Thursday, December 20, 2012

DD+D is Featured in Outside In Book

DD+D work with McDonald's is featured in Foresster Research's latest book Outside In. p.111

The author's six disciplines of a mature customer experience organization provide a basis for the book. Each discipline is its own chapter covering:
Strategy, Customer Understanding, Design Measurement, Governance, and Culture.
It's a great read!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

McDonald's and DD+D " Working Together"

DD+D's Byron and Jeff Pollard, Director Experience Design for McDonald's global team presented,
"Showing Customers (and Employees) We Care" ,
at the 2012 Compete Through Service Symposium, at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix A.Z. this month.

For more info on this amazing Symposium - Center for Service Leadership  at A.S.U  W.P. Carey

The Presentation:"Showing Customers (and Employees) We Care"

McDonald’s Chief Restaurant Officer has a favorite saying, “It’s not real until it’s real in the restaurant.” The path to making service experience real at McDonald’s has had many twists and turns and is still in its early days as a formal practice. We’re excited to share how service culture has been cultivated over the years at McDonald’s and how we’ve employed tools from the disciplines of theater and design and are collaborating with innovators in the service design community to have a positive impact on our business. And it wouldn’t be “real” if we didn’t have an embodied employee persona performance thrown in for good measure!

Symposium's Blog Post on our Presentation:

Showing Customers (and Employees) We Care McDonald’s has worked hard to adopt a service innovation culture. They do this by utilizing a theatre of service design. They make service design real through brainstorming, modeling, and then simulation testing. They measure the value of service design changes and continue to move service design forward. With each new service design change, they get feedback from real employees on new innovations.
The Experience Design team started as three people in the customer experience division. The division utilizes a number of out-of-the-box methods to help employees continually improve the customer experience.
For example, employees go to an improv coach to learn different ways to greet the customer, give them their order, and generally interact with the customer.

Theatrical traditions are built upon sound principles and exercises that promote:

The organization Dramatic Diversity + Design works with companies, including McDonald’s, on different aspects of the customer service experience: Design Empathy – What barriers do the designers have? How do we break through them? Bodystorming/Design Improvement – Try things out, see how they feel. Personas – Bringing customers and their everyday ‘data’ to life, rather than just on a piece of paper. Performance Testing – Does the product/service work the way we imagined it would? Making Products Considerate – what characteristics do we want this product to have? With these tools, McDonald’s designers and employees can ensure that they are delivering the very best customer service experience possible. For more information about Dramatic Diversity + Design, visit:

The video below  "Working Together"  is an example of what we're helping McDonald's (US and Global teams ) work toward.
A great customer and Employee experience!

Service design and employee cocreation

Monday, October 29, 2012

Packaging Design at Columbia College

Byron recently lead a Services Theatre and Branding workshop for Columbia College’s Packaging Design Class.

Packaging Design Class:
The primary goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the process of Packaging Design as it relates to both graphic and structure. All of the students projects are developed in the context of a brand (either new or existing) and are created to fulfill a user need or a specific marketing objective.

The students projects cover:
  • Defining the problem
  • Understanding and defining the user
  • Understand their brand
  • And developing a design direction through a variety of methods - prototyping testing and design iterations

The class was 4hrs.

The Services Theatre model develped by Dr. Raymond Fisk
Dr. Stephen Grove and Dr. Mary Jo Bitner was used as the foundation of the workshop.

Here's what the students had to say about our Services Theatre approach:

"It helped us understand our project more than just researching it."

" I really like how we went through different brands to compare them in their services"

"The exercises really enabled us to understand the barns and the consumer needs for the brand."

"The enthusiasm really kept my attention and kept me interested."

"It invited you to become a part of an interaction. It was entertaining and because of that , it made the information easier to absorb and remember."

"It was very helpful to hear the presentation the comparisons to theatre really helped me to see the situation of buying service or a product in a different light.  Also the feedback after the acting section helped me see things that I was portraying about the brand subconsciously."

It's a good method to connect to the company and the client."

"Fun, interesting , and helpful!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

DD+D Published in Touchpoint Journal

My article, "Call Me a Cab! But first…” -- which discusses principles and techniques drawn from Method acting and diversity and inclusion training can benefit service designers.-- was published in the latest issue of the Service Design Network's Touchpoint Journal.

