A snapshot of our daily retrospective

By now, most of us have been hit hard by the effects of the Corona aka COVID-19 outbreak and we are all struggling and coping in our very own ways.

During the last week I realised that working from home with two small children and two working parents is harder than I thought it would be. Here are the hacks that worked for us so far:

Do a daily retrospective

My wife, our two energetic boys (2 & 5) and I live in a small 2,5 room apartment. …


Mit dem Design Transfer Bonus 15.000€ für Designleistungen geschenkt bekommen

Gutes Design erhöht die Kundenzufriedenheit, stärkt die eigene Marke und verbessert die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit. Leider fehlt gerade kleinen Firmen und Startups oft das Budget, um sich gutes Design leisten zu können. Hier hilft das Förderprogramm “Design Transfer Bonus”, mit dem Berliner KMUs bis zu 15.000€ Fördersumme für Designleistungen bekommen können. Meiner Erfahrung nach kennen viel zu wenig Firmen dieses unkomplizierte Förderprogramm, weshalb ich es hier kurz vorstellen möchte.

Der Design Transfer Bonus richtet sich an KMUs mit Sitz in Berlin, die ein innovatives Produkt entwickeln. Für Designleistungen mit Gesamtkosten bis zu 21.000€ netto übernimmt das Land Berlin zwei Drittel der Kosten…


Design Sprint: In einer Woche wird aus einer groben Idee ein erfahrbarer Prototyp

Was ist ein Design Sprint?

Seit einiger Zeit geistert der Begriff “Design Sprint” durch die Flure vieler Unternehmen. Doch was ist eigentlich ein Design Sprint und wozu ist er gut? Im letzten Jahr habe ich einige Teams durch dieses 5-tägige Format geführt und dabei gelernt, was man mit dem Format in 5 Tagen erreichen kann — aber auch, wo die Grenzen liegen.

Das Prinzip der Design Sprints wurde bei Google Ventures entwickelt, weshalb sie oft auch als “Google Design Sprints” bezeichnet werden. Prinzipiell ist ein Design Sprint dazu da, in kurzer Zeit (fünf Tage) aus einer vagen Idee ein greifbares Ergebnis zu produzieren. Wichtig ist…


The people with whom I organised jams in Berlin: Katrin Dribbisch, Martin Jordan, Olga Scupin (and myself).

On March 10, 2011 I took part in the first Global Service Jam. This was 7 years ago and has had a severe impact on my life. Seven is a magic number so I thought I’d share the seven most important changes the Jams have caused in my life.

The jams were the birthplace of Service Design Berlin

Through organising the first Service Jam in Berlin I met Martin Jordan and Olga Scupin. Together with them and Katrin Dribbisch we founded Service Design Berlin — a knowledge sharing initiative in the field of service design. Since 2011 we have organised more than 30 service-design-related events, published articles, spoke at…


How to run a workshop based on ‘the start screen interview’ technique

Last year I started to experiment with an interview technique for qualitative user research which I call ‘the start screen interview’. The main idea behind the technique is to experience the beauty of qualitative user interviews. In this article I am sharing a few best practices for running short workshops using the technique. The goal of these workshops is to help the participants understand the benefits of qualitative research and to understand the difference to quantitative research.

Start with a sample of quantitative research

Before I even properly start the workshop, I ask the participants to fill out a questionnaire which is placed on their seats. The…


The start screen interview during a workshop with people new to user research

Introducing the start screen interview

I work as a service design lead in Berlin. One of my regular activities is to do qualitative user research with customers of all sorts. I love this part of my job, because it produces so many unexpected insights and is a great way to connect with people in a short time. As part of my job, I often train others in user research as well. For a recent workshop I developed a quick method to teach the beauty of qualitative interviews. This article aims to describe the method and will enable you to apply it yourself.

Those of you…


How to survive as a small agency

In recent years, many larger service design agencies have been bought by global corporations. This has changed the market fundamentally. As co-founder of the small service design firm Fuxblau, I began asking myself how to compete in a market with huge service design companies that have C-level access to client companies on the one side, and large in-house design teams prepared to tackle any given design challenges on the other.

Inspired by the network-based community approach that we promote at Service Design Berlin, our company Fuxblau and a few other companies in Berlin have started to experiment with truly radical…


Hands-on tips on how to become an equal parent

This week, my son had his first birthday. The last year has changed my life a lot, and I believe I have changed as a person, too.

It was important to me from the very beginning, that I wouldn’t be just the secondary parent. Although we live in the 21st century, it seems we are stuck in roles that are from the 1950s when it comes to parenting. …


How to create more gender equal conferences

We all have experienced this — we sit at a conference, in front of us there is a panel with four male guests, a male moderator and (if we get lucky) one woman at the side. Sadly, this is not a scene from ‘Mad Men’, but a scene from professional events in 2015. I’ve been to too many events, especially within the startup context, where all-male or male-dominant panels and keynote-speaker lists are the standard rather than the exception.

I believe this is fundamentally wrong. More or less half of the world’s population are women. Some of the smartest people…

Manuel Großmann

I am an independent service design consultant and father of two sons, based in Berlin.

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