Archive for October, 2008

October 21, 2008

Design of the healthcare system

In an article on the Health Service Journal Deborah Szebeko talks about her experience of service designer in the public sector, an issue I’ve been working in the past (also in this blog). Deborah describes how she worked on service design in the healthcare sector and why are designers important in developing innovation in those sectors.

I also found interesting the description of the stage of the process, because I suppose it could be a step towards a sort of a “blueprint of the blueprint” of a service: she mentiones the following stages [the text in square brakets is my interpretation or the way I would qualify each stage]:

  • Observing to understand [I would describe this as the analytical phase]
  • Capturing patient and staff experience [interpretation of the analysis]
  • Mapping the service process and experience [towards a design concept]
  • Bringing people together to share experience and identify challenges [ concept solution co-creation]
  • Generating ideas and opportunity mapping [similar to concept selection?]
  • Prototyping [Prototyping, just that]
  • Testing and gaining feedback on prototypes [still on user’s co-creation]
  • Designing final output [Detailing]
  • Implementation and social marketing
  • Evaluation

I wouldn’t say this is the perfect process, but I would be curious to see whether this process could be compared with other service design interventions in the public sector.

October 21, 2008

Acting use cases

In the last few days my students have been developing use-cases for their service design semester. We are trying something new: acting the use cases. Use cases are supposed to support the dialogue between people with different backgrounds, working on a common project. We are using use-cases in our service design semester, but the students do not have too many chances to get more participation of other actors, such as service providers or final users. Therefore they are trying to act the use case: each student from a group is “wearing a hat” of one of the actors involved in the use case. This implies that the student, who has previously made an analysis of the various actors, should try to bring the actor’s interest into the use case and make the same actions and take the same decision the real actor would take. (Of course this is very close to De Bono’s work, even if I’m not a big fan of it).

The result is that the use case becomes much clearer to the group, although I would not use this technique to present the use case to people who are not familiar with the project, as the analysis of what happens in the use case goes too much into the details, they would not be able to understand it.

October 21, 2008

The story of Stuff

The question of sustainability is quite complex, it is a HUGE problem, can you explain it in 20 minutes? Have a look at The Story of Stuff

October 19, 2008

The co-creation spectrum

The co-creation spectrum is an interesting reflection on different form of user involvement in value-coproduction processes, from mass customisation to community product design

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October 17, 2008

The lunch currier: the video

I found a draft of the video presentation for the lunch currier project (see previous post). We created this presentation for the “changing the change” conference in Torino, Italy, in July 2008. The draft is in fact better than the final version, because the request from the organisers was to compress the video to 35 seconds and I haven’t learnt to be so concise, yet.

October 15, 2008

An excellent resource for service design researchers

I found a very good list of relevant literature on service design, edited by Jeff Howard.

A list of relevant papers in the past thirty years would have been good enough, but Jeff did more! he excerpted the abstracts and introductions to the papers and cross-referenced examples and concepts so that it’s easy to follow the development of ideas across multiple papers. We (service design researchers) needed it!! Thanks Jeff.

October 3, 2008


How many of us leave in homes full of stuff we do not use any more (or we have never used?). How many of us have kids that outgrow their clothes after few weeks and would like to save on those clothes?

We usually exchange this stuff with our friends or relatives, however a sort of “marketplace” for exchanging those items would make our life easier and possibly fun. Exchanging stuff may be a good excuse for exchanging thoughts, having a chat with new people.

From my point of view (that of an academic working on social systems at the local scale) this would be a good strategy for activating local systems: you do not want to exchange your second hand clothes with someone on the other side of the world, but you may want to know who has small kids in your area, especially if you are new of the area.

I found a site called UandItrade which seems to address those needs. Check it out!

The system works without money, it is just based on trade credits, which is also good: you don’t want to be obsessed by money, and after all, you do not build social relationship when money is involved!

It’s a pity it is a bit far from our Europeans, but it would be nice to know about similar systems in EU.

By the way, I’d like to share my thoughts with Matt Wilbourne, which informed me about this site, but I don’t know how to contact him, he just left a comment on this blog, and I read it after 2 months

October 1, 2008

…And now something different

It’s not Friday night, yet, but there is enough time to have a look at this service, it is very interesting:

  • You go to out with your own car,
  • You get drunk,
  • You ring Scooterman,
  • A person will arrive with a foldable scooter, fold the schooter and put it in the boot of your car (even if you have a Mini)
  • He or she will drive you and you car back home, unfold the scooter and leave.