Camp Digital Manchester – service design takeaways

Here are my main takeaways from the Camp Digital conference that I attended in Manchester at the end of May:

  • In the opening keynote Lauren Currie spoke about sharing our power. It was an inspirational talk focusing on how much good can a design led social change bring about. Lauren started a #upfront movement which aims to give people a chance to experience the stage in front of a big audience without having to present. She wanted to change the problem that was bothering her: very few women on the stage and therefore some powerful stories by women not being shared. She spoke to some of the women and identified that part of the issue was the barrier of the stage, so she created #upfront designed to give people a chance to practice being on the stage without the stress of presenting; this idea has spread reaching even events such as TEDx etc. It was really inspiring to hear that all you need is an idea and a # you don’t even need funds to start something going.
  • Emer Coleman in her talk “The end of the technology affair (it’s not me, it’s you)” called for being more careful with our data and how the big corporations are using it and their systems to engineer a society that they want to see (e.g. When did the loss of privacy became acceptable? Why are we OK with Facebook and Google storing personal data?) She encouraged everyone to ask questions around the ethics of working software as well as how the companies work.
  • Sophie Dennis’ “The Art of Things Not Done: Prioritising for User Value with the Kano Model” was an interesting and thought provoking talk. She said that “The art of doing less lies in identifying what you can and can’t cut without sacrificing the overall user experience.” It is important to identify the features that are really of most value to users, and build a product road map that goes beyond “minimum viable product” to deliver a “minimum viable experience”. The techniques described in the talk were: the Kano model, customer journey mapping, and user story map.

    It was interesting to have it pointed out that agile can be sometimes like “swimming with goggles on” – it is important to get out of the box of just looking at what is produced in the sprint and have an overview of whether the product deliver a coherent user experience.The Peak-end rule: people remember the best bit, the worst bit and the end.

  • Simon Wilson “… so you are doing service design?” – really interesting points made by Simon Wilson on the complexity of designing a service that works for people as it needs to work for everyone. He summarised service design as:
    • Setting the stage
    • Listening to people
    • Connecting dots
    • Trying things
    • Creating impact
      If service doesn’t put people first – people won’t use it. As yourself some very important questions:
    • What is the problem you are trying to solve? If there is no problem, move on – life is too short
    • Can something else solve the problem?
    • Has someone else solve the problem already?
      Write your assumptions down as hypnosis on yellow cards. Create a project wall, once you tested it red: invalid, yellow – trying to figure out, green – valid. Start with assumptions as hypothesis and challenge them with knowledge.

Overall a great day to learn more about service design, I will definitely be putting the knowledge I gained into practice.


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