© 2020 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 cohorts, Design Your People Experience, Backstage 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:
We’ve been busy too with customised training programmes
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat. We’ll share recommended training programmes with prices to suit your budge
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.
We were all “learning by doing” as Marcus took us through our visual paces. We 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?
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.
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 – email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
Early Bird prices until 22nd May! Find out more and book here
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:
You can find out more here PDA in Service Design
To register interest or find out more please contact us on email@example.com
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
We hope that you’re having a great start to 2023! The snowdrops are starting to peak through here in Scotland, and Service Design Academy team are looking forward to a busy spring time ahead.
We started 2023 by delivering training courses to help people from different organisations build new skills and find better ways of working together.
If you would like to find out how we can customise a programme of training to meet skills gaps while colleagues work together on an organisational challenge please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Our popular course offers a hands-on, learn by doing insight into the process of service design. Find out what you’ll learn and do in this link:
PDA delegate Molly Northcote Putting User Research into action!
This six-month course is delivered by our expert service design trainers and offers a learn by doing approach where you will:
For more information on our courses or discuss how we can help you build skills and capacity in service design please do get in touch: email@example.com
Our course offering is mapped against Skills Levels aligned to the UK Government Digital Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework and Scottish Government’s Digital Data & Technology Framework
To help us understand more about knowledge, understanding and implementation of service design we’re having 121 cheerful chats with people working in roles in:
If you’d like to help, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to help or you can set up a 30 minute online meeting at a time that suits you here Book a Cheerful Chat
What should you expect from service design training? John Lynch’s recent article resonates with the Service Design Academy’s approach, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what you expect from service design training.
Thank you to Peter Byebierggaard for sharing this with us.
Many thanks for taking the time to read our newsletter. Please don’t forget to let your colleagues know about us – they can join our mailing list here: https://www.sda.ac.uk/contact/
I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer! As the seasons change, September always fills me with that fresh start feeling. It’s that nostalgic sense of heading back to school equipped with a brand-new pencil case, stationery, and warmer clothes. It’s the traditional time to begin learning, with colleges and universities welcoming learners to their campuses.
It’s also the time of year when we start to root out new TV series, boxsets, and films for the winter nights ahead.
That fresh start feeling has inspired new perspectives in our course offerings, which can help tackle organisational problems and provide the skills to do things differently. With the unique set of challenges everyone is facing right now, we need to lose assumptions about the nature of work and how it is organised.
The beauty of Service Design, it that it’s for absolutely everyone. It takes the creative tools in a designer’s kit and makes them accessible to all. If you have a problem, and a user in need of a solution, the process will open you up to innovative possibilities you hadn’t previously considered.
In fact, service design has generated huge change in industries that aren’t typically associated with creativity. The Service Design Academy has worked with leaders and teams in national & local government, finance, education, insurance, health care and charities, empowering them to adopt a human centred perspective and make innovation a way of life.
Right now, we have a great opportunity to shape ourselves and our workplace for the future so that come the Spring, we’re ready to bloom and grow and welcome back the sunshine.
However, if you are tempted to think that your business is fine, relying on the same old strategies to deliver future success, remember the history of Blockbuster and Netflix.
Within the past decade, there isn’t a better example of a business that has pivoted based on customer preferences, wants, and needs, than Netflix. And there’s no better example of a business that didn’t, than Netflix’s competitor Blockbuster.
If you’re a child of the ’80s or ’90s, a trip to the Blockbuster video store was a staple ritual in planning your weekend entertainment.
The massive video rental chain was a one-stop shop where you could hire a video while picking up your popcorn and sweets to enjoy a cinematic experience in the comfort of your own living room.
At the height of its popularity in 2004, there were more than 9,000 Blockbuster stores around the globe with over 500 in the UK alone.
At that time Netflix was a service that delivered movies to customers direct by mail. Netflix’s model was innovative, but when cable companies started offering movies on demand, no one wanted to wait the delivery time when you could stream whenever you wanted.
How both companies responded to this market change defines the difference between traditional and agile business models. It’s also why business leaders must constantly engage with customers to stay relevant and drive innovation.
Blockbuster held on to its business model, by using service design, Netflix became an on-demand streaming site, facing up to the competition by meeting customer needs and expectations.
It didn’t stop there. Recognising the value of service design and design thinking to continuously improve its business model, Netflix encouraged teams to delight customers through new opportunities to drive better engagement and new revenue.
