JULIA > 30’ Briefly introduce Creation Center (and relation to Deutsche Telekom / T-Mobile) GEKE > 30’ Briefly introduce STBY (and our collaboration with SPUR and Reach network)
GEKE > 60’ Main issue in Service Design: creation of services that are valued by the people who use them, as well as effective and distinctive for the organisations that provide them. These services are often available as an integrated network of service elements. It is up to the consumer to choose what to use, at what time, and even through what channel/platform. Many organisations are facing the challenge to move from thinking in distinct products to more holistic service thinking. To move from isolated and nicely packed up products to offering a networked suite of services that allows customers flexibility in use. This often asks for collaborations between departments that used to have quite separate targets and agendas. Service design as a practice or discipline has emerged as an answer to bridge the previously more discrete expertises of product design, interaction design, graphic design, as well as business strategy and consumer research. The thinking in service design projects is much more connected than the traditional routines. Service design is a structured, though open-minded process that creates the connections between people, technologies and strategies needed to successfully respond to rapidly changing circumstances.
GEKE > 30’ With all the different experts involved in service design projects (both from client and agency side), a shared reference point is very important. This is the perspective of the consumer, the future user of the services being developed. We all agree that is the main aim of the service design project is to attract, delight and retain the customer. So, at the beginning of our endeavor, we put ourselves into the shoes of our future users and walk around in them for a while to explore their context from their perspective.
GEKE > 30’ Qualitative, ethnographic design research and the insights that result from it should ideally be present throughout the design process, so the design team can be inspired by it, and check if the great ideas they come up with still fit with the first hand experience of the research, through evaluations. Finally, the research should also help to communicate results.
GEKE > 15’ This is where many practitioners in service design run into problems: the shoes that did such a great job to let us understand the context of the future users during design research are lost or don’t fit anymore when the design process progresses. After a while, we start missing a link to the initial research, and the research material and insights become less and less valuable. So when the Deutsche Telekom Creation Center asked STBY to embark on a joint project about a year ago, the key question was: How can we keep walking in the shoes of our users throughout the whole design process? How can we create ‘sticky research results’ that can be used throughout the service design process?
JULIA > 60’ Today, we describe one example project, which aimed at designing services that enhance community interaction, especially on mobile phones. This is one of many projects we conduct at the Creation Center, being involved in many more projects ranging from the developement of mobile internet services, online service platforms to TV interactions. Services we develope ideally work accross media and are likely to be introduced to the market within 2-3 years.
JULIA > 30’ This project was run by the Creation Center in Berlin, a department of Telekom that was set up almost three years ago to nudge service innovation projects inside the company with a strong involvement of users. It's at the Creation Center where we create the shoes that allow us to explore the worlds of our users , together with the responsible product managers of the company. The project started with an extensive ethnographic research in collaboration with STBY and Spur, two companies we involved because they focus on doing design research through creating strong connections between research and design . So here are three representatives for us, main characters in the story we are telling you. This collaboration shows you how business, creativity and research experience cooperate successfully.
JULIA > 30’ And here are the other key characters of our story, in fancy dress I might add, all equally special as people as everyone else. We don’t work with the idea of average people . From the client side, six product managers were part of the whole process, from initial research to concept development. In order to make our design research as inspiring as possible, we recruited six urban people with a wide age range from 26 to 55 . We were looking for a variety of users who are socially very active , either interacting with digital or with analogue tools.
JULIA > 15’ Let's first focus on the key role that design research plays in the design process: Inspiration . Inspiration does not just come like that, it needs to be triggered by something. O u r Motto : Seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking what no one else has thought. (A. Szent-Gyorgi , Hungarian nobel price winner) Users in everyday life are our inspiration for our work!
