Service design

Design for social good and be in the running for a trip to Japan

A little bit like IDEO’s HCD connect the British Council have announced a new competition for social, creative and critical thinkers to tackle social challenges.

British Council elevate

The first challenge is the STARTWELL™ Challenge to re-imagine play:

  • What if, as a child, you weren’t able to play outside?
  • What happens when technology trumps trees?
  • What do we do with unused spaces and objects?
  • What does play in the 21st century really look like?

Successful applicants get to work with local and international innovation and design experts and will be in the running to attend a 6 day ELEVATE Innovation Camp with fellows from around the world being held in Japan. JAPAN!!

Service design

Keep the Change #2

Interesting to see Dymocks appropriate Ideo’s “Keep the Change” program for the Bank of America as a fundraising initiative. (Having said that I am only assuming they have taken inspiration from it.)



If you haven’t heard of the program it’s a classic case study in Design Thinking. Based on ethnographic research they applied an existing customer behaviour, of rounding up transactions to the nearest dollar,  as a way to encourage people to save into a transaction account.

Check it out, and maybe buy a book at Dymocks too.

Dymock’s children’s charities

Ideo’s case study

Fast Company Ideo’s profile

Design Research Service design

Design research #2: 10 questions to debrief after an inquiry

Debriefing as soon as possible after your research encounter is vital. Push yourself beyond first impressions with these 10 questions.

10 questions to ask yourself or your research partner to debrief after a contextual inquiry.
10 questions to ask yourself or your research partner to debrief after a contextual inquiry.
Design The Work Experience

Rewarding exploration over exploitation

How HR can influence an innovative culture through selection and rewarding exploration over exploitation: Roger Martin talks ‘design thinking’

[tentblogger-youtube ZTgVYjp98Zk]

Events Service design

Service Design Thinks and Drinks 4: What is Service Design?

Service Design Thinks and Drinks/4: Service Design vis a vis Experience Design

If you have not been, Service Design Drinks is a casual meet-up, where guest speakers present and take questions from the audience. It’s held regularly at the Trinity Bar in Surry Hills. The fourth event was held on 18 May and was attended by 30 or so user experience designers, including a team from Different.

The last event was a panel discussion moderated by Damian Kernahan, from Proto Partners. The panellists were:

  • Opher Yom Tov, formally of Ideo, now working with BT
  • Rod Farmer, Co-founder and Director of Research, Mobile Experience
  • Susan Wolfe, Managing Director, Optimal Experience
  • Faruk Avdi, from the NSW Department of Education and Training

The opening question put to the panel was “What is service design?”

  • Opher Yom Tov: Weaving together discreet experiences in an ongoing relationship.
  • Rod Farmer: Meaningful value at the point of interaction.
  • Susan Wolfe: Thinking about the broader context. Experience design is service design.
  • Faruk Avdi: The ecosystem a product exists; experience design is a subset of service design.

Much of the early discussion veered around product design, defined as designing for the experience and the utility that it brings, and not focussing exclusively on the product itself.

A conversation followed about the importance of leadership and change management in service design projects. Several challenges were discussed:

  • How do you model relationships?
  • If the bar is always moving, how do you exceed the standard that has been set?
  • Companies do not measure people’s performance on delivering a whole service. What KPIs should be set to help put service initiatives into operation?

The final question put to the panel was, who’s doing it well? This was best answered by Ant from Different who said that the best service experiences are being had at the ma and pop stores. Everyone agreed; the challenge is getting big organisations behaving like small business. (Interestingly, Mark Pollard made the exact same analogy at a Social Media Club event when asked about the challenges businesses face in participating effectively in social media).

It was a lively discussion, where the panel conceded that service design is a fairly new term. It was interesting to see that the industry is still forming its opinions as to what service design really is, and how it differs to experience design and also interesting to see how the field of user experience is expanding and defining itself.

An edited version of this post first appeared on the blog Different UX

Postscript June 17, 2010

Audio of the event has been published on the Service Design Drinks blog: