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A couple of weeks ago, Snook spent time in Kuopio, Finland, courtesy of Satu Miettinen after Lauren had been a couple of years ago on her ‘Finland Frolicks’. We were invited to teach at the Savonia University of Applied Sciences.We had heard good things from Lauren’s Finland Frolics in 2010. We were working with the fantastic Work Play Experience who use theatrical tools in Service Design, a very refreshing take on the discipline.
The visit was to run the Winter Service Design School at the university. Working over two days we were taking the students and staff from initial research and film ethnography to concepts which will be prototyped for real. The topic was designing for the elderly. We looked at three strands:
- Elderly service users in hospital
- Elderly people living at home
- Elderly people living in care homes
We began with the fantastic warm up from Adam and Markus of Work Play Experience. Anyone who has had the pleasure of being part of a WPX workshop before will know what it is like to warmed up in the company of rubber chickens. The duo wake up the left and right hand side of the brain using some bizarre exercises, but it works, and participants are left wide eyed, determined and ready for some hard work.
We were working from personas that had been created by the students and interviewees in the format of films. We wanted the group to empathise with the personas they were working with so we sat everyone down in groups of three and let participants take on the role of their persona. By simply having a conversation with one another as the people they were designing for, the group were able to dig deeper and understand what it is like to be a user.
Grouping back together and pulling out insights was a tough leap for the workshop participants. At first, they kept referring to what they knew about their personas. But after some probing we began to pull out interesting themes about the change in situation for elderly people when health changes, how people move from independent to dependent. An interesting observation was about the points in people’s lives where people drift from families to becoming wholly dependent on them again, and looking at these points to delve deeper into.
Working with the three themes we then brainstormed ideas, in a quick, speed dating scenario. Groups then settled on ideas and we set to work on the more difficult part; thinking of them in terms of services, rather than just concepts.
Using story boarding and rapid prototyping we attempted to expand the group’s thinking from single idea to service. It was difficult and this is always the biggest leap in imagination. It was tough and we didn’t quite get there on the first day, but the second day really pushed the groups to expand their concepts to ‘fit’ into real scenarios and complex systems.
Starting with Work Play Experience, the participants were put through their paces to improvise and act their ideas out Supported by Adam and Markus the team who had developed the Skype service for elderly people living in homes had to really start thinking about how this would operate as a service. By re-enacting the service as a nurse and an elderly woman in a wheelchair problems began to arise that the group would need to design around. A great way to make participants consider how to design, not just generate ideas!!
Snook then led the group through a blueprinting exercise, to consider how people might become aware of their new service concepts, join, use and then ‘leave’ them. We focused on starting in the middle, the ‘use’ part of a blueprint to outline the value proposition. Breaking down the blueprint to front stage, back stage, and actions of both customer and staff. We asked workshop to participants to think about what happens before and after the use part of a service experience.
We ended the fast paced second day with three presentations. We sent the ideas out into the world for feedback via twitter only 30 minutes before. We received some great feedback so thank you to those who commented. We had;
“Care in a Queue – adapted #iPad for patients in #healthcare: contact, care, entertainment 4 elderly outpatients in hospital. #servicedesign”
“Feel free, connect in ur social life: flexible transport options. Welcome to the Senior Cheer-up Bus! #healthcare #servicedesign”
“Closer from a distance: connect with beloved relatives via “Skype for the elderly”. Easy for people in #healthcare centres. #servicedesign”
All the presentations were great! Ideally, the next step for groups would be to move into some live prototyping but really focus on fitting them into the context of existing systems around them.
We would also really like to go back to Finland again, it’s a very beautiful country with some fantastic food.
If you’d like to know more about this kind of work, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see if we can help.
Filed under: Masters in Design Innovation, Public Sector Design, service design, Transformation Design, Uncategorized, work | Tags: opportunity, public, sector, servicedesign
There’s an event taking place as I write this, from my ‘borrowed’ desk at Skills Development Scotland, that I rather wish I’d been able to attend. Snook received an email last month inviting us to an expert seminar being held by RSA Design & Society, unfortunately we can’t make it because of work commitments.
They are bringing together experts and people who have experience in design management, service design, and people working from the inside. Speakers include Ben Reason from Live Work, Lucy Kimbell who writes the excellent blog, Design leads us where exactly? and Simon Roberts of Intel and the Ideas Bazaar on embedded anthropology and social science. Not to mention my boss here at SDS, Tony Coultas, commenting on our experiences so far.
It is time we see designers switching from outside consultancy to in-house design team, and I don’t just mean a team that designs the company’s ‘look’. It’s time we saw design teams operating at the heart of organisations.
I’ve been working with Skills Development Scotland since September and am about to embark on a larger piece of work for them, designing a toolkit for frontline staff. But it’s the structure of the organisation that needs to be designed in tangent. If you supply people with a design toolkit to ‘see’ things differently and start generating ideas for frontline service delivery and internal operations, you need to support this.
Since being here, I’ve noticed a need for everything to be designed, even down to the last word on a project initiation document. For example, I recall reading a document that used terms like, ‘how can we mitigate this circumstance’ and ‘how can we terminate this operation without lasting damage’?
Through some research I did at the beginning of September last year, I found a majority of service designers turning out to be ENFJs.
“ENFJ (Extraversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judgment) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations.”
This is research at some stage I’d like to push further into, I’ve always been fascinated a bit by the way we are, our personalities and the choices we make, and a book I dabbled in recently, ‘The challenge of change in organisations’, has spurred this interest even further.
In short, designers are ‘positive optimists’, I found myself (an ENFJ incase you’re wondering) asking, could we change, ‘how can we mitigate this circumstance’ to ‘can we find a way to solve this wicked problem?’. Witnessing a lecture last year by John Wood from Goldsmiths, I was fascinated by his description of designers being able to make the ‘unimaginable possible’ and working towards ‘attainable utopias’. I will save all this for another blog post, but google meta design and go exploring, I’m still trying to get my head round it all.
In an organisation of over 1300 people, change in an organisation is going to be a massive challenge, and you need a positive mindset to want to tackle it. I’m looking forward to my next batch of work kicking off and dealing with the small and larger picture of SDS. How can you embed design thinking into an organisation so large? How can you envisage and implement new processes and ways of doing things?
As Emily points out, this new type of embedded design teams have been described as Service Designers. Why? My take is that service designers have the skills and tools necessary to bring the intangible to life.
Like myself, Emily asks some key questions, the language barrier I feel to be the most critical,
“In practical terms, what is the job description for an in-house designer with a holistic brief? How does an organisation intent on embedding design go about recruiting designers? How is the effectiveness of staff designers paid for their holistic view to be measured? How does the design of services, structures and strategy respond to cost-benefit analysis? How is the language barrier between designers and other specialists to be overcome? How are creativity and innovation to be managed within large and often cautious or risk-averse organisations?”
In practical terms for Skills Development Scotland, it’s a ‘service designer’ and I dare you to take up the challenge.
They are advertising for a 10 month position to join the service innovation team, go on, try something new and get in touch.
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Want to see the guy talk at speed who made the above video? Well now is your chance!
All GSA staff and students are invited to:
GSA Pecha Kucha Thursday 22nd April, 5:30 PM Staff Lounge, Newbery Building (for tickets see below) pecha kucha loosely translates as the sound of chit-chat…. a 20×20 format, where speakers have 20 seconds to speak about each of their twenty slides, ensuring a rapid-fire exchange of ideas, opinions and insights…
Come along for an eclectic evening of cross-school presentations from GSA staff, students, alumni plus guests…
James Houston|Nicholas Oddy|Sharon Thomas|GSA Mutual|Evolve|Jamie Nicholson|Gordon Hush|David Coyle|Moira Dancer|Sarah Drummond|plus more to be confirmed
Hosted by: Glasgow School of Art Hub: http://gsahub.ning.com/
Free but ticketed.
Admission by tickets only:
Tickets via: http://gsapk.eventbrite.com/
Limited, so book quickly…
More info: http://gsahub.ning.com/group/pecha_kucha
from the GSA Hub http://www.gsahub.org
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I meant to blog this at the start of the month as the entry submission for this is Friday 26th March. Channel 4 need you to design that ‘big thinger’ in front of their entrance that they call the big four. Stephanie Imbeau’s Shelter is spectacular and now this is your chance to create a landmark piece of art.
In short, it’s open to current art/design students and recent graduates. They need 6 images of your work you’ve created in college/uni and 4 images of the project proposal including a one liner and a short written statement. You might ask why post this so soon before the entry date (you really have about 48 hours). I’ll let you into a secret, I submitted mypolice about 8 minutes before the deadline and it was a simple sketch and synopsis. So just do it! For all the details go to their website.
How to become the next Big 4 artist
Channel 4’s Big 4 has become something of a London landmark since it was erected in 2007, so it’s great news that planning permission has been secured for another five years. As with the last iteration by Stephanie Imbeau, the fifth skinning of the Big 4 is being awarded to an artist through a competition.
THE BIG 4 COMPETITION FOR ART AND DESIGN STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES
Channel 4 is looking for a fun, playful design to inspire and entertain passers-by, visitors and C4 staff.
Your design must work with the pre-existing 50-foot high metal structure in front of the Channel 4 building on Horseferry Road, be weatherproof and hardwearing, and be able to be lit (from the outside or the inside) to make a statement after dark. The winning design will be conceived as a 3D experience rather than a 2D design.