Service Design Network 2013 Global Conference

Presentation highlights

In late November, the Service Design Network held its sixth annual global conference, in Cardiff (UK). A record number of attendees (480+) spent two days in the eye-catching Wales Millennium Centre, listening to presentations, attending workshops, networking and meeting conference exhibitors. Videos and presentations from nearly all the talks are now freely available online.

Design thinking in action

As a means towards innovation and customer-centricity, “design thinking” is lauded as a technique to infuse creativity throughout an organization. We know it’s being taught to future business leaders at places like Stanford’s, but how’s it being applied in the real world? Global enterprise services leader Citrix provides an interesting example.

The employee experience matters too

Despite the increasing prevalence of digital-only services, our daily lives are still comprised of many person-to-person interactions with service providers. From restaurant waitstaff to call center agents, our experience with services is heavily influenced by those we engage with. Focusing on the customer experience is at the heart of successful organizations, and good employee experience plays a role here too.

Designers in suits: Richard Buchanan

If you wanted to instill “design thinking” into today’s organizations, integrating it into a design school curriculum might seem like a good start. But Richard Buchanan made a more astute choice, leaving a design school to teach at a management school, and ensuring that MBA students leave with a truly innovative perspective.

Designers in suits: Roger Martin

In this series of posts, we’ll take a look at icons in the business world who lead the way in proclaiming the importance of design in creating business value. Today’s post focuses on Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management for the last thirteen years.

UX design and change management: Create a vision for change [Part 4/10]

When people have a sense of urgency (“Something really needs to happen!”), they are willing to leave their comfort zone. They are open to follow new roads, but where to? To another destination: the vision. A vision is not the same as a strategy. The vision is the goal, the strategy is the road to follow. Designers can deliver important contributions to visions, like images and emotions.

UX design and change management: Form a powerful coalition [Part 3/10]

It’s rare that a single person can achieve an enduring change. It takes a group for that. Such a group not only acknowledges that something needs to be done, but they also must act upon that. This group is the “team of change” or (according to Kotter) the powerful coalition. The coalition can be parachuted in from the top, grown from a grassroots initiative, or come from a combination of both. And it can be the UX team as well.

UX design and change management: Establish a sense of urgency [Part 2/10]

A sense of urgency is a necessary precondition for a successful change. It’s the feeling that something needs to change, a feeling which makes people willing to leave their comfort zone. There are many ways to establish a sense of urgency. All are aimed at breaking through complacency and consciously creating a crisis. I will provide a few effective ways which will appeal to designers.

The content delivery challenge for mobile

During the late-90s and early-00s – before CMS solutions were widespread – the creation and maintenance of content in the hard-coded website world was inefficient and labor-intensive. And although today’s CMS’s revolutionized content management, they still suffer from a flaw brought about by technology adoption: They can’t easily support a responsive design approach and deliver common content for both the desktop and mobile platforms. How can this multi-channel approach be delivered?

Bringing the world of theater into customer experience design

By its nature, customer experience design as a discipline is made up of many unique areas of focus. There’s the business acumen needed to gather requirements, distill ROI figures, and interpret analytics. There are also the more “creative” activities of connecting to customers through research, interpreting brand values, and creating prototypes. But where’s an area of inspiration (and tools and techniques!) that you may not have thought of?

Putting “experience” first

User experience – or customer experience, as is our somewhat-broader focus – should lie at the heart of any organization. And there are several ways to help accomplish this, one of the most valuable being the incorporation of real users into design and development. Using examples from around the globe (US-based Walgreens, UK-based Zopa, and M-Pesa which originated in Africa), Wolff Olins’ Mary Ellen Muckerman provides some insight on when (and when not) to invite users behind-the-scenes.