Netflix then quickly moved to create unique content, recognising that customers were hungry for better and more provocative content – series and movies that would never be shown on mainstream television – shows like Orange is the New Black, Dahmer, and Ozark.
Netflix changed again in 2016 completely rebuilding its interface to offer trailers that launched as the customer started scrolling, capturing customer attention from the second they landed, and doing away with still images or a series of posters.
They also leveraged AI and predictive analytics with “Because you watched …..” creating a unique experience for every viewer based on their viewing habits. This set customer expectations for every other entertainment company!
Every one of these innovations came from empathising with their customers, using service design to discover again and again, what every customer wants to experience when using the service.
In 2013, Blockbuster went into administration and by December that same year, and unable to find a buyer for the business, the remaining stores were closed. Netflix has 200 million customers worldwide.
That’s the power of service design.
Business transformation and creating a culture of innovation aren’t easy tasks. Fortunately, we have industry-leading resources that can help you. Our experts are constantly creating courses and tools to reimagine the business world as a more innovative, supportive place for everyone.
If you’re looking for a new approach to business challenges, intent on engaging with your communities, interested in learning how to innovate and problem-solve, or future proofing by becoming agile and flexible, our courses offer a hands-on, learn by doing insight into the process of service design. You’ll learn how it drives success, relaying stories from innovative organisations who have used service design and design thinking to gain a competitive advantage in their industries.
Our method is simple and scalable. Which is why we are the world’s first Service Design Network Accredited Organisation. If you’re ready to innovate and change the way you work, you can start today, and we can help you move quicker than you ever thought possible.
Nothing stands still, as the last few months have abundantly demonstrated. With the resignation of the Prime Minister, an increasingly turbulent business environment and the cost-of-living crisis, there is a prevailing sense of flux and uncertainty.
If we reflect on recent news events, there has been a series of very public and serious service failures. Whether it’s chaos at Heathrow, disruption on our public transport networks, reports of late or cancelled deliveries, patients waiting years to be discharged from hospitals, fire services unable to answers all their calls or hosepipe bans and drought – it is evident that service provisions are being pushed close to breaking point in several sectors across the UK economy.
This links closely to the results of the July 2022 UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) – a national benchmark of customer satisfaction covering 13 sectors and based on 45,000 customer responses. 17.3% of customers experienced a problem with an organisation, the highest level ever recorded in the UKCSI.
The cost to business of having to address poor customer service is an astounding £9.2bn per month. This shows how important the quality of the experience is – not just the product or price. The actual service experience really matters, as household and business budgets become more squeezed.
These issues have been building for some time. A well-worn phrase, but 100% true is: “the definition of madness is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results”. Yet some organisations are stuck in the status quo – continually aiming to treat the basic problems in the same way and hoping for a different outcome.
Despite these chaotic times those who stay true to their customer service principles will weather the storm and position themselves as leaders in their fields.
The reality is, with over £9bn in staff time wasted every month handling customer complaints – the business case for investing in service has already been made. Instead of cutting back, now is the time to be truly considering our long-term people and service strategies.
We can address these issues by investing in the right type of technology and people, but it is not one at the expense of the other. By undertaking the right training and development to ensure staff feel genuinely connected to the purpose of the organisation and able to act to improve the customer experience, organisations can not only enjoy better employee engagement and improved customer satisfaction, but also considerable productivity savings.
The summer months have given the team as SDA a chance to stop, reflect, and focus. It’s been our time for a re-set and re-think; genuinely adopting new and creative solutions and seeing service failures as an opportunity to learn strategically. From the challenges faced by our learners and customers, we’ve been discussing the importance of getting things right first time and of course the law of unintended consequences which can impact us all.
In planning our 22/23 training and education offering, we’ve been listening to our learners and customers through 121 meetings, calls, and feedback surveys. From this we are developing a streamlined, scheduled, and customised offering fit for the challenges and opportunities they’ll meet.
Our customers recognise that having a skilled workforce in these tough times to design services with the user at the heart will lead to satisfied customers and more efficiencies. This is reflected in growing demand with our Professional Development Award (PDA) selling out for August and new courses now being advertised for October 22 and January 23.
Find out more in our PDA Course Page
Does your organisation need a strategic pathway for growth and innovation, with service design as the foundation? Or do you need support yourself, as an aspiring or developing service designer, to drive the change needed?
