An interview with Marcel Zwiers on Human Centered Innovation in the Metro

Last week the Metro, which is the 2nd biggest newspaper in the Netherlands, had a special issue on innovation. Next to articles on bioengineering and dna sequencing we are proud that we could add a human centered perspective on innovation. Marcel gave a brief interview which got published on page 2.

Click the image for a bigger (Dutch) version or read below for an English translation.
An interview with Marcel Zwiers on Human Centered Innovation in the Metro

People and desires

Innovation does not always relate to a product. Also services can benefit from innovation. Marcel Zwiers of service design 31Volts agency tells more.

A lot of existing products are doing well. Take bread: it’s has evolved a long way and probably is just fine the way it is now. However there is still a lot to improve when you look at services. The needs of people change.

Look at the needs of people on the road. We’ve helped the national road and transportation service to design a concept in which people can meet each other easily without creating more traffic. Using an online system people can find smart meeting locations along the highway. Given a day and time the systems finds the best place to meet. It’s service provided by an infrastructure organization that is know for laying asphalt.

Getting lost in the hospital

Innovation is also crucial in the health care sector. Social Innovation with regard to an aging society is extremely important. Technologically most hospitals reach the highest level of excellence, now we should start designing hospitals that make you leave with a smile.

In a project where we working for a hospital, I needed to wait for our client in the lobby. I saw two elderly ladies walk into the reception and there they asked where they had to go for their appointment. The receptionist looked in the computer and pointed out the direction. As the elder ladies walked past me I overheard one of them say ‘I already forgot where we have to be’.

From a process perspective everything went well in this example, but from a human perspective there is still a lot to improve. It is important to carefully listen to people, watch them and actively involve them in making the desired change. That’s the only way to really understand their needs and design new meaningful services.

In the services business you must keep in touch with who your customer is. Know how they experience your service, find the weak spots and most of all have a plan to fix them from a human perspective.

Marc Fonteijn

Marc Fonteijn

Marc is co-founder of 31Volts and helps major private and public organizations to grow by designing services that cultivate a sustainable relationship with customers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

31Volts [Service Design]