Touchpoint Vol. 4 No. 2 focuses on the connection between service design and the performing arts. Services and performing arts have many things in common: both are ephemeral, made up of processes, depend on people to fulfill a variety of tasks which add up to a bigger picture, and both are planned with the help of tools such as storyboards, scenarios and customer journeys... In this issue of Touchpoint the main goal is to have a look at those processes which can be applied or transferred from the one field on to the other.

Check out the preview and have a look at the cover and table of contents here

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Service Design and User Experience: Same or Different?

What are the differences and similarities between Service Design and User Experience?
This video does an excellent job of answering this question.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ready, Set, Go at Northwestern University

Byron taught the "Ready" sessions of this year's Ready, Set, Go program at Northwestern University .
Ready, Set, Go is an intensive summer workshop designed to improve the oral communication and presentation skills of graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Get Ready: Build stage confidence through improv and theater.

Get Set: Learn to customize your research story for any audience.

Go: Showcase your skills in an interdisciplinary colloquium.

Here  is a link to the NU program

The Northwestern program is modeled after a program originated by Stony Brook University's Center for Communicating Science where Alan Alda (Mash) ran the "Ready" section.

Here is a video of his work which I adapted for our program.

Some of the feedback:

“Byron came to Northwestern University to work with graduate students as part of a professional development building program aimed at improving the communication skills of PhD scientists and researchers. Through group instruction and individual coaching, Byron's keen eye for details and humorous presentations enabled the class to both have a terrific time and gain valuable insight in the changes needed to improve their research presentations to a variety of audiences. All of the students surveyed stated how successful the sessions were, and how much fun they had - many doing so in a setting that was outside of their typical comfort zone. This only happened because Byron has such an engaging personality and talent for recognizing the small changes that individuals can make to vastly improve their stage presence and presentation skills. Byron is professional, fun, and an excellent teacher and coach. I highly recommend his work.”
Michelle Paulsen ·Program Director at Northwestern University

Thursday, May 17, 2012

DD+D Goes to Helsinki Finland!

 Byron has been invited to present an interactive lecture as part  of  World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 events. The presentation is June 7th. 2012 in Helsinki. The presentation is titled,Theatre + Design.

The audience will be a mix of SME-small business owners, designers and improv actors from Helsinki's Stella Polaris improv troupe. The actors will perform as part of the presentation.

The event is funded by TEKES Funding Agency , Finland.

Here is the event Flyer

Here is the press release:

The way we go about creating new products and services is changing.
There is a move to focus on the customer-centric or human-centric aspects of design.
This change, along with increasing complexity in available technologies and experiences, make it imperative that SMEs’ and designers have an empathetic perspective.  Customers compare companies – no matter what industry they are in-against firms like Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Disney that are known for customer centricity.  As a tool for modeling human interactions, theatre is inexpensive, fast and flexible.  Theatrical techniques and acting methodology can help support building that empathetic perspective when infused into the design processes and aligned with business goals.  The Theatre + Design lecture will review what’s needed for SME’s, design firms, and theatre + based design consultants to work together to create business value and great customer experiences.  

Byron will also be a guest participant at the Fennia Awards while he's in Finland.

Here's a post presentation review and link more to come

“Byron is inspiring, endorsing and a true professional regarding the use of applied theatre  in design thinking. He has a great personality and ability to encourage people to think out-of-the-box.” Merja Salonen Tekes Funding Agency, Helsinki Finland July 2, 2012

Tekes Link

I had the opprotunity to meet Vessa Kantola while in Helsinki. Vessa has been a leader in the area of theatre and design.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Personas and Prototyping with IxDA Chicago

DD+D will be one of the speakers for this month's IxDA event -"Personas and Prototyping" at SymphonyIRI Group.

Here is the event description :

What makes a persona useful? What are your expectations for them, and how do you prepare your team so they function? How much research is enough? How many personas do you remember? Are some of them like stock photographs, and others like a Weegee news photo?

They are a waste of time & money if they are not memorable; your clients should be able to refer to them by name sooner and later.
Charles will share some strategies & examples of paper personas that worked, Byron will talk about work with McDonald's and embodied personas and may demonstrate. Shailesh will talk about techniques he used to quickly understand the users of Air NewZealand's Economy SkyCouch.

Event Speakers:
Charles Field - Vice President of User Experience at Symphony IRI
Byron Stewart - Owner Design Lead DD+D
Shailesh Manga - Director User Centric

For more info Personas and Prototyping IxDA

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Desgin The New Business

Great video on design especially Service Design!
Please take a look and let me know what you think.
Is this possible is the U.S.?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chicago Service Jam '12 Registration is Now Open

DD+D will host the Chicago Service Jam again this year!
What's a Service Jam?

