Service Design thinking, for those who haven’t heard of it, is an interdisciplinary approach that offers great value for entrepreneurs and innovators in the field of services. Design thinking can help solve organisational problems, drive meaningful innovations and inform business strategies.
It is not about creating products, but creating services – intangibles that hinge upon experience and emotion. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to solving problems by using ethnographic research as a basis for business decision-making. Ethno-what? I hear you say? More on that in a minute.
Armed with sticky notes, and rubber chickens, Marc Stickdorn, Service Design guru, and co-editor of ‘This Is Service Design Thinking’, thinks we can better design services that meet the needs of our citizens by applying the approach of design thinking.
Late last week in an impromptu visit to the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Marc and his collaborator, Damien Kernahan from proto partners ran a ½ day ‘train the trainer’ style workshop for Innovation staff.
After trying hard not to groove to Flo-rider at the board room table, we quickly jumped into our first ‘project’ – design an online bank for pre-schoolers. This is not as easy as it sounds, but in four hours, using the methodologies of design thinking, our three groups had come up with some pretty tangible ideas for our future bankers.
Back to ethnographic research. In designing government services we tend to rely on demographic data, and professional intuition about who our stakeholders are. But are we getting it right? We quickly learned, that while this data has a role, it may also have a tendency to lead us up the wrong path in designing the services we offer.
For example, we might design a service for a man, born in 1948, who has two kids, is wealthy, lives in an affluent area and drives a nice car. Are we designing the service for Prince Charles – or Ozzy Osbourne?
By creating data-driven personas we are able to better design services with the client in mind, and engineer positive ‘touch points’ with the people we provide services to. If you are interested in finding out more about service design thinking check out www.protopartners.com.au