I believe that working with clients closely, in a collaborative way throughout the design process is often the only reason a project succeeds.
The design process is well understood by designers but is often something of a mystery to clients. I can help you engage with business stakeholders to make a case for using design thinking as a practical and collaborative approach to innovation.
Service Design uses participatory tools, methods and approaches throughout, to engage those often excluded in the design process. For example, your front line employees and customers are often a rich source of insight, when uncovering opportunities to innovate the service experience and ensure your changing customer needs are met.
Co-design activities engage teams, through workshops designed to inform and inspire new opportunities to create value and identify the most relevant problems you’ll need to focus on when generating potential solutions. The most promising ideas are selected, rapidly prototyped and tested with customers, using an iterative approach. An agile design process reduces the risk of developing ideas that customers won’t value.
A Service Design approach to improvement or innovation offers methods and tools appropriate to each stage of the process, but can also be determined by available resources, scope and budget. A Service Design project is generally characterised by:
Empathy | using observation and qualitative interviews to deeply understand people’s needs, goals and preferences, in order to gain insight into how to use design in ways, which create value for them.
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.
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.
Value co-creation | Assessing how you support each stage of your customer 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.
Collaboration | services are complex, so openly drawing on the knowledge and experience of different people, will help to co-create better ideas and potential solutions.
Integrative thinking | Taking into account multiple points of view and perspectives, in order to create the cohesive solutions that make projects successful.
Ideation | Generating many ideas and visualising alternative solutions.
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.
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.
Iterative project phases | We can break a large project down into smaller phases that deliver working prototypes as soon as possible. Regular evaluation and an agile approach will enable the design team to respond to changing priorities and reduce risks.
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: