Service Design Blog

From Insight to Implementation

Posts written by Andy Polaine , Ben Reason & Lavrans Løvlie

  • Workshop and Talk at Interaction 14 South America

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    I’m super looking forward to taking part in Interaction 14 South America in Buenos Aires where I’ll be giving a talk and running a workshop on Creación y Blueprinting Servicios Multicanal (sounds good huh?). I’ve never had the chance to visit Buenos Aires and always wanted to. I’m only sad I can’t stay longer (then I would have brought my family too).

    An added bonus is that this is a conference in which I know almost all the other speakers. It’s a fantastic line-up and many of them are Rosenfeld Media authors, but most of them I have never met in the flesh.

    If you’re going to be coming along, ping me a tweet. Your friendly “consultor de servicio y diseño de interacción, escritor y educador.”

    Workshops and Presentation at Adaptive Path’s UX Week 2014

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    UX Week

    I am really excited to be coming to San Francisco to give a presentation and run two workshops at Adaptive Path’s UX Week 2014 there in September.

    My schedule is the following:

    Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2014, 9:00AM
    Workshop Abstract: Developing Services with Service Blueprinting | Day 2

    Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014, 9:00AM
    Workshop Abstract: Developing Services with Service Blueprinting | Day 3

    Friday, Sep. 12, 2014, 10:00AM
    Talk Abstract: Designing Multichannel Services for Lives Beyond the Screen

    If you are trying to decide between my workshop and Chris Risdon’s Experience Mapping one, you should know that they are different and that we’ve talked to each other about making them dovetail together nicely. So, do both!

    If you’re going to be there, do ping me a tweet – I don’t get to catch up with my U.S. friends and contacts often enough.

    UX Australia Presentation and Workshop – August 2013

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    I (Andy) will be in Melbourne at the end of the month to give a talk and run a workshop at UX Australia 2013. Even though it is winter and most probably raining there, I’m really looking forward to seeing Melbourne again. It has been a while since I was last there. If you’re at UX Australia or around, please come and say Hi! I just got word that my (Andy) workshop on service design blueprinting has sold out and there is a waiting list in case anyone drops out. If you are coming, please send me a mail or a tweet. It’s nice to get to know people a bit in advance. My talk, Designing Services for Messy Lives will expand on some of the ideas from my recent A List Apart article. This is open, I assume, so first come, first served in the venue. See you there and I apologise in advance if I am a bit vague thanks to the jet lag!

    UX LX and Service Design Drinks Lisbon

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    ### From UX to Service Design at UX-LX

    I (Andy) am really thrilled to be heading off to Lisbon tomorrow to run a workshop at UX-LX in Lisbon called [From UX to Service Design]( It’s only 3.5 hours, which sounds like a long time, but is pretty short to get stuck into this, so I’ll mainly be working with the participants on service design blueprinting.

    The conference and the workshop are both totally booked out, so there is a slim chance that you will be able to get in now (there is a [waiting list](, but if you are a participant or just at the conference, do come and say hello.

    Rosenfeld Media are sponsoring the conference, so *if* you do come and say hello, I’ll whisper the 25% discount code in your ear!

    ### Service Design Drinks, Lisbon

    I’ll also be giving a talk on the same evening, May 16th, at [Service Design Drinks, Lisbon]( hosted by the generous folks at [FANQ]( I’ll be joining [Jon Kolko]( for this and after a little presentation from each of us, we are simply going to have a chat with each other and the audience.

    I believe this one still has some spaces. It’s all very informal and BYO Bottle! Starts at 19:45. You’ll need to register on the [Eventbrite link]( for it though.

    We have a discount code for attendees to this too.

    We have lift off! The book is launched.

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    It is such a pleasure to finally be writing this post announcing the official publication of *Service Design: From Insight to Implementation* today. Cue fireworks and champagne!

    If all has gone to plan, you should see the updated table of contents and summary here on the book’s site. You will also see the shiny “Add to Cart” button. Don’t forget to click that. Lots of times. Everyone you know almost certainly wants a personal copy. Don’t deny them that pleasure.

    In the book we thank many people who have helped us along the way, but we would also like to specifically thank the Rosenfeld Media team who have worked behind the scenes to design and produce the physical and digital versions of the book. There is a long road from finishing the final draft of a *text document* to actually having a proper, edited, proof-read, indexed and typeset *book* that you can hold in your hand physically or read on one of the thousands of devices you have. (See? Even our book is multi-channel.)

