a clear idea of why, how and when a designer can help them improve their business idea after reading this. Also professional designers, who may see an opportunity for a big future in the design of specialised services"

"Work is a defining, all-consuming part of our lives. Now, more than ever, the speed at which the nature of work is changing is having an extraordinary impact on working lives everywhere. Lynda Gratton''s groundbreaking book looks at the five forces that will fundamentally change the way we work in the next 10 to 15 years: globalization, society, demography, technology, and energy. It remains to be seen whether this will be a bad thing or a good thing. The invaluable advice that Lynda imparts, however, is that there are three key shifts that individuals can make to prepare themselves in this fast-moving world of work."

Osterwalder A, Pigneur Y, (2010)  Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

"Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow′s enterprises. Along the way, you′ll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition." 

Fraser H, (2012)  Works: How to Tackle Your Toughest Innovation Challenges through Business Design

"Design Works is the playbook for putting Business Design – a discipline that integrates design methods and mindsets into strategic planning and innovation practices -  into action across the enterprise.  Heather Fraser provides tools and tips, compelling case studies and inspiring interviews with business leaders who have used design principles and practices to tackle their enterprise challenges and map out new opportunities for growth.

Through the practice of the 3 Gears of Business Design,  Design Works shows you how to harness your team’s collective ingenuity and unlock fresh insights, create bigger ideas faster, and translate big ideas into clear action-based strategies that will accelerate progress toward a renewed vision for your organization."

Moritz S, (2010), Service Design: Practical Access to an Evolving Field 

"Design as a whole has changed and Service Design can address the unique challenges that the service economy is facing. Design is not only crafting details of products anymore. It is a field that designs complex and interactive experiences, processes and systems. It involves expertise and experts from related fields and clients in the design process. It uses special processes, tools and methods."

Liedtka J, Ogilvie T (2011)  Designing Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers

"Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie educate readers in one of the hottest trends in business: "design thinking," or the ability to turn abstract ideas into practical applications for maximal business growth. Liedtka and Ogilvie cover the mind-set, techniques, and vocabulary of design thinking, unpack the mysterious connection between design and growth, and teach managers in a straightforward way how to exploit design's exciting potential."

I entered into the service design world some months ago, when I started my master in design for services at Dundee University. When I was applying for this master course I had a general idea of what service design is. It seemed to be something fresh, new, innovative and creative. As time passed, I realised that service design is the field/discipline that I was looking for.

Characteristics such as creativity, innovation, empathy, creative thinking, co-creation, are the key elements of Service design and the human element is always in the centre of the design process.

There are many supporters; including me as well, who claim that service design is the next big thing that can promote social, and cultural innovation; is the new way, mindset that can lead to a positive and desirable change.

All these sound amazing. Wow! Service designers are the next Messiahs, they will change and help the world with their 'magic' design tools and their Lego! Service design is the panacea, the remedy that will cure all the economic, social and political and cultural problems that plague ?

From my point of view, Service design is a new approach to see, understand and improve the services that entirely are composing the current economic intangible model. Service Designers, being designers have developed the sensibility towards how people engage with the material world gives them a unique edge when it comes to human-centred innovation. Understanding of the ‘human element’ can reflect a strong impetus to address human and societal issues in their work; concerns around global sustainability drive innovation in products, services and business practisces.

Moreover, prototyping, that for many looks like a pointless, childish and time consuming thing; is also totally central to the service design. As Rohan Gunatillake coined:

"Prototyping is an  approach and provides an analogue route for those who might not know their way around an API or indeed what those three letters even are. In a sector where financial resources are relatively low, effective prototyping fills the innovation gap, reducing the risk of innovation practice and solving the problem of the innovation funding calls, which ask for detailed project proposals but often do not provide the guidance or tools needed to come up with the good idea that makes a great proposal."

According with the Greek proverb that states: "if not praised our house will fall and crushed us".There are many supporters; including me as well, that Service Design has the tools, the mindset that have the ability to make a change.
No, it's not the panacea, it's just a different, more creative approach of thinking, observing and solving problems.

One problem that makes Service Design loose it's credibility, it's derived from the bad branding that sometimes service designers themselves create and promote. Unfortunately, there are many stereotypes interwoven with the word 'designer'. There is a great amount of people that only by hearing the word designer the fist image that cames in their minds is the following. A person with a total black look, having at least one mac product, wearing glasses, get lost in his Post- its, says that working hard and at the same time playing with the Legos at the work. Always have a big dream and many times be a madman daydreamer hoping and believing that has the ability to change the world.
But have you even wondered if this image, perception that perceived by many people is an image, branding that came up by the designers themselves?