On Friday February 24th, people in nearly 50 cities around the world will be getting together over 48 hours for the second Global Service Jam. Working with a shared theme, we will design and rapid-prototype services. It will be a chance to learn more about service design and service design techniques… by ‘doing’. We’ll be uploading the results onto the Global Service Design HQ Hub… and all the designs will be presented to the world!

The Chicago Service Design Jam Host Byron Stewart invites Chicago area non-profit professionals, designers, marketers, managers, researchers, creatives, entrepreneurs, academics, and students to participate in this global experience. Come work with and learn from our amazing Team of Design Coaches and from each other.

Want to learn more about Service Design?

Want to practice your service design skills?

Then this Jam is for you!

The Details
Friday, February 24th through Sunday, February 26th. 2012

Time: Starting 5:30pm Friday, February 24th. until 4:00pm Sunday February 26th. 2012

Host Location: We are proud to announce that Northwestern University’s Segal Design Institute and Design For America are sponsors for the Jam and will be providing our Jam space for the weekend.
The Jam will be on
Northwestern University’s Evanston Campus
Seabury Seminary
600 Haven St.
Evanston, IL. 60201

Register Here Today!
Space for only 20 participants.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

This Is Service Design Thinking: Deconstructing a Textbook

I recently completed reading, and this is Service Design Thinking and had pleasure of meeting one of the editors Marc Stickdorn at the Service Design Network Conference'11 (he was also a presenter at the conference). We talked about the use of theatre in the field of service design . With chapter sections titled "What If..?" and "Service Staging" Marc's book explores the use of and place for theatre in this new field of service design.

Here is a very comprehensive review of the book we found. This book is a must read for anyone interested in service design.

“This Is Service Design Thinking
… is likely to become the quintessential service design textbook for students, educators, and professionals alike.”If you’re like me, you have a mini-library of those user experience books that are most meaningful to you. No, not the ones hidden away on your eReader, reminding you of their presence only when you see their titles on the screen. Rather, I’m referring to those tangible books, sitting on your office bookshelf or on a side table at home. Perhaps some remind you of the time when you first entered the field of user experience, wanting to absorb everything about the topic. Or maybe everyone raves about a book as being seminal to the user experience discipline, but you keep the fact that you’ve never read it a secret. Regardless of why you have them, where they live, or how much you recall of their content, these books are important to who you are as a UX professional.

I’ve recently finished reading what is now the latest addition to my own professional mini-library: This Is Service Design Thinking, by Marc Stickdorn, Jakob Schneider, and numerous collaborators and co-authors. This book is likely to become the quintessential service design textbook for students, educators, and professionals alike. In this column, I’ll share highlights from the book, along with some of my own interpretations, and tell you why you should add this book to your own personal collection.

Defining Service Design: Establishing a 5-Principle Framework“Service design truly is an amalgamation of disciplines, including product design, graphic design, operations management, and, of course, interaction design.”The authors of This Is Service Design Thinking refreshingly call attention to the fact that no concrete definition of service design exists. Instead of attempting to summarize service design in a neat, mission-statement-like paragraph, Stickdorn and Schneider show how service design truly is an amalgamation of disciplines, including product design, graphic design, operations management, and, of course, interaction design. Service design does not pretend to be the new kid on the block—different from everything that’s come before. On the contrary, service design relies on various existing methods, tools, deliverables, and processes, as well as the expertise of many in these interdisciplinary fields to do it right.

What the authors do provide is a list of the basic principles of service design—as a framework for working in service design. This is where synergies and opportunities for the user experience and interaction design disciplines become apparent.

Services should be user centered. They should be “experienced through the customer’s eyes.” Unquestionably, this first principle is where UX professionals can influence the field of service design the most. Considering the customer is fundamental to any work we do. However, I see placing the emphasis on being simply user centered rather than people centered as a missed opportunity. As the authors’ second principle explains, service design is co-creative—that is, “all stakeholders should be included in the service design process.” It’s critical to consider all constituents who are part of a service—including managers, back-office employees, front-office employees, designers, and programmers—and design interactions through their interactive and participatory engagement in the process. Therefore, implying that the customer is at the center of the experience may put unequal weight on their needs during design, when we should consider everyone’s needs equally.

