Design always works best when business needs and goals are clearly understood, so I will inevitably want to explore these questions thoroughly, before proposing how I can help.
My initial focus may be to facilitate and guide you and your project team through the ‘fuzzy front end’ of the project, mapping out where your innovation opportunities are, this activity will better frame What is? before moving on to What could be?
The participatory tools, methods and approaches of Service Design collaboratively engage multi-disciplinary teams and wider stakeholders in the creative process. Your employees and customers are the often the best source of insight, when understanding opportunities to innovate a service.
Co-design activities engage teams through workshops designed to iteratively inform and inspire all the potential opportunities and the most relevant problems you’ll need to focus on, before generating any ideas. The best will be selected, prototyped and tested before any commitment to design development.
The design-led approach offers different tools and methods, which and are selected for each project stage, but also determined by the project scope and budget. Generally, the design process is characterised by combinations of the following:
Business model analysis | Assessing the processes that support each stage of the customer’s journey. How can solutions better deliver the value that a customer is looking for? Design thinking, factors-in business realities during the creative process, to create more impact and have a greater chance of success.
Empathy | using observation and qualitative interviews to deeply understand people, in order to frame opportunities, where design can help better meet their needs.
Facilitated collaboration | drawing on the knowledge and experience of people with different expertise, to co-create solutions to complex challenges.
Ideation | Generating ideas towards possible new solutions and even alternative business models. Collaborating to co-create ideas in a multidisciplinary team with diverse knowledge is always more productive.
Integrative thinking | Taking into account multiple points of view and perspectives, in order to create the cohesive solutions that make projects successful.
Iterative project phases | We can break a large project into small phases that deliver working prototypes and draft designs as soon as possible. Regular evaluation and iterative process will enable the team to respond to changing priorities and reduce the risk of committing to solutions up front.
Customer experience mapping | visualising the existing experience through the customer’s eyes. Mapping each step of the customer journey will often reveal the blind spots, overlooked when solely adopting an analytical and quantitative decision-making process.
Optimism | a belief that better solutions are really possible.
Prototyping | Expressing new ideas in a tangible form, for exploration, testing, and refinement. Learning how ideas work in practice, knowing how to improve them so they are as good as they can be, reduces the risk of failure, when they are finally implemented.
Synthesis | drawing connections between seemingly disparate ideas and research insights to make sense and order out of complexity. This phase frequently holds the keys to innovation.
Visual thinking | Using images and sketches to envision new possibilities and bring ideas to life. Visual thinking not only engages the imagination, it makes concepts & ideas more real and creates a shared understanding more effectively than words can on their own.
Workshops | are often used to enable this way of collaborative problem finding and solving. An example of a one day innovation workshop I both co-designed and co-facilitated can be seen below: