In a workshop hosted by STBY during the Service Design Days in Barcelona on the 5th and 6th of October 2018, we prototyped ideas for new service concepts in response to the What Design Can Do Clean Energy Challenge.
Gone are the days of lugging around clunky recorders, hefty cameras and brick-like hard drives to interviews and observation sites. The design researchers of today need only bring along a smartphone hooked up to a few complementary gadgets and software to capture and save quality audio, video and images.
From Service Design Days in Barcelona to a 'Happy Pedestrian' Conference in Amsterdam, STBY has a packed agenda for Autumn. Here's a sweep of what we are up to.
STBY recently went to Nairobi to work with local design research partners on the preparations for the latest Global Design Challenge on Clean Energy. Through workshops with creatives and energy experts we explored local energy issues and developed a better understanding of the Kenyan perspectives on climate change.
Imagine you are 80 years old. You think you are nearing the end of your life, so you wind down activities, and live day-to-day. Then you discover that you could live for another 50 years. Suddenly, you have to think about how you will fill that time. Do you feel anxious, or excited?
Every company will agree that listening to the voice of their customers is highly important. There are obviously multiple ways to do this. A good mix of these approaches is usually the most successful, as they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Many people feel helpless when it comes to climate change. The consequences are coming at us thick and fast, outstripping both scientific predictions and a lacklustre policy response. So it’s quite empowering to realise that we can make a difference with the knowledge that is already out there — if we start sharing it and connecting the right people together.
It’s important to prepare client-observers who have no previous experience with these kinds of interviews, to let them know what to expect, and to avoid pitfalls that can diminish the quality of the research process and results. Here are some guidelines researchers can share and discuss beforehand in order to ensure the process is equally fruitful for researcher and observer.
The ubiquity of service design tools and artefacts is also a cue for pioneers in the field to move on and focus on new frontiers. At the Service Design Global Conference in Madrid, Jamin Hegeman of Capital One pointed to one of these frontiers. He argued that it is time for service design to move beyond projects that just create new service concepts, and to focus more on ways to effectively contribute to the long-term, sustainable management of service delivery and ongoing improvement of customer experiences.
When research activities get going in earnest, a lot is produced. If treated too casually, the mass of audio files and transcripts, flip-overs and mini-posters full of post-its, photos, interview notes and feedback mails can quickly turn into a massive hairball that no-one can unpick.
There are now more things connected to the internet than the number of people in the world. Many of these devices are inside our home, from Bluetooth speakers to smart coffee machines and fridges. In the future, even our plates and curtains might be hooked up to the internet. The house will then resemble a lab, in which we are the studied subjects. How much alcohol do we drink? How often do we wash our hair, or cut our nails? Are we snacking more than usual? Spending longer in front of the mirror? Maybe the homes of the future will know.