GEKE > 45’ We developed a ‘probe pack’ with auto-ethnographic tools, that we handed to the participants in a workshop. It included a small USB video camera, and we asked the participants to record some film clips over a period of a week. The use of video in this study was very successful. We triggered the participants to record their clips by sending them text-messages. We had also given the participants some ‘tools’ to highlight or indicate things in their surroundings such as an arrow, a heart and an exclamation mark, but also a big cross to indicate something they did not like. Over the course of a few days we sent the participants text-messages at unannounced moments, asking them to shoot some film for us right there and then. This is an example of such a message . They refer to a little script we had developed beforehand and practiced in a workshop with the participants when we handed them the probes. <bring flip camera and probes and show it>
GEKE > 30’ <Demonstrate the shots on stage> The script consisted of two 360 degree shots, turning the camera outwards first and then to oneself, speaking about the surroundings and what one is doing there. The third shot was focused on the thing that the participant chose in response to the text-message, and also has the off-voice explaining why they chose it. Filming is not only about generating material. It's the editing part that makes the film into something meaningful and valuable. This applies for cinema as well as research.
GEKE > 15’ The scripting was important for another reason: it saved us a lot of time. Using video can be very time-consuming in design research, and is often left out for that reason. With the script set beforehand, one of us could edit all the clips the participants filmed into short movies in one day.
JULIA > 30’ What's especially nice about text-messaging is that it is widely accepted as an &quot;intimate&quot; communication tool . The use of video builds on that with the request to talk directly into the camera. Both support the self-reflection we wanted to stimulate and fit well with a wider and longer development in society to confide to a video camera. The approach allowed us to get very close to the private sphere of users. The text-message prompting allowed the participant to stay in control and take their time to reflect before answering, which can be a challenge in a one-to-one interview. At the same time the data was more focused on the research questions than data from an open video diary, which would have been much harder to edit too. Here’s one of the edited films. This is an example of how we got access to intimate moments of our participants. it starts with the text message we sent the participant.
<insert film> 90“
JULIA > 60’ Mutual inspiration between the various stakeholders and participants was very important throughout the project: We needed to motivate the participants to collaborate. We needed to make working with the probes an enjoyable process . For this reason, design was very present in the probes , for instance the tools that we designed for the participants to highlight parts of their environment, but also the scripts for the films were designed to make sure we would get little stories, not just lengthy video footage. If we do our job as design researchers well, inspiration will flow back to us through the probe returns, and the conversations we have about them with our participants. We can therefore say that inspiration flowed two ways : first from design research team to the participants through the probes, and then back again through the films. In particular the films resulting from the text messages worked very well as inspiration for the design team during consecutive stages of the design process. And, very important: the films triggered a flow of ideas from people who were not originally trained as designers, namely all the product managers who were part of our project team. The movies inspired the creation of insights, opportunities, ideas and concepts . ‘Being there’ with the people we designed for, through the films, was very valuable at every stage.
GEKE > 15’ Another example, from the same participant, shows how we were able to get very personal stories.
GEKE > 30’ This is the text message that was send to the participants to trigger a response by them with video; <read out message> In response to this message about what people did not want their friends to see, the same participant as before came up with a surprising clip...
GEKE > 15‘ She showed as her teeth prothesis. This was an unexpected, very intimate response. Yet is is these very personal stories that make you build up a rapport with the participants. It makes you relate to their personal point of view and help you to step into their shoes. These kind of responses are so much more powerful than feedback based on surveys or focus groups. <we won‘t show the video clip, just this collage of stills from the clip>
GEKE > 15’ The movies gave an undigested reality with sometimes a great surprise factor. The text messaging was not planned with the participants, they never knew when the next one would be coming. We surprised them and they surprised us. This gave very spontanous reactions, straight from the heart even if they had taken a few moments to think about their answer as this participant did.
JULIA > 30’ The movies were extensively used throughout the project because they were very useful. The project had a time span of six months where we brought key stakeholders together in six workshops . Even though we met the participants only for three hours face to face , we were able to keep making connections to them through the films at all stages of the design process. Because of this we have started to call the films ‘sticky ’: the design research remained with us for a long time, which was an important goal for us because we wanted to stay as close to the worlds of our future users as possible. Here you also get an impression of our facilities at the Creation Center – colourful, playful, inspirational.