“Services should be user centered. … This first principle is where UX professionals can influence the field of service design the most. Considering the customer is fundamental to any work we do.”Sequencing is the visualization of a service “as a sequence of interrelated actions” and documenting the individual process steps and touchpoints that comprise a service experience. Evidencing is the visualization of “intangible services … in terms of physical artifacts.” Evidencing makes visible to customers the elements of a service that help them to proceed optimally through the service experience, appreciate the intricacies of the service and exhibit loyalty. The authors use the example of the folded toilet paper in hotel rooms as an example of subtle, but effective evidencing of a hotel’s housekeeping service.

Experience design professionals often integrate sequencing and evidencing into their work. For example, creating user scenarios and flow diagrams for the experience of interacting with a mobile application is a form of sequencing. Making behind-the-scenes processes visible—like the wait time for loading a video—is an example of evidencing. However, as much as experience design aspires to be all inclusive, it often focuses solely on the digital world, so its opportunity for impact becomes stifled.

This is where the fifth principle of service design becomes most relevant: service design is holistic and “the entire environment of a service should be considered.” As the authors advise: “Genuinely working in a holistic way is an illusion, it is simply impossible to consider every single aspect of a service. However, the intention should always be to see the wider context in which a service process takes place.” They continue by explaining that “the system design of an organization, its inherent culture, values and norms as well as its organizational structure and processes are important issues for the design of services … [and] can help promote a service mindset within the organization and to articulate the importance of employee and customer motivation.”

As an advocate for simplicity, I’d like to further coalesce the five principles of service design that the book presents. Service design places importance on

people—both customers and service providers
participatory, ethnographic processes and approaches
tangible, visualized design artifacts
The remainder of This Is Service Design Thinking covers the following topics in discreet sections:

Who are service designers?What is the process that service designers follow?
What are examples of tangible deliverables, tools, and case studies that result from the service design process?
Who Are Service Designers? “Professionals leverage their own unique discipline to provide the necessary perspective to address a service-related problem….”In their book, the authors leverage articles that subject-matter experts from seven different disciplines have written: product, graphic, interaction, and social design; strategic and operations management; and design ethnography. And they admit that their list of disciplines is not exhaustive. Each article details a point of view (POV) or case study that illustrates how a discipline contributes to service design. The phrase contributing to is critical; people in these diverse disciplines do not claim that they should necessarily own the full set of processes, activities, and deliverables of service design. Rather, these professionals leverage their own unique discipline to provide the necessary perspective to address a service-related problem at hand. For example, graphic designers may develop an intuitive wayfinding and signage system to support visitor navigation at a trade fair, or product designers may work with an elevator company on concepts to help improve the efficiency and flow of people in a shopping mall.

Future Service Designers“Service design is in its infancy as a discreet discipline, and applications of it beyond academia are only beginning to surface.”While service designers can impact services from a bottom-up, contributory perspective, the unfortunate truth is that impacting services from the perspective of top-down accountability in an organization—whether strategically or operationally—won’t be easy.

As the authors write, “So why is it that … bad service is still around us? Let’s face it, managers and not necessarily service designers usually make decisions about the level of investment in service concepts…. The ‘production line approach to services’ identified in 1972 still represents the ‘ideal’ service design, whether fast food, customer service in a call centre, or surgical operations. In the abstract view, a service is a machine, which can be reduced to systems, machines and employees and customers that can be treated ‘as if’ they were machines too.”

After reading This Is Service Design Thinking, I believe an important question to explore is: Who will own service design in the future? Service design is in its infancy as a discreet discipline, and applications of it beyond academia are only beginning to surface. As service design becomes a more formal, applied discipline, the necessary skills service designers must have to own—and not just contribute to—service design include being a generalist, with sufficient appreciation of the diverse disciplines that are necessary for service-design success to know how and when solving a problem requires their expertise
enough business acumen to understand and influence strategic and operations managers regarding the importance of designing the service experience—and achieving the aforementioned holistic goals
exemplary interpersonal, communication, facilitation, and management skills

The Service Design Process and Tools “The service design process … is …meant to provide an overall framework within which service designers can work, but allow significant flexibility for iterative problem solving and the creation of multiple design concepts.”Using the words process and tools may imply some rigidity in the approach service designers use in their work. On the contrary, the service design process that the authors outline is high level and fluid by design—and meant to provide an overall framework within which service designers can work, but allow significant flexibility for iterative problem solving and the creation of multiple design concepts. Using tools to define a service design solution quickly and obtain an answer is less important than choosing a process that allows rigorous and validated exploration. The questions are what is key.

