The world is a garage: designing services is a messy job

I had to opportunity to present at the CHI Netherlands Conference 2009 which hosted some really interesting and diverse speakers. The theme of the conference this year was “change” (what else). Because Service design is really gaining momentum in the Netherlands, the conference organizers dedicate a whole track to it. Needless to say that this was a great opportunity for me to share the passion and dedication we have for this field at 31Volts.

My goal was to show the most important lessons we’ve learned in our projects over the recent years. I took a somewhat different approach that is usual for a CHI conference. No scientific theories or models on Service design, but rather practical and inspiring stories from working in the field. I titled my talk The world is a garage: designing services is a messy job as I realized that our lessons learned somehow miraculously also apply to a mechanic working in a garage.

I discussed 4 lessons learned:

  • Doing research is messy
  • Be pragmatic with tools
  • Balance between co-creation and experts
  • Design frameworks and embrace hacks

The takeaway that I wanted people to remember after attending the presentation was “that in order to create value for people, today’s challenges require organizations to get messy”.

Below are my slides to which I added a few quick notes so you can make some sense out of all the photos. The presentation was also recorded on video. As soon as I get my hands on that I’ll update this post so you can hear the words that come with the photos.

I skipped past the “what is service design” part completely as I assumed the audience had some background information and there was a whole keynote dedicate to the topic later on. So it could very well be that my presentation made more sense to some people after they had seen the keynote on service design basics :)

I really enjoyed the Art-Track at the conference, good move by the organizers! But the highlight for me at the conference was Gilbert Cockton who stunned the crowd with his talk “Designing is at Least Quadricentric”. My head is still spinning from that presentation. I would recommend everyone to view the video registration (at least twice) as soon as it comes online!

Marc Fonteijn

Marc Fonteijn

Als medeoprichter van 31Volts houdt Marc zich bezig met het verleggen van grenzen binnen service innovatie. Marc helpt organisaties om waarde te creëren voor hun klanten door middel van design.

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