Get in touch to arrange a chat. We’d love to help.
Changeworks is partnering with three housing associations to design an innovative new energy advice service for new tenants – with tenants themselves at its heart.
The project is being delivered in partnership with Changeworks, the Service Design Academy, Eildon Housing Association, Prospect Community Housing and West Granton Housing Cooperative. With the support of this new service, those moving into a new home will feel confident and secure in managing their energy and keeping their bills under control.
The innovate service design approach provides tenants with the opportunity to share their experiences and participate in the development of the new service. They will be joined by Housing Association staff members involved in managing tenant services, energy advisors and behaviour change specialists from Changeworks, and facilitators from the Service Design Academy.
The project is funded by the William Grant Foundation and Changeworks and aims to create a scalable service that ensures tenants are energy confident as they enter a new tenancy. Once the service design phase is complete, it will be piloted across Housing Association partners at Eildon, Prospect and West Granton.
Aidan Tracey, Low Carbon Communities Manager at Changeworks, said: “We know from our research that the majority of new tenants lack knowledge and skills to confidently manage their energy costs and ways to make their energy bills more affordable. This project will address this and design a service that creates energy confident tenants with the hope that it will prevent them falling into fuel poverty.
We wanted to ensure tenants were central in this process and involved at the key service design stages. We’re thrilled to be working with our partners at the Service Design Academy, Eildon Housing Association, Prospect Community Housing and West Granton Housing Cooperative to make that a reality.”
Katie Murrie, Lead Consultant at the Service Design Academy, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Changeworks on this valuable project. Using a service design process for this project will empower tenants to fully participate alongside key Housing Association staff and Energy Advisors to ensure a robust and scalable service is designed.”
If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact Aidan Tracey via email at email@example.com.
For our interactive presentation at this year’s SCVO The Gathering we focussed on Assumptions and Biases and how these impact on our daily decisions when we are thinking about the services we deliver for our communities.
The Gathering 2022 took place at Glasgow’s SEC on 15 and 16 June 2022, organised by SCVO, it’s the largest voluntary sector event in the UK. Over two days, amazing people from the voluntary sector and beyond came together to enjoy a packed programme of over 80 workshops, seminars, and training sessions.
2,000 delegates attended including voluntary sector staff, volunteers, board members and trustees from charities, social enterprises and community groups, politicians, academics and journalists, students, and members of the public.
SDA joined forces with our partners at the Scottish Digital Academy, yes, that’s 2 x SDA’s, we know right! We find it confusing too ?
Over 100 delegates heard from Dean Rhodes, Senior Agile Coach about the Digital Academy and its Enhanced Course Offer where they select partners to deliver courses where they lack expertise or the capacity to deliver programmes. The Service Design Academy is one of their key partners delivering Service Design education and training programmes.
Assumptions and Biases impact on our daily decisions. It’s something we cover in all our courses.
We used a technique called Breaking Down Assumptions and there was a great buzz in the room when we revealed our first assumption based persona was Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister! What’s the point of assumption-based personas? They let you see exactly what our brains do when presented with information and the biases we make and take from that information.
We explained that our biases are influenced by our:
and that these can get in the way of designing inclusive services. As Kat Holmes, Author of Mismatch : How Inclusion Shapes Design says, “the things we make reflect our biases”.
So how might we innovate to deliver better services for our communities?
If we take a co-design approach to designing services, we encompass various methods and communications which lead to meaningful participation in design.
Photos courtesy of Dean Rhodes on Twitter
User’s voice is at the heart of co-design, where engaging service users in developing and deciding on solutions that will affect them is essential to its success.
Through the power of User Research and Co-Design we can:
1 Reduce risk
2 Drive out inefficiency
3 Engage all stakeholders (removing biases and
4 Deliver Better Services
Thanks to everyone who signed up for, and attended our session, we look forward to continuing conversations with Scotland’s charities.
If you missed the session and would like a free copy of our slide deck please contact Maralyn Boyle
Welcome to a special news edition of SDA Insights. It’s your round-up of exciting things happening at SDA and some noteworthy items that have captured our attention in the wider Service Design world.
We know that your time is precious, so we’ll press on.
EduJam is back ……
In June Service Design Academy is a proud sponsor of EduJam, taking place live and in person at the wonderful V&A Dundee on the 10th, 11th and 12th of June.
