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Day 2, Raw notes, Emergence conference

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Sunday's raw notes from Emergence 07 (better late than never). Others have more interesting and more enlightening reports from the conference.

Chris Downs, Creating Profitable, Sustainable, and Responsible Services

  • live|work
  • Lucy Kimbell, Designing for services blog. "Academic research into service design in science and technology-based enterprises"
  • Designing interactions by Moggridge
  • Measuring triple bottom line impact: Economic, Environmental, Social
  • Public sector client - using the service design language, good sign
  • "We are a service business that just happens to make a product"
  • Stop now - that was his planned talk, rest is his new stuff, based on conversations at this conference.
  • Has this been an effective year in service design?
  • What is services (innovation and) design?
  • What is the reach? "If you can servicize a horseshoe nail, then you can servicize anything"
  • How is it different to transformation or experience design? Discipline or umbrella term that pulls others together? Is it social design? Green design?
  • Teach the front-line staff how to think about customer experience (instead of doing it for them).
  • What other disciplines are involved? Collaborative, multi-disciplinary. Core skills: Visual literacy/info design, empathy, complex organizational networks (new skill that is needed), facilitation skills (influence, not control people).
  • How different from management consulting? Optimism. Things can be improved. Open and collaborative. Outside-in.
  • Compare with service science? Some experience talking with IBM: technology driven, not about the customer experience.
  • Just "designing for services"? Not just good design? Design for good?
  • How do we measure it? Is it important to measure it yet?
  • How to make sure it reaches potential, not a fad? Be a service designer by "performing services". Be a member of the front-line staff, cannot be a good service designer without that experience. Students - give them real-world experience on the front line.
  • (who will pick it up next?), Jeff Howard reading list.
  • Service vs experience design? He does not know the difference. They thought they were experience designers a while ago, but it seemed more about 1-off experiences, branding, events. Not aligned with day-to-day operations of service.
  • Management consulting comparison. They are gonna get it quickly. Today, they do not listen, trust, learn. Unwillingness to even learn design language, we are pretty good about learning their languages. How to work with them: Start small, build trust, show value, keep nose out of trouble, be brilliant.
  • Risk: if service design is owned by design, it is in jeopardy. Give it to marketing and management consulting, in hope it will really live.
  • How do you help with organization behavior? They do it a lot, but not explicit. Biggest successes are the changes in culture. Give them authority, tools and confidence to make the changes themselves.
  • Fantasy curriculum? Not classroom based. Place students in service organizations. Evening is class time.
  • Organizational design affinity? Optimize the org chart around the customer experience. Others can apply these methods in their own discipline.
  • What fields make up your group? Product design, branding, social anthropology, operations management, ....
  • Umbrella or own discipline? No idea. This conference has opened up that question for him.
  • What happens when you label it? Building a business vs. building a discipline. Waves of design thinking with flashy names. They decay in many ways. It will be co-opted and reduced. Design should not be looking to design for the answers. Business models and the way we promote ourselves are challenges. Look at how markerting got from nothing to today. Or finance - how come all companies speak the language of finance? Study other disciplines.
  • What is the art in service design? Art is about the craft in design. Beauty of relinquishing control, giving them the gift to do their own service design.

John Bailey: Early Reflections on Practice Diagrams to Facilitate Service Design

  • Almaden research, part of a new area called "services research" - interdisciplinary. getting design established within services research. "This is where we hide the social scientists within IBM".
  • Over half of IBM's revenue comes from services
  • B2B may be thought of back-stage services, but in this context becomes more front-stage. A legal contract and negotation for this service (vs. promises in consumer world).
  • What is strategic outsourcing? One company runs the IT or business functions for another company (because they specialize in it, can innovate it) . Often geo-distributed. Highly customized.
  • Practice diagrams - to help with the sales part of the process.
  • Existing: documenting what the work should be, break the work into little boxes, but we want to know what people are really doing. The real world does not fit into those little boxes: where is the person in this?
  • Tell us what you do and ground that in a recent project
  • Wanted a diagram that is familair to their process people (e.g., database icon).
  • Go from work organization to work practice
  • 80% of the proposal work is shared content from many groups, lots of dependencies
  • "Helps us move forward, makes it feel more like a partnership, shared success". Helps them be customer-savvy, sports team mentality.
  • Quick and effective, UML was too much
  • How much driven by legal issues? Very prominent. The bulk of the work.

