building a community of interest and practice in service design
The Melbourne Service Design Network ran a workshop on Designing Services for the City for Melbourne Knowledge Week. Led by Yoko Akam and Dianne Moy, you can read more detail about the event at these posts:
I wanted to post my thoughts on helping Dianne with the Bike theme group. We had a group of diverse participants from diverse backgrounds such as Communication Design, IT and Architecture.
One of the exciting aspects of the workshop was the speed with which the participants took to the methods used in service design. I am always amazed by the innovative ideas that emerge from a group that are always far different from any of my own initial responses to a design issue. Given barely 3 hours to come to grips with a design problems and develop up with an idea imagine what would be possible given a bit more time and resources.
One of the toughest parts of the workshop situation is trying to cram in a design thinking process into such a short time and still make it a meaningful learning experience. However the participants seemed to take on the ideas quickly and given their professional experience the concepts were not too challenging for them to take on. This rapid progress certainly provides inspiration for my own students who often take a several weeks just to come to grips with the service design process.
We began with basic personas to think about the potential users of the bike share system, how it might not be working and how it could work better.
It was remarkable how the thinking process whittled down a huge range of ideas. The team proposed a a service to encourage the participation of leisure bike users. The process and outcomes were particularly interesting to me as a committed bike user. Investigating the limitations to growing bicycle usage.
The knowledge carried by designers themselves is great, but the opportunity for real user research would enhance some already fantastic ideas.
Unfortunately we ran out time to create some headlines - a method where you create a news paper headline which provides a glimpse of the value and benefits of the proposed service. It would be wonderful to be able to conduct the workshop as a mini series and take the ideas further into fully developed concepts and visions, or to have more time to run the workshop, but it can be challenging to get designers to commit time to workshops like this. Hopefully promoting service design will get more designers interested.
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