Our creative strategist Noor went to the Service Design Global Conference 2016, which was held in Amsterdam this year. It's always great to attend these kinds of events, as they provide a taste of what's going to happen around us and what trends we can expect in the future. So now, let's hear about it from Noor!
Noor, what exactly is the Service Design Global Conference?
"The Service Design Global Conference is a global event organized by the Service Design Network, with 650 guests from all over the world. A place where consultants, CX strategists, and service designers share knowledge, learnings and further strengthen the growing discipline. I visited it a few weeks ago at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam."
What were your expectations beforehand?
"I’ve been practicing service design for a while now, for several clients, and I was really excited to go to the conference. The program looked really interesting, so I was expecting to learn more best practices from others and meeting people who share the same vision and enthusiasm about the discipline. What I noticed, is that many people think of Service Design as something for 'actual designers', while it has a much broader interpretation of the word design.
The title of the conference, 'Business as Unusual', is already a great step forward. Customer experience is becoming the key competitive advantage of a company, and design thinking is the best way to solve complex problems within organizations. We see that business is changing. Increased focus on customers, liquid expectations from customers, uncertainty in goals and conditions and the exponentially increasing speed of change are altering the nature of business. Even the way organizations are structured in artificial silos is moving into more organic structures. I hoped for this conference to confirm and elaborate on this broader view of Service Design."
Did the conference meet your expectations?
"Looking back at this event, it was one of the most interesting conferences I have ever attended. Service design is certainly becoming the new normal in business, and when external help is hired, in consulting. By using Service Design, we are helping our clients in making decisions. It’s about clarity, goals, engagement and performance. All by using tools learned by designing. I was surprised about how large the Service Design community is. There are already so many organizations all over the world that have adopted this method in their business."
Any learnings and takeaways that you can share with us?
"There were pioneering Service Design agencies like Livework and Engine, and cutting edge companies like Google, Spotify, Philips, and TomTom. The latest insights on Service Design were delivered in engaging stories. For example, Geert Christiaansen’s explanation on how Philips evolved from a product company to a service company into an integrated solutions company. You see that Philips is now a problem-solving company.
To maximize the value of Service Design you have to look at it from a business perspective. And for this, you have to use a holistic view on business. The service a company provides, the user experience of that service, is determined by all parts of the organization. Service Design has to work on all three levels of business: strategical, tactical and operational. Jess McMullin of Situ Strategy, Katie Koch from Spotify and Oliver King from Engine, all talked about these three levels and how design can contribute on all of them.
But the most important learning for me was that we are on the right track with aFrogleap and Oxyma using Service Design tools. We hope to share this mindset as much as possible to improve the customer value and business value for our clients, and to improve the services we create for them."
Great! So, how can you link it to your work at aFrogleap?
"At aFrogleap, we build great mobile experiences, and before building these, we need to align many different fields. Service design tools are perfect to use as a starting point in order to identify the needs of the customer, identify gaps, set up the right data architecture and orchestrate the right people. This is what we love to do for our clients.
Because of this method and mindset, the services or products we develop will be user-friendly and relevant to customers, while being sustainable and competitive for the organizations we work for."