Our top 4 talks at the Service Design Days 2017

Hike One
Hike One
Oct 13, 2017 · 5 min read

Last weekend, we visited the second edition of the Service Design Days in Barcelona. We gained new insights about how to deliver and be of value in a demanding society. We’ll walk you through the top 4 of talks we think are worth sharing.

1. The service design growth curve

One of the talks we fancied was given by Erik Roscam Abbing, a Service Designer by heart. Erik sees Service Design as a set of tools to bring positive change to organisations. Within his process, he uses design thinking techniques to effect all kind of organisations: startups, SME’s and large enterprises.

Erik explained how we all try to climb to the ladder to be effective and procede change. However, he believes that real organisational improvements can happen on any floor. Why climb? And when change happens, the organisation becomes more human centered, creative and innovative.

He continues with the statement: ‘Service Design is about people, not tools.’ When applying Service Design in your organisation, it produces an upwards spiral, but only when you keep track of four dimensions:

  1. The customer needs
  2. Organisation perspective
  3. Business point of view
  4. Society impact

With examples, Erik demonstrated positive results practising these dimensions for different kind organisations. The moral of the story: growth takes place on all levels, but keep in mind that each level has different needs. ‘Do it better, do it contextual.’ As long there is an upwards spiral.

2. TrendWatching

Henry Mason is a trendwatcher. During his talks, he gave away some nice tips and wrapped up the audience with new products and services which could change our lives for good.

‘What sounded ridiculous 10 years ago is now reality.’

Henry showed how passive personalisation is becoming more important than ever. The app Smashbox helps women try on different kinds of makeup products virtually, using a selfie camera and augmented reality. Meanwhile, the app has been downloaded nearly 50 million times.

Henry also talked about A-commerce, the new E-commerce. We order many products online, today: imagine what the future might look like when services decide what products you want, need and order. Henry also explained that tire manufacturer Pirelli has started tracking tire data with sensors. To increase the driver’s safety, dealer appointments are automatically booked by Pirelli.

A few trendwatch learnings listed…

  • Don’t look at people, look at their innovations.
  • What are the products of tomorrow?
  • Ask yourself: what do people want next?

3. Has society become a product?

Jon Rogers kicked off the second day. He shared his vision about what the world has become in the last years while the internet rises.

Instead of using technologic innovation for creating a healthy ecosystem, we created the internet. Jon clarified once again how vulnerable we are, now that society is on the verge of embracing voice control. Many of us use Siri or Alexa in our daily life, and thus enable the internet with our voice. While giving commands, the products hear anything we say.

Soon, they register any sound in the room and learn, adapt, and inform us even when we haven’t given them voice commands. As Siri, Alexa and other products simplify our lives, they also enter a new area of privacy sensitivities. Simply because users put usability above security. Has society become a product?

With sharp examples as ‘The Dolphin Attack, Cloudpets for children — which recently leaked data, and the end-movie Our Friend Electric’ — Jon demonstrated privacy hazards using the newest technologies without concern about creating masses of data. What do you think?

4. What is the real value of design?

Randy Hunt led the Etsy design team, a platform for handcrafted goods. From the beginning, when every interaction was personal, to the moment it became corporate and grew to over 100 employees. Randy explained to us how the company grew and what the value of design was during this period.

In the beginning, executives trusted the small design team (10+) completely with new design directions and innovative ideas. Behind the screens, the company was about building personal relationships. Everyone knew each other well and trusted each other.

6 years later, things changed when Etsy had over 100 designers. Employees who were not design driven, started to ask questions. Like a financial guy, who of course saw the company from a completely different perspective: ‘Why do we spend so much money on design?’

The team couldn’t rely on trust alone anymore and the value of design was hard to explain. Randy realized the company wasn’t just about design anymore. Quoting him:

‘The way it has worked in the past is unlikely to work in the future.’

Anyone in the field of design should make people understand what they’re not familiar with — design. For this reason, Randy made a list with all design roles within the company and its matching values. The question was raised if design value could be measured, to explain why design is so important?

Sometimes we can explain its value, and sometimes we just can’t. But we can always try, because design is more than it seems to be and far more valuable than we think it is. And for us as designers, it’s our task to help others understand design more deeply, and help measure.

Some last words

Of course, more interesting talks were given at the Service Design Days 2017. We learned more about strategic approaches, have been inspired by great talks and relevant workshops, and met some wonderful people.

We definitely recommend you to visit the Service Design Days next time. The organisation did a great job. Thanks all!

Danny Groenen
Design Lead at Hike One

Hike One | Digital Product Design

A digital product design consultancy that brings to life your ideas utilizing our knowledge of Design Sprints, UX methodologies and masterfully crafted visuals and animations.

Hike One

Written by

Hike One

Digital Product Design. We guide you to new and better digital products. Writing about digital, design and new products from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.

Hike One | Digital Product Design

A digital product design consultancy that brings to life your ideas utilizing our knowledge of Design Sprints, UX methodologies and masterfully crafted visuals and animations.

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