Inside the head of a designer

Service Design Workshop II
April 16, 2009, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday was the presentation of the two day workshop undertaken by 13 students and 1 tutor from Auburn University. I have to say that I think the students did a fantastic job of getting to grips with what service design is.


I began by presenting the groups with personas to fill out, getting them to think about user centric design. I had started off statements and formulated questions for them to answer about their persona so that they could step in the shoes of them and really think what that person would need from a tourist service.

We then sent the guys out into Glasgow with locations for them to get to. The students had to think about how they would find the information of how to get there, what kind of transport would they use whilst taking on the personas they were given. Some of the groups shadowed people who were similar to their personas. The students also picked up on good and bad touchpoints which is something we had discussed as being important when designing services.



Once they had returned the we had the photos developed and we arranged them as a journey map which is a great way to visually tell a story of what happened.


We looked at emotional responses, adding notes where the ‘persona’ and the students themselves felt lost, frustrated, or perhaps when they felt good or happy. We discussed problems and added these to our maps.




From here we looked for what kind of opportunities we could take from this which would lead us to a service statement and from here a direction to take our ideas in.



I stressed that at the idea generation stage it was very important to generate as many ideas as possible and try to be as creative and fun as possible. I think its important not to reject silly ideas as they often turn out to be the best and can be developed into something realistic. I think the students did a good job of trying to be as visual as possible, at the beginning of the workshop there was alot of writing to convey and record ideas but by the end they were pretty much drawing everything which is a great technique to quickly communicate ideas and also catch attention. (graphic facilitation)

We only began idea generation at about 11.30/12.00 therefore our final outcome was pretty sketchy but for anyone from Auburn who saw the presentation via skype these guys had fully finished, coherent presentations and had designed a service that thought about it before, during and after use and had considered the touch points they needed.





I encouraged the students to produce story boards to communicate their service. So they set to work taking their persona through their new service. Storyboarding is a technique borrow from the film industry but it is a fantastic way of telling a story and how different aspects of the journey work.

I think that the workshop went really well. We ended up with a range of different services. We had a bicyle rental scheme with a bikeclub, a personal call a taxi service with different packages that tourists can pre order before they arrive tailored to their needs, a service for backpackers that included info touchpoints and roaming helpers, a business concierge service for business people killing time after meetings that involved hubs and loyalty cards and a spongebob tou bus service that looked after your children on a fun bus while the parents went off to other attractions. For a bunch of students who couldn’t answer the question what is service design when they arrived to end up designing them a day later through using research techniques and service design methodology I think they did a fantastic job.

Its also important to point out that these techniques and communication tools can be used when designing products, shadowing, using personas, storyboarding and using our who what where when how and why questions.

We ended the day with one or two, perhaps three beers to reflect and there was good feedback from the students so I’m pretty happy, and it was a learning curve for me too.

There are a lot of photos from the workshop so you can catch them on my flickr account.



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[…] also finished a big workshop which you can read about here (part I) and here (part II) on my main blog.  I had a group of students over from Auburn, I was teaching them about service […]

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