20 December 2013
Jesse Grimes
Jesse Grimes
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Service Design Network 2013 Global Conference

Presentation highlights

In late November, the Service Design Network held its sixth annual global conference, in Cardiff (UK). A record number of attendees (480+) spent two days in the eye-catching Wales Millennium Centre, listening to presentations, attending workshops, networking and meeting conference exhibitors. Videos and presentations from nearly all the talks are now freely available online.

The theme of the conference was “Transformation Through Service Design,” and the talks and workshops addressed both the hot-topic themes (big data, the value of CX), as well as more niche ones (real-world, fearless service prototyping).

Several in-depth write-ups of the conference have been posted by attendees:

However here’s our hand-picked selection of some of the most interesting talks from Cardiff:

The Service Design Imperative by Nick Leon, Royal College of Art (UK) (video | presentation)

“Service Design is the application of design practice to the other 80% of the economy. It demands new skills, tools and techniques, perhaps even a rethinking of what we mean by design itself. Designing product service systems and the business models that enable them, means crossing boundaries between design disciplines, business and technology. It means changing the processes and practices not only of designers but how firms innovate and organize themselves. This isn’t easy as we share different working practices and cultures, but, it’s essential, for service designers, if we are to collaborate or even lead innovation. Innovative service systems can create rich and integrated customer experiences – delivering real social and economic value, opportunities for self-expression, and bring meaning to peoples’ lives, as well as to the world we share. We live in extraordinary times, a perfect storm faces us; the environment and climate change, an aging demographic, pressure on resources, rapid urbanization and issues of social and economic exclusion. These systemic issues need a systemic design response and that’s the role of service design if we are ready to take up that challenge and responsibility.”

Go Deep or Go Home by Joel Bailey, Capita (UK) (video | presentation)

“Service design has passed the tipping point. We are no longer the next big thing, we are the thing. So now we have to deliver on the promise of transformational change. To get out of the pilot stage and onto the big stage. And to do that we have to be willing to go deeper and further than many of us our comfortable. In this provocative talk at this year’s Service Design Network Conference I’ll draw on my experience dragging service design to the edge of its comfort zone, to transform services as diverse as British Army Recruitment, TV Licensing, O2 and Barnet Borough Council, and explore what skills we all need to develop to carry the industry forward.”

From Shifting Tin to Taming Transaction by Andy Jones, Xerox (UK) (video | presentation)

“Xerox has an iconic history of innovation. They lead in their experience of transformation from a conventional high tech manufacturer to a services business. This presentation will describe how creating new revenue from their services business model has been key to continued success.”

Design in Real Time by Lydia Jones, IDEO (UK) (video | presentation)

“In a world of Kickstarter, pop-up shops, and startups that live in beta, how might service designers develop our own live prototypes? By taking service design out of the studio and into street, we’re discovering tools that make us both more more agile and more rigorous. Today, we’ll share some of IDEO’s lessons – about experimentation, creative confidence, and launching to learn.”

From Products to Services by Paul Thurston & Andy Mudie, PDR/Nuair (UK) (video | presentation)

“What happens when a traditional product business ventures into the world of service provision? To better understand the value of service design in traditional manufacturing businesses PDR set out to build a support programme that would stimulate the local economy and help businesses build a service design capability. Nuaire are one company that have benefited from this program and will jointly present a recent project with PDR, providing insight into the value of service design from an established manufacturing business.”

For those wishing to find more videos, this page from Putting People First lists the conference agenda, with links to the bios and synopses for the talks. Further videos can be found on the SDN YouTube channel.

The author

Jesse Grimes is member of the SDN management board and editor of the Service Design Network’s journal Touchpoint. He has twelve years experience as an interaction designer and consultant, now specializing in service design. He has worked in London, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf and Sydney, and is now based in The Netherlands with Dutch design agency Informaat.

Service design (39)

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