Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Service Design Drinks, 30 April 2010

I've lost count of how many Service Design Drinks nights we've had here in London, and I'm also losing count of how many cities are joining the international network at servicedesigning.org! Awesome.

Last month, Service Design Drinks London happened on Friday 30 April on the top floor of the Old Crown.

This was a new venue for us and we had a private room, bar and DJ (thanks Jaimes!). The venue was a great size for the 60-something people who came along on the night (I did a head count based on the number of white name tags gave out that night).

I should also mention that in the room we had present city coordinators from four other international cities. These were Martin and Daniela, who host Berlin and Cologne (Germany); Re who hosts Dublin (Ireland); and Bas and Geke who host Amsterdam (Netherlands).

Top floor at the Old Crown (image from the Old Crown website)

Top floor at the Old Crown at Service Design Drinks London

You can probably just make out in the photo above, a projector screen in the background. In the week leading up Drinks, we put a call out for visuals of service design projects which would run as a slide show throughout the night. At such short notice, we received some really awesome visuals. Here's a taster below...

PhD researcher Dan Lockton (UK) sent us some of his work and research on Design with Intent: Using design to influence behaviour. If you are interested in exploring how design can shape human behaviour, Dan's website is definitely worth a visit.

The Design with Intent toolkit 1.0 by Dan Lockton

Interaction Designer, Roberta Tassi (Italy) sent us some visuals from the Service Design Tools website which she developed out of her university research in 2008. The visual map below shows and catergorises all the service design tools that feature on the website.

Roberta Tassi's Service Design Tools map

We also received service design work from as far abroad as Australia. Alex Cheek of 2nd Road (Australia) where I worked long ago, sent us 2nd Road's work on an Experience Portfolio which was done for a large service organisation. The Experience Portfolio is a loose-bound set of cards that shows photos, stories, needs and design principles that were used in the re-design of the organsiation's services.

Experience Portfolio by 2nd Road

Finally, thinkpublic (UK) sent us some visuals from two of their projects, one being You Can Kingston. This project looked at improving health services and activities of local communities in Kingston. Visit the website to find out more, or see the DesignWeek article 'Think Public battles health inequalities through design’ which profiled the project last year.

You Can Kingston project by thinkpublic

The slide show provided a colourful backdrop to the night. We also had a Twitter feed running at one point. After hours of drinking and talking about service designing, Service Design Drinks London came to a close for another month. It was a fantastic night and we're in planning mode for the next Drinks and Thinks in London, so keep an eye out at servicedesigning.org and/or join the mailing list here.

Hope that's enough of an insight for those who couldn't make it to the latest Service Design Drinks in London. For the contributors of our slideshow, it was fantastic you could have a presence on the night (especially those abroad). A big thank you to Dan, Roberta, Alex and Paul (of thinkpublic) and best wishes for forthcoming servicedesigning.org events in Berlin, Cologne, Dublin and Amsterdam!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Service Design Thinks 3: Service Design from Scratch

I know I am really, really late on this, but below are some notes and photos from Service Design Thinks 3 here in London on 30 March 2010. We had an awesome turnout at the Sense Loft with drinks sponsored by radarstation.

On the night, we discussed the theme, 'Service Design from Scratch.'

And our awesome speakers on the night, were as follows:

Dr James Munro and Paul Hodgkin of Patient Opinion, a not-for-profit social enterprise that lets people share healthcare stories and experiences to help improve the UK's NHS (National Health Service).

Zaeem Maqsood of First Capital a venture capital investment company who told us what it took to invest in a good idea.

Sophia Parker (The Resolution Foundation) and Katie Harris (Esro) who spoke about their experiences of starting up The Social Innovation Lab for Kent with Engine Service Design and Kent County Council.

Jaimes Nel (Live|work and fellow coordinator of Service Design Drinks and Thinks) who did a short presentation on my local take-away coffee shop, Grace St Pauls (who also just launched a new website this month) which has been delivering amazing customer service since it opened its doors in late 2008.

Nick Marsh (of EMC Conchango and fellow coordinator of Service Design Drinks and Thinks) hosted the night and also published his reflections and films (taken by Jaimes) of the presentations on his blog here.

Yesterday, while sifting through some papers, I finally found my notes from the night! Had lost them for awhile. If you are interested in knowing more about the themes I captured on the night, let me know and I can do another post shortly.

Otherwise, Nick has outlined reflections from the panel discussion that happened at the end of all the presentations. He blogged these to be:
  • The role of planning - a lot of service design practice is about planning, but when you are starting up, most people talk about the need to be agile and change plans quickly.
  • Sector specific knowledge - service design is generally sector agnostic, and deliberately 'naive' - 'we just focus on the customer', and yet successful startup services tend to rely on having experienced, knowledgeable individuals who really understand say, health care, or coffee.
  • Personal risk - service designers working in agencies don't have any 'skin in the game', yet taking a personal risk seems to be an important part of making a start up successful.
  • It doesn't stop - service designers, like all designers, like designing things - documentation, specifications, deliverables etc. But when you are running a new service business it just doesn't stop! There is no deliverable or design really, just the effective operation and growth of the organisation. (from Choosenick, 11 April 2010)
We're in planning mode for the next Service Design Thinks London, so watch this space! But if you have any feedback on the night (good, bad, how it could be better etc.) feel free to leave it below or email us at london@servicedesigning.com.