Jennifer Leonard: At your service: The blind men, the elephant, and the design of the world

  • About the value of wholistic thinking.
  • The poem about the blind men and the elephant
  • Massive change book: multi-disciplinary, "economies" morphed into "ecologies"
  • Examples: India innovates: foot pedal washing machine (Energy ecology), citizen reporters (information ecology).
  • How does it relate to service design? Embrace wholstic thinking, collaboration, multi-disciplinary.
  • Service means: support, penalty, risk, reward
  • Quality of services depends on responsibility, accountability, vulnerability, ability to give to ourselves
  • Trust - totally dependent on people along the way
  • Give good service, get good service - dialog between people
  • Bill Clinton, Giving: citizen activism and service are powerful agents of change
  • About Jennifer
  • Is service design a sub-discipline of design (like Indsutrial design)? It is much more than that. Meta-discipline: universal joint between all things produced. Obstacle - other disciplines (like architects) have built in client participation to the process. Will other disciplines participate? Medicine, law, etc. IS it our ambition for design to be the joint between things?
  • Not limited to those who call themselves "designers". For example, she interviewed chemists and economists for her book. Too broad? It is a discipline and it is a way of life.
  • Implications of these stories for organizations? First, do human design, find patterns, apply them for behavioral change, thus make the world a better place. Tell more stories. BizWeek is always talking about innovation and design. Business is more about collaboration than competition.
  • How to design-in the human element (e.g., facial expressions) into the service? Design is people. All of the details. Technology does its thing but human interaction, the person's attitude/smile/etc. is crucial to the experience? Antanas Mockus.

Oliver King (and panelists): How service design could have saved the world

  • Pass the parcel / hot potato with the microphone.
  • State of the future 2007.
  • Designers as facilitators? What makes us qualified to do this? There are professional facilitators out there.
  • Influencing change, giving up responsibility, initiating ideas.
  • Making things easier, is that our job? Make flexibe tools and services, and observe use.
  • Help people help themselves. Long-term responsibility (service contracts, not engagements). Entrepreneurialism.
  • Service design - be the glue layer, add value, like systems engineering. Integration skills.
  • You can change your local world, but the world as a whole is a political thing (and thus it cannot be changed?).
  • The problem changes as you work on it. You need to be embedded in the system.
  • Designers integrated into a multi-disciplinary team vs. centralized group of designers. You need to live in both worlds: within the system and within your profession. There are design consultancies when we need centralized expertise. How do individuals stay connected to their profession: maintain the network.
  • Find pockets of cohesive people and enable them.
  • Are we just patting ourselves on the back - apply service design to make society worse (Halliburton).
  • Cradle to cradle: efficient vs. effective.
  • Working with large (evil) corporations: make small improvements, plant seeds ("This will be the last car you ever buy").
  • What is "good"?
  • What makes some networks / multi-disciplinary labs work? At start-up: strong, passionate leaders. Then it runs on its own.
  • Teach the kids.
  • Notation, interpreters, translators, common language.
  • Stuart brand - The Long Now.

Richard Buchanan, Personal summary

  • Four boundaries of service design: 1. Graphic design (old discipline) 2. Product (industrial) design (focus on use is different) 3. System design (technical and organizational systems) 4. Management ("bad management" lacks wholeness, visualization, embodiment/losing touch with production).
  • Scope of service design - clear definitions not needed, focus on the end result of service design.
  • Not "make experiences". Got tired of AIGA Experience Design, too soft.
  • Core of services design (like healthcare and education) are core of human society.
  • George Nelson: design as humble occupation, serve people.
  • Information is lifeblood of good sservice - so Internet plays a special role.
  • Missing from the conference: 3-4 basic strategies that sit above the methods and techniques.
  • "How do we work together" was common discussion.
  • Activating people has power.
  • His definition of service design: Equitable distribution of resources and tools to use them (just like architects)
  • Service design as an umbrella.

Discussion about the conference

  • "I am utterly confused now, thanks!" - what more do you want from a conference?
  • Missing was the "make something together" piece, creative element (e.g., draw something together).
  • Who was here? How do I stay connected with the others who were here? Attendee list being sent out to attendees.
  • Industry/practitioners: no time to write a paper.
  • How to be a force for change.
  • Case studies.
  • Yahoo! group on service design.
  • Collection of sites about service design.
  • Bye!


Podcasts from the Emergence conference are starting to appear. See Emergence 2007 site.