If you’ve never jammed before………
A Jam is a creative space to explore ways to try out design-based approaches to problem solving, building networks. EduJam is inspired by GlobalJams and aims to provide an open and collaborative space for everybody passionate about the future of education. The Global Jams website tells you much more about the power of Jamming.
We’ll be joined by mentors including the founder of Global Jams, Adam St John Lawrence, co-author of “This is Service Design Doing” and visual facilitator Andy Du Vale of WorkVisible.
How can you get involved?
1. Take a look at our EduJam website to find more about the event.
2. Follow us @EduJamUK on Twitter and Instagram for live updates.
3. Book now. There are ticket options to suit every pocket and sponsorship of this event has ensured that your ticket price covers the cost of refreshments over the weekend. You can book your EduJam tickets now or please get in touch for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Service Design Academy Short Courses – in demand
Companies and individuals have been in touch enquiring about the next dates for our short courses in the summer. We’d like to find out from our community what works best for you.
You can read more about what to expect with Welcome to Service Design 1-day course and Service Design for Innovation and Impact 5-day course.
If you are ready to start your service design journey with our live and online courses please fill out the doodle poll below and we’ll be straight back in touch.
Anyone who expresses an interest will get a 15% discount when booking.
Inclusive And Accessible Design – Our new 2-day course is booking now 1st and 8th June – 10am – 4pm
This 2-day online introduction to Inclusive Design course has been developed and designed with industry experts and those experiencing barriers every day.
It’s perfect for any individual or group of colleagues to learn how a design approach can be used to improve the services, products, and experiences they deliver. Not only this but learners will leave with a plan to start to work more inclusively
You can read Inclusive and Accessible 2-day course information
You can book Eventbrite: Inclusive and Accessible Design 2-day course
Not quite what you need? Find out more and register interest in all Service Design Academy short courses
Co-creating an innovative and sustainable framework to support community led projects
We’re delighted to share our recent work with The Wood Foundation and Russell Anderson Development School (RADS) through the Service Design Network Case Study Library. You can find out how we facilitated the creation of a new framework for community led projects which connect, engage and support young people in new ways through sport.
Read Service Design Network RADS Case Study to find out more.
Scottish Public Sector: invitations for SDA to tender for service design training and education can now be made through Public Contract Scotland through the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) for Digital Technology Services Dynamic Purchasing System – Lot 1. This DPS is available for Scottish Government, Councils, Colleges and Universities, health, third sector and other public sector organisations.
Good Luck Rory
After a year of Kickstart work experience, Rory Mertes, our Digital and Marketing Assistant has moved on for new and exciting opportunities. The team wish Rory all the very best as he leaves his legacy of video resources we’ll continue to share. Ranging from the “Valued Voices” series to backgrounds on our courses, Rory has left a video record of SDA in action for us to build on.
Have a dip into the Service Design Video Library
Don’t forget to join over 1,000 subscribers of our Service Design Academy Youtube channel who watched nearly 6,000 hours of our content last month.
Professional Development Award Reflective Survey
Although we gather feedback regularly throughout learning labs and in 121s with our students to shape development and delivery of the course, we are keen to understand more about the longer-term impact from the course from students completing the course in the past 18 months.
We were delighted to receive a 100% 5 star rating from respondents on recommending Service Design Academy to colleagues.
The comments below reflect motivations, expectations and impact of the course.
When it came to asking for 3 words to describe the experience – this board says it all!
For more information about this survey or the Professional Development Award starting in August 2022 or January 2023, please get in touch email@example.com
Have a look at Professional Development Award in Service Design Information (including Rory’s video!)
Service Design Network Accreditation
We are delighted to announce that Service Design Academy has been awarded organisational accreditation by the Service Design Network for the next three years.
In 2020 we were the first SDN accredited organisation in the world, and this is now a strong validation and recognition by the Service Design Network of the developing authority and quality of Service Design Academy in the provision of the following services at a consistently high standard to offer service design training and consultancy.
As a result of a successful accreditation, Service Design Academy will be recognised and promoted as a high-quality partner of the SDN and the SDN Academy, joining an exclusive and esteemed international network of outstanding SDN accredited organisations.
We want to thank Birgit Mager and Carolina Corona for their support and look forward to working together to build a global community of changemakers.
Read Service Design Academy Accreditation blog to find out more.
Learning Fest 22
The Service Design Network’s first ever student led Learning Fest (SDNLF22) is on the 21st and 22nd May.
The SDNLF22 is an international virtual conference connecting the next generation of service designers. Open to all disciplines, our goal is to facilitate learning and push the boundaries of service design to foster growth, together in synergy.
To find out more and register SDNLF22 details and booking form.
Please do share and invite your colleagues to join our mailing list with Service Design Academy’s contact form
Please get in touch with any Service Design news you’d like us to share in our next issue firstname.lastname@example.org
It is easy to understand the direct impact of Customer Experience on business success. If a customer isn’t happy, it’s likely you’ll never see or hear from them again. But the relationship between happy employees and their impact on growth and business performance is less obvious.
Employee experience has never been so important for both employees and organisations.
We’re witnessing a generational change in the way we work and, in the employee/employer dynamic which we’ve only previously experienced following huge disruption, or industrial and technological revolutions. Now more than ever, preserving and protecting employee experience is a responsibility shared across the board and throughout leadership.
Designing a powerful employee experience isn’t simply a tick box exercise for the HR team, it can have a significant impact on many aspects of an organisation. Research from MIT Centre for Information Systems Research shows that companies with the best employee experiences see dramatic business benefits when they get employee experience right.
Companies who invest in Employee Experience, do four things, they:
1.Put people first
Start with an understanding of the people delivering a service, their needs, strengths, and aspirations
Recognise organisations as collections of human beings who are motivated by varying perspectives and emotions, they emphasise engagement, dialogue, and learning.
3.Collaborate and co-create
Work together and get inspired by what others are doing
4.Connect and Change
By involving staff in the definition of the problem and the development of solutions they garner a broad commitment to change.
It all starts with Design
Ultimately taking a service design approach to your employee experience will lead to noticeable benefits because developing great employee experiences isn’t a one size fits all approach people are different, companies are different and even in one business, roles and functions are different.
It is about treating people like people and understanding what detracts from people having a really positive experience at work whoever they are and whatever they are doing.
Interested in Designing your People Experience?
Check out https://www.sda.ac.uk/service-design-for-employee-experience/ or
Get in touch https://www.sda.ac.uk/contact/
INDUSTRY* Education, Third Sector, Health, Wellbeing and Sports.
The Challenge: The Wood Foundation wanted to support the creation of a new framework for community led projects which connect, engage and support young people in new ways through sport.
The Approach: A service design learning programme covering user research methods, ideation, prototyping, and implementation support built skills and capabilities to identify the needs of young people and radically re-think provision to co-design innovative new projects.
The Outcome: One charity re-designed their service provision, business planning & operations. Service Design provided space, process & an opportunity to reflect, reset and refocus on providing high quality support for young people in some of the worst areas of deprivation in Scotland.
The Impact: Pilot programmes included initiatives that enabled young people to connect with sport by providing appropriate clothing, mental health support, food education, young leaders, and work experience programmes, broadening the scope of support and the ages of young people involved.
Re-imagining funding and support opportunities
The Wood Foundation (TWF) has offered strong financial support for many years to the health, fitness, and wellbeing of young people in Aberdeen. Just one example is the Russell Anderson Development School (RADS). RADS provides quality fitness and health coaching to young people aged 4 -11 in one of Aberdeen’s most deprived areas. As well as increasing opportunities for exercise and encouraging healthy lifestyles, the coaching programme supports communication, social and life skills.
TWF recognised the opportunity for its support to evolve towards the development of more innovative and sustainable projects to meet the challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of young people in the community.
TWF wanted to develop and support a new framework of community- led projects that concentrates on what communities need, rather than dictating where funds will go or asking organisations to bid against each other for funding. They envisaged enabling collaboration and connection across the city for the benefit of young people.
By building the skills sets and capabilities of health and wellbeing partner organisations to fully meet the needs of young people in their communities, it is hoped that the partner organisations will collaborate, as well as involving their communities and team, on the co-design of new and innovative project proposals. Critically, they should build resilience through discovering new sources of sustainable income.
The Service Design Learning Experience
The Service Design Academy (SDA) worked with TWF to identify a shared problem statement, to connect partner organisations while learning the service design process. Five full days of interactive, engaging and impactful sessions were delivered online, for delegates, alongside representatives from TWF.
The sessions were designed to fully engage delegates with group work to encourage shared thinking and collaborative working. Service design principles influenced the workshop design positively with an equitable approach – all voices must be heard. The activities promoted group and independent discovery.
Embracing the learning for success
The process was much more than just training, it enabled delegates to practice service design tools on organisational problems, ideate solutions, develop, and test their ideas in an atmosphere that was conducive to collaboration rather than competition. RADS have
To support partner organisations SDA hosted individual data analysis and reflection meet-ups 4 weeks after the workshops. These allowed organisations to reflect on their time with SDA and start to formulate plans and proposals for funding to present and share.
This was an integral part of the process, that enabled SDA to identify where additional support was needed but also to gain invaluable feedback on delivery approaches, learning materials and facilitation
Service Design Outputs and Outcomes at RADS
RADS had taken the opportunity to stop, reflect and re-design their future services. They built service design into regular meetings, providing an equitable and creative space for the rest of the team to join the service design journey.
User research and the ideas generated were the catalyst required to drive change with purpose and momentum. RADS prepared a service journey map, co-created new “Pilot Light” initiatives and collectively ranked their priorities, planning each topic with a service design approach, even creating personalised service design tools inspired by their experience through the training.
A Business Model Canvas created a new proposal based on the acronym STEPS = Social, Thinking, Emotional, Physical Activity and School. This was a collaborative effort giving everyone input, including schools, teachers, young people, and families to design the best initiatives possible.
Radically improving and expanding service provision
Four months later, the impact of embedding service design across the organisation is clear.
RADS have completely changed the way that they work involving Trustees, volunteers, and coaches at a strategic level and giving their young volunteers a platform to grow in ability and confidence.
RADS work is targeted to focus on local areas with high deprivation levels, and their mission was never to gain new business but to radically improve and expand on their services. Service Design has allowed them to do this, but also identified those who require their support, but for whatever reason, were previously unable to take part.
Many of these children have very little “discipline” and family guidance to attend after school clubs, RADS are delighted that they will have a purpose and a means of “getting young people off the streets” and into meaningful and impactful programmes.
SDA consultants supported different learning styles, were mindful of differing levels of comfort and experience that the delegates had collaborating remotely. The skills, expertise and lived experience from the delegates contributed to the workshop outcomes. The collaborative processes created an environment where everyone had a role to play in innovation and improvement, a new culture that allowed people to imagine alternatives and allowed them to come to fruition.
– Facilitating collaborative working across organisations, previously seen as ‘competitors’, helped to solidify their common goal and created a network of allies to provide support across their shared area of work.
– Improved relationships with schools.
– Gained a huge confidence boost, especially regarding creativity.
– Adapting and collaborating much better as a team.
– Have engaged in new partnerships
Katie Murrie, SDA Lead Consultant
Claire Hartley, SDA Consultant
Are you motivated by the desire to make work better? Would you love to have a toolkit to help you lead the way? Well, we have some exciting news – the Service Design Academy has launched 5 new courses designed for purpose-driven people like you in the buzzing arena of Service Design.
Design skills are becoming increasingly essential for careers in any sector. No matter your role or your organisation, you can apply a human-centred design thinking approach at work. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re just hearing the term for the first time, or you’re a seasoned veteran looking to enhance your skillset.
What is Service Design?
When we started the Service Design Academy, practically every conversation started with this question. Luckily the world has changed a lot since. What hasn’t changed is our belief that service design has the potential to transform entire organisations and markets. We say that:
Service Design is the practical and creative application of design tools and methods, with the goal to develop or improve services. It is the activity of orchestrating people, infrastructure, communication, and material components of a service to create value for all stakeholders involved, build a distinctive customer experience, and maximise business potential.
Service Design is Set of Tools
Service Design gives you the tools to explore possible problems and opportunities.
Service Design is a Process
Service Design is a structured process that provides grip at the uncertainty and fuzziness of the innovation process. It’s a cross-disciplinary language with the customer at its centre, Service Design creates a silo-breaking language and stimulates collaboration between people and departments.
Good Service Design is Inclusive Design
Design should always be judged by whether or not it achieves an inclusive environment. Design which does not do this is not good enough. Good design should reflect the diversity of people who use it and not impose barriers of any kind.
Take Care of your Employees and they’ll take Care of your Customers
The secret to employee experience is treating your employees like your best customer and giving them the same great experiences. In turn, they’re more likely to provide better customer service. Research has shown that engaged employees positively impact customer experience, and we know experience impacts engagement.
We have an excellent track record of designing courses for business. Courses can be customised and delivered privately for your organisation.