36 hours in the life of a Service Designer

Hi! I’m Beatriz, but call me Bea. I’m a process and service designer in Oslo, where I work for Idean, a global design agency. My story began in In 2010, when I started working as a producer at MTV Brazil. My job there was to get shit done, research and write about music all day long. It was the dream job for anyone who grew up in the ’90s with a passion for music. 

Sadly, a few years later this was all over when Youtube boomed and buried what had been the coolest Brazilian television channel for two decades. That’s right, why would anyone watch TV when they could access their favourite music through the internet?

The urge to understand what happened and learn how to navigate change was what ultimately drove me to move across the Atlantic and join the Digital Media Creative program in Hyper Island – introduced to me by the legendary and dear friend Mane Brasil.

I graduated from HI in 2016 and left ready for the real world as a service designer. I had my internship in Denmark, where I got a fantastic mentor who gave me a solid foundation, and later on, I moved to a new home and found myself a new family at Idean Norway.

Music Recommendation
Transa, album by Caetano Veloso

Wednesday 8:30 am

My day began as usual with a nice cup of coffee with my wonderful wife.

I then packed, found and placed my passport somewhere safe where I wouldn’t forget, as I would fly to Paris that same evening to facilitate a big workshop for 200 technologists at Capgemini University*.

*Following the trend of many design companies worldwide, Idean has been acquired by Capgemini, a French global IT consultancy giant with 240,000 employees worldwide.

The ask was to train and onboard our colleagues from the Capgemini into creative ways of working, as well as shifting the mindset from “tech first” to “humans, society and environment” first.

An exciting and challenging task, as our workshop would be just a small part of a bigger 3-day conference program.

Tools To Plan Workshops
Use IDOARRT to define your workshop’s purpose.
Find out and understand who your audience is.
Validate your content through peer feedback.

Wednesday 6:00 pm

Airport and flying time. I hate that part of my job, as I’m scared of flying and I’m trying to avoid it for the sake of our climate crisis. Go team #GretaThunberg!

One thing I have to admit though. The experience design of Oslo’s transport system from the central station to the airport is a fantastic service design example. If you ever land here, enjoy it. – it is as smooth as it can be – there is enough room to sit, there is space for big flows of people and security is impressively frictionless. There is also the very visible and accessible possibility of skipping the abusive lights and strong smells of the tax-free shops.

On a final note: Gardermoen airport is known as one of the greenest terminals in the world. Cheers to that!

Service Design Tips
Experience and be attentive to your surroundings.
Observe your context, the actions, and touch points that compose your journey.
Ask yourself: what are the opportunities for improvement here?

“The ask was to train and onboard our colleagues from Capgemini into creative ways of working, as well as shifting the mindset from “tech first” to “humans, society and environment” first.”

Thursday 8:00am

Out of bed and ready to get the day cracking. I sat with my team and went through the presentation and activities we prepared for the very last necessary iterations.

Our biggest challenge that morning was to actually define relatable challenges to the workshop participants. These folks work with tech business at their core and to make it meaningful we had to also know how to speak their language – which is completely foreign to me.

We solved that by sitting with some participants at breakfast and by having a very open chat with them on how they perceive their job and what is missing today.

Thursday 3:00pm

Session started. For old times sake, we did an energizer to warm up the participants and later on, we introduced Idean and the theme of the session: the superpowers of rapid prototyping.

As the focus of that event was technology, we started the session with a very inspiring quote by Cedric Price: “If technology is the answer, what was the question?”

We then facilitated the participants to reframe their real work challenges (5 Whys & How might we), as well as prototype and test concepts of services and products with play-doh. Our main goal was to have them experience collaboration, experimentation and a human-centric
approach as ways of working.

Workshop Tip
Service design is about understanding, in a strategic way, how all the components of a service interact between each other and with the external world. Mapping challenges, opportunities, and experiences is a very important part of diving deep into that understanding.

Thursday 8:00pm

Success! To celebrate our efforts, we hijacked one of the workshop rooms at Capgemini University to watch an episode of “What We Do In the Shadows” on the big screen. With great wine and French cheese, of course!

Friday 9:00am

Retrospective session. We discussed together what we could improve next time and what we should keep doing for the next session.

Hotel check out and heading to the airport!

Inspirational Reads
Technically Wrong by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
This is Service Design Thinking by Marc Stickdorn
The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge

Follow on Twitter
@camerontw
@idatin
@VernaMyers