Key Takeaways from the first Service Design Indonesia (SDID) meet up

Ketut Sulistyawati
Somia CX Thoughts
Published in
4 min readJul 30, 2019

On 18 July 2019, Somia Customer Experience organized the first service design meet up in Jakarta, Indonesia. The warm and cozy evening was attended by about 50 enthusiasts, showing growing interest and enthusiasm towards the topic of service design.

Service Design Indonesia meetup on 18 July 2019

There were three key experiences of the night:

  1. Coffee experience powered by Gordi, where the attendees got to brew their own coffee guided by the baristas and then sipping different coffee to guess where it came from
  2. Sharing session by Maesy Angelina, Social Systems Lead at United Nations’ Pulse Lab Jakarta, with topic On Services & Systems: Stories from Pulse Lab Jakarta
  3. Sharing session by Larissa Rena, Research Lead at GoLife, with topic Navigating Our Way Through Service Design

Through the evening, I personally learnt three key takeaways that I shared as I summarized the night, and I wanted to share it here for others as well as a reminder for myself in the future.

Brew your own coffee experience

Service and Experience Design about zooming in and zooming out

Through the coffee experience, I learnt to appreciate the smallest details that go into preparing and consuming coffee — how the bean is prepared and weighed to the right amount, how to set temperature of the water, how to pour water over the coffee, how to sip it to appreciate its aroma and texture. Zooming in, paying attention to even the smallest little details is a key component to delivering great experiences.

On the other hand, Maesy emphasized the need to zoom out, seeing things from a holistic system level view to ensure all stakeholders and touch points are in sync to deliver the experience. This is especially needeed when designing a solution for public service, like Pasikola, a repurposed local public transport into school bus in Makassar (bonus: check toolkit published by Pulse Lab). Similarly, Laris shared how zooming out is key for her lean team to prioritize key research to tackle from the long list of requests that came naturally from the growing products in GoLife.

Maesy sharing about the service design behind Pasikola

Supporting process is hidden, yet vital to support back stage and front stage delivery of the service

In user experience (UX) design, we spend a lot of time designing the front stage interaction (e.g., the app or the physical touchpoint), which our users interact directly with. In service design, we go a bit further to design the backstage interaction that supports the front stage interaction . This means looking at the service flow, logistics, internal processes, and back end system. But what is often overlooked, is the supporting processes behind the scene that makes the whole designed experience to work, such as policy, organizational design, and incentive system.

Maesy shared that in the case of Pasikola, it took a while to get the local government to come up with the law that reinforces it. Without the law, it would be hard to justify the spending of government budget on the development of Pasikola program. Similarly, Laris shared that designing the research team organization is crucial to allow them to support the work of the ever growing product team and business units.

taken from Megan Erin Miller — The difference between a journey map and a service blueprint

Soft interaction skill is as important (if not more) than technical skill

As much as technical skill is required to champion the process (such as researcher, designer, business and system designer), Maesy shared that interaction skill that can connect and orchestrate different stakeholders (such as government, local partners, local communities) in the ecosystem is key to success. Similarly, Laris shared that the role of her research team is beyond producing the research deliverables, but as connectors between different business units and between stakeholders, as research team tends to hold a lot of different information from multiple sources, unlike different units that may not be aware of each other’s knowledge.

Laris sharing about her journey in organizational design to support other business units

Such role requires different skills such as communication and coordination, as well as having good understanding and relationships with the stakeholders.

In Summary

Service design is a complex matter, and it requires a balance on both:

  • attention to details (zooming in) and the big picture (zooming out)
  • front stage, back stage, and supporting process
  • technical skill and soft interaction skill

Through SDID community, we are looking to learn together from each other’s successes and failures, and to advance our skills towards creating and delivering better experiences. Check out instagram @servicedesignid / facebook @servicedesignindonesia to join the conversation.

End note: we thank Gordi for providing playground for the experiences for the event. If you are interested to collaborate to craft experiences for future service design events, let’s chat!