UX London 2017: On Service Design

In this year’s UX London I was able to participate in the Service Design themed day (Day 2). Here is What I Learned This Week.

Heather Martin: Personalisation, tomorrow

Heather‘s talk was an informative string of videos showing concept studies and products with a strong focus on personalisation.

Lauren Currie: Why it’s time for designers to share their power

This was the inspirational, D&I talk of the day – and it was spot on.

Lauren spoke about #Upfront, making the government accessible to people, educating people on sugar consumption and many other things.

Neil Colman: So you want to be a Service Designer

Neil’s talk was focus on the need to change your mindset when moving from UX to service design:
  • In service design you ask “What should we be making?”.
  • A good experience does not necessarily make for good outcome.
  • Services are co-created.
In order to embark on such a transformational journey, start to
  • Find out what outcome your users ACTUALLY want
  • Think end-to-end: what happens before and after
  • Explore experiences of other actors
  • Open up your design process to others
  • Be curious about what goes on “behind the scenes”

Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden: Sense and Respond

This was certainly the talk I had most looked forward to. It was all about Jeff and Josh’s new book Sense & Respond. A visual summary by Dave Gray’s team can be found on this XPLANATiON.

The Sense & Respond Core Principles:

  • Embrace uncertainty

  • Culture of continuous learning: Iterative buildout and continuous learning. Ship, sense, respond.

  • Do less, more often: What must we learn? What’s the fastest way? Design experiments around that!
  • Organize for collaboration: “To build collaborative teams we need to emphasize on skills, not roles. To build cohesive services, we must emphasize a comprehensive approach, not discipline-specific land grabs.”

Nick Remis: Working with Service Blueprints

One of the elements that makes UX London an outstanding event is the special setup: There are talks in the morning and a workshop in the afternoon. This allows for insight as well as practice which makes for an excellent learning experience. I spent the afternoon with Nick doing service blueprinting.
The workshop followed Adaptive Path’s Guide to Service Blueprinting.

Some key messages:

  • Blueprinting helps us to shake up business as usual (i.e. Conway’s Law)
  • Current-state service blueprints show how a service functions today
  • Traits of service blueprints
    • Multi channel
    • 360 degree view
    • Orchestrating (how everything works together)
  • Blueprint building blocks
    • Customer actions
    • Touchpoints
    • Staff actions (frontstage): staff the customers see
    • <Line of visibility>
    • Backstage staff
    • Support process
  • Check out Adaptive Path’s “Guide to Experience Mapping
  • Service Blueprinting
    • Determine your scale
    • Decide your fidelity
    • Start, stop, continue
    • Orchestrate implantation
    • Make new friends (connections inside an organization)


This conference’s ROTI was another 5 (out of 5). The first part of the morning was rather dull. The second morning segment totally made up for that with Lauren’s motivational speech, Neil’s summary of service design’s core principles and the two headliners Jeff & Josh’s talk on their latest book. The service blueprinting workshop with Nick was of excellent value which nicely rounded up that day.
And of course it was great to bump into fellow Mozillian Robin.

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