March 14, 2011
Reflections on the Global Service Design Jam
This past weekend, I participated in the NYC episode of Global Service Design Jam, with about 40 other professionals (ID, UX, IxD, etc) and Parson’s Students/Faculty. The global theme was “(super)heroes” which was used as inspiration to tackle 1 of 4 design briefs: disruptive education, aging, political protest/representation, and green markets.
Our team ended up designing a service called “Learniverse” which was for the motivated yet underserved learner who lacks a clear curriculum or path forward through a world of seemingly limitless content, connections, and experience. Our process included developing a persona (based on an actual group member), exploring the strengths and weakness of current educational institutions, bodystorming, lots of storyboarding, and pitching/critiquing.
Here’s a compilation of your process work and here’s the final video. It was a lot of fun to work through this idea over the course of a weekend and I also had the opportunity to give a short talk on service design and space.
The key-aways for me in terms of content were:
- The concept of “good service as paid friendship” and thinking through how employees “get into character” (e.g.: uniforms, 1-on-1 coaching / dialoging on potential scenario etc) (from Cameron Tonkinwise)
- The importance of real-time data and feedback (via Steve Dean) as a way to measure progress toward goals, manage complexity, and organize activity (Paul Pangaro)
- Space as something that can either help (superhero) or hinder (evil genius) the creative process and how you can capitalize on it by thinking of it not as a container but as system of services to be designed in order to create a certain experience (this was my contribution – post here)
The key-aways for me in terms of process were:
- Persona development and storyboarding were great tools for developing the service because they forced concreteness and a human-centered viewpoint and helped us keep designing a service not just a system (which things like blueprints and journey maps would have emphasized)
- The benefits of having non-designers in the group – this made for a better team dynamic, helped avoid professional jargon, made our ideas concrete, and questioned assumptions
- The usefulness of bodystorming the idea and having someone play the inner monologue as a character because this enables you to express what someone might be thinking about, hesitations they might have and the questions you need to answer (how can I trust this? How to I pay for this?)
All in all a great event and I’m looking forward to checking out what the groups in other cities came up with .