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



Archive of October 2009



Service Design Thinks 2 - Service Design at Scale - 19th of November



Service Design Thinks is Back! The second Service Design Thinks event will focus on the idea of ‘service design at scale’. We’ve got three really interesting speakers representing very different approaches to service design practice who’ll be sharing their experiences of designing for, and working at, large scale in services. Find out more and register here.
October 15th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments

3974773718562148be5do.png Service Design Drinks London - 23rd October 2009! Hope to see you there. (Register here if you like, but no obligation though, just turn up if you want!)
October 6th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments

Experience Prototyping in Service Design Workshop Helsinki - 5th October 2009

Mikko Koivisto of Yatta asked me to come over to Helsinki to run a workshop as part of a professional development course in service design at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. I immediately said yes as I love Helsinki and I'd wanted to meet Mikko for a while - he's the editor of designing services with innovative methods.

The participants had already completed workshops and lectures on service design basics and design research in service, so we decided to focus on the 'design' part of the service design process, with a specific emphasis on the role of prototyping.



I've provided an overview of the workshop with some images below. I've also provided links to pdf documents of the templates and collateral used in the workshop and the excel spreadsheet of the workshop screenplay. If you'd like to reuse any of these in a workshop of your own, feel free to do so, but please let me know.

We began with a short ice-breaker called 'service portraits' where we got into pairs and emptied out our wallets in order to prompt conversation around the services we all use, and how reliant we are on services to get through our daily lives. Participants completed 'service portrait' templates and presented back to each other.

I then gave a presentation about the difference between designing services (or designing multi-touchpiont experiences that happen over time and involve people) and using design in services (to improve customer understanding, innovation processes, capabilities and to inform organisational strategy). I've begun to outline some of these ideas on my blog recently, and this was a great opportunity to explore this thinking with others.

I then talked about the role of prototypes in both types of project and how they help to:

  • Iterate your design. Experience prototypes reduce risk by helping you take small, iterative steps towards a solution in a ‘safe’ environment.
  • Learn by doing. They provide tangible way for people (the team and customers) to evaluate ideas and contribute solutions.
  • Focus on UX. They help ground decision making in the user experience.
  • Create tangible evidence. They help build the case for change

We then dived into the workshop.



The workshop focussed around the creation of experience prototypes for a city wide cycle service for Helsinki. We discussed some existing schemes, and then divided into three groups each group taking responsibility for prototyping a different section of the customer journey.

The groups began by discussing some partly completed 'pen portrait' personas with very different needs.

Once they'd discussed all three personas, they began brainstorming ideas for their sections of the customer journey.



Once they'd identified some key touchpoints in the journey and agreed what they were going to 'experience prototype' after lunch we stuck all the stages up on the wall and considered them as a complete journey. Each group also had to define some key questions that they wanted to answer through their prototype.

The touchpoints selected to prototype were:

  • An on-bike marketing person who would ride around giving advice and signing people up
  • The bike station totem, incorporating information about the number of available bikes and a help service
  • A digital device for providing information to the bike user



After lunch the teams began prototyping the experience of using the touchpoints that they had selected. I've posted some images below of the participant's prototyping:


Designing the on bike marketer


...the on bike marketer in action!


Using the totem help point


...hiding round the corner and being the help point voice!


Prototyping the touch screen - how big does it need to be?

Once the groups had iterated their prototype a few times we invited a person from each group to act as the naive user and try and use the prototype. We then discussed what we'd learnt together in terms of the specific experience prototype, and more generally in terms of how the participants may take the idea of prototyping (and design) forward in their various roles as service managers, educationalists, product managers and so on.

Thank you very much to Mikko Koivisto and Elisabeth Persola for taking the time to organise this. I had a great time. A final thank you to the group for all their enthusiasm and hard work! I hope to see you again in the future, perhaps in London at one of our events?

You can download the templates and screenplay using the links below:

October 6th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments


web150dpi.png The Oslo School of Architecture and Design is organising a conference on service design. Check it out.
October 6th, 2009 / Trackback / Comments