JULIA > 30’ Besides providing strong inspiration, the films played another role: they served as evidence for the insights, opportunities, ideas and concepts we came up with in the design process. This evidence was particular strong because it was given by some of the people we were designing the services for, through the films. Insights, opportunities, ideas and concepts always run the risk of being too bland if they are not firmly rooted in everyday life. The films offered these essential connections .
JULIA > 30’ The films were often straight from the heart , and heartfelt emotions played more than once a role in them. It makes it easy to identify with the people in the films, and easy to step in the shoes of a future user . You see the situation right in front of you, in the film and you can imagine quite well how your idea would work in that very situation. And because we had many films we never had to depend on just one example for evidential support. The films did not only help us to immerse ourselves into a specific context, they also helped to immerse our ideas into these situations.
JULIA > 30’ This film shows one of the situations that we used when we imagined how our concepts would work in everyday life, in the real world.
<insert film> 60“
GEKE > 30’ After we found evidence for the concepts in the films, with the project team, we had to make the next step: communicate the concepts to the rest of the organisation. Through communicating the concepts, we made the first step towards implementation. After all that is where the real value is, for T-Mobile/Deutsche Telekom and its customers.
GEKE > 30’ This is where a new group of characters enters our story, the company executives. Those involved in generating the ideas needed to convince a lot of other people from other departments that the results they came up with are great and worth the time and effort that's needed to get them into the shops. This is the hard part. Also in this step, after serving as inspiration and evidence, the movies did a great job.
GEKE > 30’ The movies offer a solid foundation to explain the flow from research to concepting; they illustrated the opportunities that we identified; and they showed the relevance by explaining how they would be serving actual needs. At the end of the day, the films helped to show that there are real business opportunities out there that could generate revenue in the future.
GEKE > 30’ The movies managed to do this because they are ‘sticky’. They offfer a universal language that is easy to understand for people coming from very different professional backgrounds, people who might have very different perspectives and interests regarding the same topic, here for instance enhancing community interaction via mobile phones. Through the films, everybody can get into the shoes of our users quite easily, even after the design process is finished. It is very valuable that the movies not only help us to reach the minds, but also the hearts of decision makers. We experienced that the videos prompted by the text-messages provided the shoes that helped us empathise with future users. They not only fitted us during the design process, but also are easy to wear for others who seek supporting evidence for design proposals later on. The films helped us to keep everyday life, with all its idiosyncrasies and its routines, at centre stage during the design process and in the communication of design results. This gave charm and brought fun into every discussion about the project.
JULIA > 30‘ To close of, here is what some of the project team members said: <read out?>
JULIA > 15‘ <read out?>
JULIA > 15‘ <read out?>
JULIA > 60’ This process has sparked a valuable innovation process . Meanwhile the developed ideas have been worked into tangible concepts . These have been communicated in various forums within the company using the films to bridge the gap. A prototype has been developed and trial hand sets have been tested by 50 users over 6 weeks. First results of the project have be shown in public at the innovation day in Berlin, to be pursued for realization in 2012.
JILIA & GEKE > 15’ Thank you. Have a nice day.
How sticky research drives service design Julia Leihener (Telekom Laboratories, Creation Center/Berlin) Geke van Dijk (STBY Amsterdam/London) Emerce eDay, 16 September 2010
How can we create a service experience that is enjoyable and valuable for the people we design for?
We need to put ourselves into the shoes of our future users and walk around in them for a while.
Qualitative, ethnographic research helps to: - identify customer insights and opportunities - inspire ideas for new services - evaluate and communicate results within organisation
The results of the research need to be ‘sticky’ to avoid that the shoes get lost during the process.
Project example: How can we enhance community interaction on mobile phones?