W15 - First hands on trial of service design

The week was fully scheduled with guest lectures from ICT Stockholm and Uppsala University. Brendon was back for a one-day workshop for workshops, where he introduced his workshop design experience and a workshop design rehearsal which we might use afterwards for the service design project with CIRC in Abisko. 

Workshop for workshops

The questions that need to go through when designing a workshop:

  1. The greater context
  2. The purpose of the workshop
  3. The outcome and results
  4. The participants
  5. The space and material
  6. The preparations
  7. The flow of activities

There are three types of workshops:

  1. Brainstorming 2.0: give answers to questions
  2. Co-design: coin us to create the design
  3. Exploratory: what are the interest questions

Besides, Brendon showed us one co-creation workshop ICT arranged. The aim of the workshop was to find inspiration for the next 3C product from participants. I was amazed by the delicacy of water-colour props they made for the workshop, which offers a great hospitality and breaks the ice of the conversation immediately. Additionally, the diagram of the workshop flow was helpful for participants to understand the workshop structure and the time involved. The deliverables of the workshop was a selection of videos recorded with refined insights.

This is just a concept of the props. I promise next time I will take care of documentation.

This is just a concept of the props. I promise next time I will take care of documentation.

Co-creation workshop basic principles:

  1. Engage through activity

  2. Surface heightened emotions

  3. Always contextualize

  4. Support collaborative builds

  5. Encourage hyper-visualization

  6. Ask questions

  7. Improvise and stretch

  8. Create time and space for teams to perform

Other learning points in the morning:

  • Try out the workshop structure and activities as part of design iteration. Break down small workshops in Fika time can be a good idea.
  • Provide participants with tangible materials to talk about. The more interest they get, the more they get inspired.
  • Different workshops for different outcomes i.e. Evaluative(commentary on existing ideas) v.s. Generative(come up with new ideas) | Cognitive(talk) v.s. Experiential(try it out)

After lunch break we started to build on our own workshop which might be beneficial for the project. The workshop Yedan and I focused on was a test workshop to validate ideas. Brendon suggested the duration of the workshop should be 1.5 hours including 2 touch points in deep. Our teammates Kevin and Migle were designing on a co-creation workshop that copes with the recreation of a hotel experience. We were supposed to implement the workshop activity cards to develop a workshop. However it was a bit rushy and we didn't go through all of them.

The validation workshop workflow we made

The validation workshop workflow we made

What makes a good workshop?

What makes a good workshop?

SINCO Lab experience prototype

Then we had a three-day session of service design overview and SINCO lab skills. 

SINCO Lab prototyping space: two back projectors with speakers, two touch whiteboards, low-fi props etc.

SINCO Lab prototyping space: two back projectors with speakers, two touch whiteboards, low-fi props etc.

Satu started with a brief introduction of service design. She presented some tools to understand and communicate an abstract service i.e. customer journey includes the experience before, present and after the service, service visible line that divides front stage and back stage, customer emotion journey in order to find the opportunity areas. We managed to use some of them in a "project-of-a-day", where we created customer persona and looked into her journey to Abisko.

I like the quotes (orange post-its) that we created to capture the personality and emotion of our persona. Green ones are activities, purple ones are touch points and yellow ones are the ideas. Colour coding skill is great.

Love my classmates. We gave each other feedback and rearranged them as insights.

Love my classmates. We gave each other feedback and rearranged them as insights.

Feedback on sketchy service blueprints

Feedback on sketchy service blueprints

The ideas we selected based on a less than 1 hour ideation, divided according to the time span. Later we made the concept cohesive. 

The ideas we selected based on a less than 1 hour ideation, divided according to the time span. Later we made the concept cohesive. 

We set up projection in Whiteroom to rapid prototype our idea. 

Demonstrating our concept and service storyboard

Demonstrating our concept and service storyboard

Act-out and filming with the surrounding projected

Act-out and filming with the surrounding projected

When you raise up your hotel room temperature, the permafrost on the wall will melt

When you raise up your hotel room temperature, the permafrost on the wall will melt

The mini projector projecting on semi-transparent fabric

The mini projector projecting on semi-transparent fabric

It's more about learning and understanding the tool at the beginning of the project. I liked the concept of "project-in-a-day" and I guess we've never been as productive as in the workshop. Besides, we just formed up a new team and we need some time to adjust to each other's pace. Contentwise, we tried out SINCO lab and found it might be useful in user test round. We had a lot fun in filming and presentation. However, I still doubt whether two projections can help participants immersed in the scenario. After all, it's difficult to recreate the experience elsewhere.

Additionally I read the paper from IDEO about experience prototyping. It is a nice overview of the utilisation of different prototype skills due to different context. 

We illustrate the value of such prototypes in three critical design activities: understanding existing experiences, exploring design ideas and in communicating design concepts. Prototyping is not about the creation of a formalised toolkit or set of techniques, but is about developing an attitude and language to solve design problems.

(The prototypes) range from sketches and different kind of models at various levels - "looks like", "behaves like" and "works like".

Experience is a very dynamic, complex and subjective phenomenon. The quality of people's experience changes over time as it is influenced by variations in these multiple contextual factors.

"What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand!"

Designing an integrated experience, rather than one or more specific artefacts. i.e. the experience of light rather than think directly about the design of the physical lamps themselves.

Unresolved questions

  • No matter how good experience prototyping his at promoting empathy, we cannot actually be other people.
  • For users it might be difficult to improvise on an early, low-fidelity prototype. Meanwhile, providing high levels of fidelity might lead users attached to early ideas.

After school

I had so much fun in reading <watching the English: The hidden rules of English behavior> Here are some hilarious and contradictory quotes.

The changeable and unpredictable nature of the English weather makes it a particularly suitable facilitator of social interaction. If the weather were not so variable, we might have to find another medium for our social messages.

So, unless the weather is both rainy and cold, you always have the option of a "But at least it's not..." response. (Yes the guy summarised a hierarchy of English preferences of weathers)

But then we joke about everything, even, especially, the things that are most scared to us. Like our Weather, and our Shipping Forecast.

I would also cite the fact that of the seven synonyms for "nice" in the Thesaurus, no less than five are exclusively weather-related, namely: fine, clear, mild, fair and sunny.

The explanation offered by some etiquette books is that one should not say "Pleased to meet you" as it is an obvious lie: one cannot possibly be sure at that point whether one is pleased to meet the person or not. 

Formality is embarrassing. But then, informality is embarrassing. Everything is embarrassing.

In fact, the only rule one can identify with any certainty in all this confusion over introductions and greetings is that, to be impeccably English, one must perform these rituals badly. One must appear self-conscious, ill-at-ease, stiff, awkward and, above all, embarrassed. Smoothness, glibness and confidence are inappropriate and un-English. Hesitation, dithering and ineptness are, surprising as it may seem, correct behaviour.

It is less rude, for example, to ask "Where do you live?" than "What do you do?", but even this relatively inoffensive question is much better phrased in a more indirect manner, such as "Do you live nearby?", or even more obliquely "Have you come far?"

I had a short discussion on Englishness with Kevin and he actually pointed out that when English talk about weather, they are talking about comparison. i.e. " It's a nice sunny day but strangely it's still a little bit windy." He recommended Stephen Fry's on difference between British and American comedy. I found it super truthful and inspiring. I'm not being judgemental. I hate stereotypes that make individuals like commodities with several tags, being displayed in a supermarket. Nonetheless, the grammar of different nationalities still exist and I love to find out the root of the phenomenon. It's culture.

Moreover I'm still working on my portfolio. It is a beautiful day with stunning sunshine in Umea and I'm gonna go for a walk.