I was fortunate enough to have spent my weekend at the Global Service Jam organised in Glasgow by the excellent Snook, a service design company aimed at transforming people and services in the public sector. The event brought people of various professional backgrounds together to share and grow ideas for services over a single common theme – hidden treasure – and set the challenge to develop and evidence the value of their service in 48 hours!
What a thoroughly exciting event, and it has great potential moving forward in promoting and exposing what service design is all about to professionals and public alike. I was fortunate to land myself in a really impressive group of individuals and look back with great respect for what the team managed to achieve. We began with the notion of hidden treasure being the positive work of a secret society and set forth a challenge of modernising protest. Check out our project ‘The Butterfly Effect’.
The process also highlighted how design thinking and service design truly overlap. The open-ended brief, short timeframe and intensity of idea generation and prototyping all demanded sharp-focused user research and clarity in group thinking to facilitate swift decision-making. The premise being promoted by the event demanded more ‘doing than talking’, which I believe was spot on advice for progressing each idea. ‘Talking’ is an activity that many designers are guilty of indulging in through an intellectualisation of design practice for generations and has left behind a stain of scepticism around design as a result. An important factor I’d want to add though is that the ‘doing’ has to influence the group ‘thinking’ in order to progress in a meaningful way. The common thread of service design and design thinking is about connecting a clarity and progression of thinking through engaging and empathic action and understanding.
I’d like to offer a big well done to everyone at Global Service Jam in Glasgow, and all the other events that were delivered around the world. This really captures the spirit of the potential design has to offer and I really believe this is only the beginning of what influence Global Service Jam could have in revealing the value and potential of design to a wider audience. Until GSJ13…