Many times that designers themselves, use pompous and puffy words describing and promoting a designery thing. This is a perfect example that illustrates this.

Recently, I attended the Global Design Jam in Dundee.
"The Global Service Jam is a non-profit volunteer activity organised by an informal network of service design afficinados, who all share a common passion for growing the field of service design and customer experience."

It was great experience. 48 hours, full of designing, meeting, collaborating, creating and presenting an idea based on a specific theme. An absolutely amazing, insightful, and creative way to share ideas, meet people and enhance your design skills and mindset.
But, the way that this event promoted "48 hours to change the world." proves once again that designers themselves are liable for these characterisations and assumptions people perceive for designers.

"They are all mad and dreamers"

We can or we have to be mad and dreamers. The positive, creative and open-minded way of thinking and acting is something that missing. But, as capable, efficient, skillful service designers we have to change this bad branding that represent us. There is an emerge need to make people believe that this different 'crazy' way of thinking is something credible, effective and realistic.

"Keep notes", "use a diary", "write down your thoughts, ideas, feelings", "have always with you your sketchbook", "create your reflective booklet".

  Image: moleskin

All of the above are familiar to most of us, especially the people that belong to the creative industry, have heard those words thousands of times. No one can deny, that the usage of a diary / sketchbook / journal, is a tool that helps people organise their thoughts and define their values. In addition, it is a great way of keeping track of creative ideas and getting in the habit of regular drawing.

"An art diary, art journal or visual journal is a daily journal kept by artists, often containing both words and sketches, and occasionally including Mixed media elements such as collages. Such books will frequently contain rough workings, in cartoon form, of ideas later to appear in finished works, as well as acting as a normal diary, by allowing the artist to record their day-to-day activities and emotions." (wikipedia).

So, if you asked someone to describe how a reflective booklet, or whatever it's called, looks like, he would simply answer, that it is a book full of sketches, shapes and hand drawings.

But, things are changing... Nowadays, you don't have to carry your heavy big sketchbook. There are thousands of applications which promise to help you improve your productivity and creativity and at one extent, even make you smarter. And this is the starting point for many arguments.

How a designer could remain creative and improve his habit of regular drawing using intangible paper and a fake pencil? Well, I know that the technology has moved on and there are thousands of devices and applications that let us keep our daily track that way.
  • Evidence from studies has shown that writing skill is a process that needs an integration of visual, motor, as well as cognitive or perceptive parts. The perception allows one to remember the shape of the letters that are written while sight and motor skills of the hand enable the writing. Present brain imaging shows that the nerves are also connected to these three components.
  • When a person writes using a typewriter or a computer, he changes this pattern to a great extent. For example, typewriting involves both hands while handwriting involves one, and handwriting is slower and more laborious than typing. Handwriting needs a person to shape a letter, where typing does not.
  • Some Japanese studies have shown that repeated handwriting aids in remembering the shape of the letters better. One study showed that when children learned words by writing, they remembered it better than if they learned it by typing.

Handwriting makes a person focus on one point alone–the tip of the pen. However, mechanized writing makes a writer oscillate between the keypad and the monitor. (read more)

And here comes the question: "What effect does technology have on our cognitive abilities? This is the question addressed by Norman in the fourth of a series of books related to the design of computers and complex systems. Norman's answer comes more in the form of a critique than an approval. Technology makes us "smart in the sense of being better able to think". It has the simultaneous capacity, however, to 'entrap', 'confuse', 'control' and 'dominate' us." (read more)

Design and business can no longer be thought of as distinct activities with individual goals. Design the New Business is a film dedicated to investigating how designers and business people are working together in new ways to solve the wicked problems facing business today.

The short documentary examines how they are joining forces by bringing together an international collection of design service providers, education experts and businesses that have incorporated design as a part of their core approach. Design the New Business features inspiring case studies and insightful discussions, helping to illustrate the state of the relationship and how it needs to continue evolving to meet tomorrow's challenges.

"As our world changes, the challenges to business grow. Old ways of thinking are being replaced by open minds and creativity. Design is playing a central role in helping solve problems and drive the future."

This film is a Zilver Innovation initiative, and was created by 6 students from the Master in Strategic Product Design at the TU Delft in The Netherlands. Read more

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