Choosenick. Notes and observations on service design, as well as other interesting things/thinking. By Nick Marsh.

Archive of February 2009

Jennifer Bove and Ben Fullerton on Designing Memorable Service Experiences

Jennifer Bove and Ben Fullerton | UX Week 2008 | Adaptive Path from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

Clunky talk pretty badly delivered (literally just reading out from piece of paper, lots of sighing, lots of jargon) but with some interesting content (albeit with predictable examples). Nonetheless (!), they do present 6 useful principles for designing a good service experience:

  • Responsive - Responding to your particular needs at the point that you interact with the service (e.g Zappos call centre employees given lots of discretion to create a good outcome)
  • Consistent - Designing consistency across different touchpoints, every point of the engagement is designed to be repeatable and consistent (e.g always referring to passengers as 'guests' on Virgin America)
  • Adaptable - Providing changing solutions as required (e.g giving users of car sharing services extra time during rush hours)
  • Tailored - Because it evolves over time, a service can get to know its users (e.g tiVo remembering what you like to watch)
  • Efficient - Service design is also about designing organiastions/business process design.
  • Rewarding - Services need to be desirable and 'that extra step' beyond your expectations.

I'd personally combine adaptable and responsive and add something about unique/differentiated/branded. Via Experientia

UPDATE The video seems to have been made private. Hmm. Sorry about that. I guess get in touch with AP for a password?
February 8th, 2009 / Tags: servicedesign, talk / Trackback / Comments

Digital (especially mobile) is making service so designable

I spotted this over on Techcrunch today - a brace of iPhone apps that enable you to order take away food directly from the app without calling. As they say, the apps 'allow users to order food on the go from online menus, buying entrees, appetizers, and drinks on the fly without the hassle of human interaction.'

Picture 2
Image from Techcrunch

Apart from just being cool, the thing that struck me is just how 'designable' all services are becoming once everyone has a little computer in their pocket. Almost every single part of any service encounter can be enhanced, personalised, made more convenient (and fun!) through the addition of mobile digital services - either as stand alone apps like these, or simply as mobile versions of company's websites such as this iPhone powered room service.

Picture 4
Image from Mobilecrunch

The thing that also amazes me is the speed at which this is happening, and the speed at which ideas and expectations pollinate across sectors and experiences. Another example that popped into my inbox this morning is this restaurant in Madrid, which allows users to select exactly which table they will sit at online - which is obviously borrowed from the digital (web and kiosk) experience developed for airlines.

Picture 3
Image from Springwise

What does this mean for designers and marketers? Well, I think the main message, which I've noted before here, is that advertising is increasingly irrelevant as a way to speak to customers about your products and services, beyond making new acquisitions and building basic awareness.

Companies that are interested in meaningful relationships are building direct digital channels to their customers which focus around improving and enhancing the service experience. They're building these channels through product/service platforms (such as this Nintendo/NEC/Hitachi/Health Insurance Mii fit health service), or by utilising other peoples platforms such as the App Store/iPhone.

Image from Geoff Northcote

The point is that all these channels and platforms are just so 'designable', so easy to hook into and access (with permission/payment to the platform owner of course, and there's the rub) that the question faced by brand managers and marketing bosses is not how (that's easy), but what? - and why?

What parts of the experience can/should we put into the customers hands? What web/call centre functionality should we take mobile? Should we use the App store to make a mobile version of our site? Should we have a facebook app? A linked-in app? An S60 app? A desktop Air App? What could it be? Should we have an API for our own website? Should we make something physical and utilise meatspace platforms? When should we do it? How do we plan it? Can we even plan it? Should we do everything? Where should I spend my marketing dollars/euros/pounds!!

It's a great time to be a service designer.
February 5th, 2009 / Tags: servicedesign, digital / Trackback / Comments

The Social Innovation Lab is Live!

Just a quick note to note that the (Designs of the Year nominated) Social Innovation Lab has now had it's previously stealth website made live.

Social Innovation Lab

There's lots of resources including a method deck, films and publications. This project is a significant piece of work for Engine and for demonstrating the role of design thinking in social innovation - it deserves a longer post in the future!
February 4th, 2009 / Tags: publicservices, servicedesign / Trackback / Comments

Art and Science of Service Conference 2009

Call for papers for a service innovation conference at Bentley University sponsored by IBM:

Service innovation takes many forms, including organizational and entrepreneurial. As a result, for many, service innovation is considered to be more of an art form than a science. However, significant progress has been made recently in developing technical tools and techniques that facilitate the development of innovative services through a more structured approach. Thus it can be considered both an art and a science. The focus of this year's meeting, therefore, is to better define and understand service innovation and its challenges going forward."


"Individuals from academia, business and government are invited to submit refereed research papers, non-refereed research abstracts, and proposals for workshops, panels, and symposia. All submissions should have a clear service innovation focus and are encouraged to be transdisciplinary in nature; that is, they should involve more than a single traditional discipline" Link to conference microsite
February 4th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments

Service Design Drunks

Thanks to everyone who came along to service design drinks take two! It was great fun, we had some new faces (and companies) and some old friends to name a few.

As Luke Nicholson of More Associates tweeted (twice) around 2.40 AM following our follow on drinks with RĂ©, Davina and Jaimes once we had to leave the first venue: "servicedesigndrinks turned out more drinks than service design... came back in a cab with 3 unknown londoners found at a bus-stop. all new friends, I wish london were like this more often" Says it all really! See you at the next event in a couple of months...
February 2nd, 2009 / Trackback / Comments
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