You are a diamond. This stupid sentence has been stuck in my brain since I was 10 years old.

It was one of those days where as a kid I followed my pastor parents to a big Sunday service of the church they were a part of. There, a guy preached on the fact that god loves people, and all the other usual stuff. But this guy had an evil plan: make his idea stuck in my head for the rest of my life. How did he do it?

The guy repeated the same stupid sentence, over and over…


We were in holidays in the Swiss alps. I was wandering around in the reception of our hotel while I waited for my wife to come down. So I watched the board where all touristic and key information are displayed. Yes, I was a bit bored. But then I saw something interesting.

A little poster said:

In case of emergency call the number 144. You are at the following adress…

Different trains often leave a station at similar times in different directions. This can be pretty interesting to improve the flow of passengers and the logistics but can also cause some issues for the travelers.

How do you know which of the trains leaving at 19:00 is yours? You really have to check the signs in detail to not take the wrong train.

To avoid this the Swiss Railway uses a smart system:

The railway adds a slight difference to the time table. …

I’m weird when taxes season comes I’m always excited. Not really about all the admin work that I have to do. But I’m excited to see if the state made some improvement to the workflow that could be inspiring. This year I notice such a smart service design trick right on the enveloppe I received home.

Picture this: You are on trying to log in your ebanking account. So you type your informations and password. Press okay. Now you have to type a second code that you recieved by text on your phone. Feels secure. You like that. Now you type the code while watching at the random numbers on your phone. You finish typing and watch your computer screen.

Shit, you forgot to click on the field to write the number and what you typed didn’t go anywhere. You have to type again that stupid and long code.

How to make a grumpy moment disappear

It’s not a terrible situation, but it’s…

I love how often practices from one field transfer to another. For example did you notice that many productivity software have transfered practices from social networks with stuff like answering with an emoji, a like or a GIF. Makes boring work more fun.

So, when the other day Headspace, the meditation app I use, asked me to write myself something nice for my future self I asked myself if this, and other positive psychology tricks could aslo be transfered in other practices and fields.

Sorry, again a baby story. At the moment it’s a big part of what I experience, so if you hate babies, skip this article.

The other day we were at the Sunday service of the church were my wife works as a pastor. They do something pretty nice for parents: there is a sort of babysitting service so that the parents can follow the regular service without having to worry about their baby cries or needs.

In this building, there are two seperate spaces for the babysitting service and the regular church service. Makes sense, you want the kids to…

In the book The Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris shares a principle that reduced is workload with his customer support team and that in the end also made customers happier.

Tim explained to the team he hired for customer support his new policy in words similar to these:

If a customer has a problem that takes less than 100$ to solve just use your judgement and fix it yourself.

A smart service design rule for customer support

It’s faster

Before being able to spend money to make customers happy, most customer support staff members have to go through long processes. Here, Tim basically tells them: do what needs to be…

As I’m running a small business that sells course internationally I learned something very simple but that I never thought about much: one price worldwide doesn’t make any sense.

Pricing is a service design problem

I received a chat message on my website. The person was from Iran. She asked me if it was possible to have a discount for a course and explained that for her country the price of the course was just too big. I live in Switzerland one of the richest countries on earth.

So when I set the pricing for my courses I create a pricing that makes sense to pay…

My wife is awesome. I notice this as I’m starting to write this piece. She once again is the inspiration for a little service design principle. So even if she most certainly will never read this let me say it here again: she is awesome.

But you will say: good for you Daniele that you have an awesome wife but why should we care? So let me tell you one thing my wife does well in her pastor job and that inspired me.

Almost every time my wife is in contact with a human being she ends up the interaction…

Daniele Catalanotto

A swiss service designer who thinks that the best hobby in the world is to help others —

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