Service Design Academy

Dear Service Design Academy friend, 

Welcome to our May newsletter.  

This month we look back on a busy April and forward to the months ahead with details of courses coming up.   

These include Professional Development Award August and October 23 cohortsDesign Your People ExperienceBackstage and Behind the Scenes for Public Services and Design Your Donor Journey. 

We’ll also focus on learn-by-doing” in our professional practice. 

April was another varied month for the team, with our latest 5-day Innovation and Impact cohort completing this immersive and intense introduction to service design. 

Here’s some great feedback on what our group learned: 

Six coloured sticky-notes with text. Lots of really good things – new techniques learned and practiced. Loads of new techniques and tools. Lots about the process of service design as a whole/ concept. So many good techniques to take back and implement. New ways to think about prototyping and getting feedback. Lots about service design in general but in particular the different methods that you can use.

We’ve been busy too with customised training programmes

  • Manchester City Council (Design Your People Experience 2-day course)
  • Department of Health and Social Care (Welcome to Service Design 1-day and 5-day Innovation and Impact course)
  • Dundee City Council (Pathfinder project 3-day face to face course)

You can register interest in our next 5-day course in August 23 here.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can customise a training programme to meet your team’s needs, get in touch with us at info@sda.ac.uk for a chat. We’ll share recommended training programmes with prices to suit your budge

Introduction to Visual Thinking with Workvisible

Service Design Academy was delighted to host an online visualisation taster session on the 27th April with Marcus DeVale and the Workvisible team. This had a phenomenal turnout from invited community members, many thanks to all who took part.

Marcus introduced us to what visual thinking is and its value in helping us to remember things in our long-term memory, the ability to communicate in a different way and to provide a high-level understanding and overview, whether that’s for proposals, presentations or the sharing of data findings. Marcus took us through, step by step, on the basics behind visual thinking, and how to use and develop a visual library of simple shapes combined to make icons. 

A photograph taken by one of the Workvisible session participants – watching Marcus drawing on a flip-chart and some drawings made by a participant of a present, lightbulb, shark swimming in the sea, document, mountain, magnifying glass and target.

Focus on Professional Practice: Learn by Doing

We were all “learning by doing” as Marcus took us through our visual pacesWe asked Katie Murrie, SDA’s lead consultant what having a hands-on approach to learning means to her:

“Most of our training programmes are based on design challenges or “how might we” statements. This gives our learners an immersive experience, they will be drawing on their experience to share with other learners, and then to challenge the assumptions they’ve made.

We ask our learning groups to take a leap of faith, trust the process as a starting point and not to worry about perfection with anything they are doing. We create a conducive learning environment to practice, from deciding what questions to ask, tools to use, to implementing new visualisation techniques.

They’ll learn very early on that service design is not a “paint by numbers” linear process; you will grow your expertise through taking learnings from every experience you have. And practise will move everyone towards increased confidence and expertise. Iteration is a key principle of service design, which means that our teaching content and teaching style are always aligned.”

So, what’s the risk of not learning by doing?

In the article How to avoid the dangers of not learning by doing,  Amanda Nimon-Peters describes how “Leading your organisation to avoid the “not learning by doing” phenomenon to ensure you are constantly improving your toolkits, rather than simply applying the same tools to new situations.”

Nimon-Peter’s continues, “Learning by doing is effective because we learn what happens from our actions. If a particular solution results in disaster, you become less likely to use that solution again – a pattern crucially important for skill development to ensure we do not need to constantly re-learn basic skills. However, once we feel we have sufficient capability to meet our end-goals, we stop working on improving our skills and instead rely on the tools we have to deliver our results.”

She suggests the best remedy to the not learning by doing is described in Ericsson’s Deliberate Practice described in the bestseller ” Peak” approach. This blog from Ivaylo Durmonskil describes what deliberate practice looks like https://durmonski.com/self-improvement/deliberate-practice-theory/

In a nutshell: How do you Deliberately Practice Something?

  • Try
  • Fail
  • Get feedback
  • Try again better
Yellow post it with the words Practice Makes Perfect

Courses Ready to Book

Our 2-day live and online Design Your People Experience course runs again on the 1st and 8th of June. This course has been designed for anyone involved at any stage of the employee journey.
You will:

  • be introduced to the Service Design approach and mindset
  • develop a people centred approach to create the future of work at your organisation
  • learn how you can increase satisfaction by developing ways to improve the people experience

What’s the difference between employee and people experience? SDA consultant Kim Anderson explains:

“At the Service Design Academy, we like to focus on “people” opposed to “employee” experience. We believe that this subtle change in language can have a positive impact on mindset when creating these experiences. This helps to break down the hierarchy that the use of the word “employee” might have and allows everyone who works at an organisation to be seen as a unique person whatever they do and however they do it.“

If you are interested in this course but are looking for later dates, please let us know and we’ll register your interest for future courses – info@sda.ac.uk 

Design Your Donor Journey 5th June 9.30 – 1pm

In this ½ day course designed for professional charity fundraisers, SDA will share how taking a design approach can help you understand more about your donors’ needs and experience. You’ll leave with tools on how to design better ways to develop your fundraising relationships.
Very limited free places are available for groups of 2-4 charity fundraisers. Please contact Maralyn Boyle for how to join m.boyle@dundeeandangus.ac.uk

Going Backstage and Behind the Scenes to Design Successful Services - An online introductory course for public sector leaders
In partnership with Service Design Network 22nd June 3pm – 6.30pm (BST)

Public services should be designed with customers’ experiences and needs at the heart. This means that we tend to focus on the impact they make from the perspective of external users. But in doing this, we have lost sight of two critical elements – “backstage” and “behind the scenes”. Service design gives the opportunity to make an impact in all three places.
Join Katie Murrie and Kim Anderson to learn:

  • How service design makes impact not only with customer experience, or with frontline staff but backstage and behind the scenes 
  • When designing services why you should think about the people and the processes that support the frontline
  • What are the things that the organisation must do to make both the front and backstage possible. These include culture, employee engagement, policies, budgets
  • Why we need to think about the right conditions, the processes and structures in  in the organisation to make effective transformation
  • What Service Design can do to support creating the right conditions

 Early Bird prices until 22nd May! Find out more and book here

August and October 23 Professional Development Award dates released!

We are delighted to confirm new dates have been released for the Professional Development Award (PDA) in Service Design, the leading accredited course for anyone looking to develop their service design practice.

August ‘23  – March ’24 (limited availability)

October ‘23 – April  ‘24

The six-month course covers the core skills, tools, and mindsets you need to service design powerful interventions for complex issues. Learners are taken on a journey, a process spanning four learning units over six months with 17 live sessions and interactive content on a live learning environment.

The PDA connects theory and practical applications through a mix of experiences, live online classrooms, watch anytime videos, teamwork, mentoring and case studies.

Our PDA learners:

  • Develop a knowledge of the fundamental tools and methods used throughout the service design process and the ability to apply these in your own professional domain
  • Build skills in user research by implementing methods to identify the needs of service users and undertaking a small-scale user research project
  • Explore how co-design can be developed as an approach that involves service users collaboratively in the service design process
  • Communicate and reflect on a service design project process and outcomes

You can find out more here PDA in Service Design

To register interest or find out more please contact us on info@sda.ac.uk

Thank you for taking the time to read this month’s newsletter. Please feel free to share and signpost anyone you think should follow us:  contact us

Have a great month!
The Service Design Academy team