    We hope the navel-gazing days and searching for an identity with “What is service design?” questions are behind us and that this book has helped that process along a little. Although service design can no longer be said to be an “emerging” discipline, it is still young and we hope that others continue to contribute to its range of methods, case-studies and growth. I write this sitting in Oslo airport dealing with the chaos that two cancelled flights back to Germany has wrought. Whenever I experience the sharp end of services going wrong, there is no doubt in my mind that the world needs service design more than ever.

    Please send us feedback on the book – any thoughts, corrections and questions are always very much appreciated. Please point us to any tweets blog posts and reviews, even if it is just a couple of sentences. Having discussed, written and re-written amongst ourselves, now it is your job to continue and co-produce the conversation ahead.

    As always, there are ideas that did not make it into the book, either because they did not really fit into the structure or, more often, because they were still half-baked. Some of those half-baked ideas may become fully-baked one day and form either an extension of the book via this site or another book entirely. Tell us what you would like to know more about.

    For now, though, we’re going to drink a well-earned toast to this baby’s birth. Enjoy!

    p.s. Join Ben, Lavrans and I for our [O’Reilly webcast tomorrow]( We will going through an introduction to the book’s main themes plus some war stories in the form of a case-study.

    O’Reilly Webcast – Service Design: Designing cross-channel service experiences

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    Ben, Lavrans and I are going to be doing (giving? What does one say…?) an O’Reilly Webcast titled Service Design: Designing cross-channel service experiences on the 14th March.

    The time of the webcast is: 10AM PT, San Francisco | 5pm – London | 1pm – New York | Fri, Mar 15th at 4am – Sydney | Fri, Mar 15th at 2am – Tokyo | Fri, Mar 15th at 1am – Beijing | 10:30pm – Mumbai. Missing from that list is 6pm for all of you in Central Europe.

    Those sharp-eyed among you will also notice that the icon of our book has changed from the “Book in Progress” one to one with an actual cover and this webcast should coincide, more or less, with the launch of the book, so we’re very excited.

    A big thanks to O’Reilly for taking part in helping us get the word out there. It will be particularly interesting to speak to the broader audience that O’Reilly have and we anticipate everything from, “Service Design? Been there, done that” to “Service Design? Huh?”.

    If you can make it, we’d love to see you online.

    Are we there yet?

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    It’s been rather a long time since we posted “A Big Day” having submitted the manuscript to our editor at Rosenfeld Media. Given the ever-increasing tweets of “How is the book going?” I thought I would give you patient people an update. The book is finished!

    Really? What took so long?

    Finishing a manuscript is really only half the work of actually creating a book. We had several rounds of editing, expanding and re-structuring thanks to very helpful feedback from our external reviewers and our editor, JoAnn, not to mention input from Lou. It takes quite a lot of time to integrate all these, re-write sections, clarify parts, check references and find or create the right images and write captions. It’s what I call the “sweeping up” part of the writing process and on a long-form project, it always takes longer than you expect. The paradox with three authors is that things can take longer rather than being three times as fast. Multiple authors create dependencies. When I have my academic hat on, I’m careful to gather and format my references as I write. Tracking them all down after writing is a nightmare. The same goes for images, though, and we weren’t quite prepared for the effort it would take to track down high resolution versions of our own images. These were often images we had used in presentations over the years and simple copied from file to file and never had to find press-quality versions. They’re weren’t on the machines, servers or in the folders that we thought. Others were from projects and we couldn’t use them due to NDAs or because we couldn’t publish people in the research photos.

    Lessons Learned

    • File carefully in the first place.
    • Meta-tag your photos (in Lightroom, Aperture, etc.) because you won’t remember in 12 months or more what they are.
    • Source the high resolution images as you write, not afterwards.
    • When documenting projects, shoot some photos in which participants’ faces and sensitive client material are not visible. Then you can use them later without problem.
    • Not all parts of a project end up in the public domain, like a website, so, even better, get your client to sign off on some publicity images (for writing about or presenting the project) at the end.

    So, when can you buy it?

    The first quarter of 2013. I promise we’ll let you know an exact date as soon as possible, but Lou is juggling printing and production schedules thanks to flakey authors slipping deadlines.

    A Big Day – Completed Manuscript

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    Today is a big day for us. We just completed and sent up the complete manuscript of Service Design: Designing Useful, Usable and Desirable Services to Rosenfeld Media.

    It has, of course, got to go off to reviewers and editors and changes will need to be made. We also have plenty of work ahead of us putting together the final diagrams and images for the book, but we could not be more thrilled for now. The last three months have been a big push – it is not easy trying to coordinate writing between three authors based in three different countries. The process of handling that probably warrants a post in itself at some point.

    We really think we have written a book that a lot of people will find useful and engaging, we hope you do too. Over the coming months we should be able to update the description and table of contents on this site to reflect the actual content of the book (it’s changed quite a bit, but in a good way) and start releasing some sneak previews of key parts of the text and images.

    So, keep and eye out for it and follow either @rosenfeldmedia, @apolaine, @lavranslovlie or @breasy on Twitter for updates.

    In the meantime, we need to think of a hashtag – any suggestions?

    Keynote and Workshop at Webdagene, Oslo, 26-28 September 2012

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    Andy will be giving a keynote talk on Service Design at Webdagene, Norway’s premier conference for web communicators in Oslo on 26-28 September 2012.

    The conference is hosted and organized by Netlife Research, a leading Norwegian user experience consultancy and has had some pretty rocking speakers in the past, including Dan Roam, Jared Spool, Aarron Walter, Gerry McGovern, Stephen Anderson, Brian Sollis, and BJ Fogg. This year I’ll be in the company of Oliver Reichenstein, Des Traynor, Angela Morelli among others.

    Designing for People vs. Screens

    The talk will cover a some of the material and thinking in our book, which may just be out around that time (if we hit our deadlines!). Here is the description in English (the Webdagene website is mainly in Norwegian):

    Web and UX design has championed the user-experience over the past decade or so, but the domain in which they have been working is largely screen-based. Users and customers do not use these websites, applications and devices in a vacuum, but in the context of messy, complicated lives and service ecosystems. A well-built car-sharing website and smartphone app is only part of the challenge, for example. If the car is a pain to unlock in the rain or there are no designated parking spaces in the city, the service will suffer or fail.

    We instantly recognise the design craft and appeal of an iPhone or a Porsche, but why are our experiences with telcos, insurance companies, airlines, etc. so poor? The answer is usually that they have just happened and have not been deliberately designed. Service design is the design for experiences that reach people through many different touch-points, and that happen over time, not just screens. It provides a powerful set of methods that help map out the entire service ecosystem and people’s journeys through it in order to design a coherent experience. Web and UX designers have an opportunity to expand on their existing skills to push upwards into designing with people instead of just for them.

    Plus a Workshop

    On the 26th, both Lavrans and Andy will be running a workshop called From UX to Service Design. It will be hands-on, but the exact content will depend on the backgrounds and existing knowledge of those who register. Here’s the low-down:

    The differences between service design and UX [or web design?] are best understood by trying to do it. This workshop introduces participants to the main principles and methods of service design through a practical, hands-on approach. Using a surprise theme as a starting point, participants will go out and do some quick and dirty insights research, bring their results back to the studio and map them out in a service blueprint. Having spotted the potential failures and opportunities, they will have to sketch up service propositions and touchpoints before presenting it all as a coherent experience by the end of the day. It will be fast-paced and jam-packed, but by the end participants will have designed a service or died trying.

    If any readers are going to be there, please let us know. It would be nice to connect with those of you who have been patiently waiting for the book!

    Dave Gray on Everything is a Service

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    Dave Gray, co-author of the great book, Gamestorming, and one of Rosenfeld Media’s strategic advisors has just written an excellent round-up of the rationale for service design in his Dachis Group blog post, Everything is a Service.

    Dave writes about the argument and mindset from both cultural and business change perspectives – what we’ve been calling the “moral philosophy” of service design as a shorthand between ourselves recently. It mirrors much of what we’ve written in the opening chapter of our book and nods at some of the things we’ll be talking about in the conclusion. Accompanied by some of Dave’s seemingly effortless but excellent drawings, it really is well worth a read. A stand out sentence for me – clearly very American in context – was in the section where he talks about cars: “If a car can be a service, anything can.”

    Gamestorming now has an iPhone app, which just goes to show that books are services too (if Rosenfeld’s publishing approach hadn’t already convinced you of that – don’t forget, “Our authors are brilliant, but write at their own unique, unpredictable paces.” Ahem).