Stage 1: Exploration The first phase in a service design project involves understanding the culture and organization from the perspective of the customer, identifying the real design problem at hand through various tools and ethnographic approaches, then visualizing your findings and making service issues and opportunities real and tangible, so you can tackle them.

Stage 2: Creation After problem definition and insight gathering, the creation phase begins with service ideation and concept generation. As the authors humorously describe, service designers love their Post-it notes, primarily because of how they allow iterative, quick thought processes to flow. The creation phase is when you want to be exploring as many potential mistakes as possible rather than trying to avoid them. And you want to involve all groups of people who are part of the service experience in the creation process, including customers, stakeholders, and employees.

Stage 3: Reflection “What’s challenging about service design—as opposed to digital or product design, for example—is prototyping a service experience and all of its nuances effectively.”During the reflection stage, you evolve your visualized concepts from the creation phase, in the form of prototypes, and test them. What’s challenging about service design—as opposed to digital or product design, for example—is prototyping a service experience and all of its nuances effectively. For example, imagine trying to prototype the service interactions of a pharmacy experience, ensuring that you include all of the elements that are critical to effective service design. Merely providing customers and employees with a brief concept description or storyboard simply won’t do the whole service justice. Instead, service designers use practices and artifacts from the theater—scripts, role-playing, props, scenery—to create as realistic a service design prototype as possible.

Stage 4: Implementation Implementation in service design is less about building an application and more about the change management that is necessary for people to effectively introduce and operationalize a redesigned service. The keys to effective service change management are having included the same people throughout all of the earlier stages socializing the various service design deliverable and artifacts that help communicate the elements of the new service.

Tool Highlights“While many [service design] tools are very similar to those UX professionals use to garner insights about a target audience and enable them to begin requirements definition, … they are broader in perspective and scope.”If you were to purchase This Is Service Design Thinking for no other reason, the crowdsourced and exhaustive set of service design tools it offers may be value enough. While many of these tools are very similar to those UX professionals use to garner insights about a target audience and enable them to begin requirements definition—such as personas, customer journey maps, contextual interviews, shadowing, and scenarios—they are broader in perspective and scope.

For example, during service safaris, a researcher essentially does an expert review of the service experience from the perspective of the customer, not unlike using heuristics to walk through a digital experience. The difference is that the digital experience would be just one component of an overall service experience that includes broader interactions with other service elements such as front-office staff and other customers. Similarly, customer journey maps assume cross-channel touchpoints rather a single channel experience—for example, a digital experience.

Service staging and service role-playing employ theatrical techniques to physically act out the service experience and find opportunities to improve it. Encouraging employees to play the role of the customer and vice versa can elicit the softer, emotional insights to which it’s important that you be sensitive as you’re designing services—for example, customers’ impatience during wait times or indecision over their menu selections. Applying these methods to an experience design project could help your stakeholders to be more empathetic to the target audience, leading to more complete adoption of your design recommendations.

How Is Service Design Really Different From Experience Design? “How service designers execute these principles and methods and the breadth of their potential scope and impact differentiates service design from experience design.”One could argue that experience designers follow the principles of service design—and use its processes and tools as well. If, as a designer, you do, and you’re achieving organizational and customer impact across all touchpoints, it doesn’t matter whether you call yourself an experience designer or a service designer—as long as that impact occurs. After all, service design has its roots in user experience and interaction design, among other disciplines.

But how service designers execute these principles and methods and the breadth of their potential scope and impact differentiates service design from experience design. Simply giving the business and technology teams an opportunity to provide feedback on your designs is not co-creation, and doing just digital design is not experience design. Moreover, the service design approach is likely to be more successful in achieving holistic impact within organizations because of its emphasis on co-creation and focusing on employees, stakeholders, and service providers as much as on the user or customer.

Parting Thoughts“The meaning of This Is Service Design Thinking extends beyond its covers and the ideas of its co-authors.”Through the lens of This Is Service Design Thinking, I’ve taken the opportunity to dive deeper into service design as a field. This book will likely become the go-to resource for educators, students, and professionals. Although I hope I’ve done its content justice, I’ve not yet spoken about the book itself as a manifestation of a service. The authors followed a co-creation process involving contributors, teachers, students, designers, and readers in its design. From evaluating good and bad textbook designs to crowdsourcing content to soliciting in-progress feedback on the book’s design, the meaning of This Is Service Design Thinking extends beyond its covers and the ideas of its co-authors. Much post-publication discussion, critique, and ongoing feedback continue. Similarly, I welcome future discussion about this column, to continue co-creating what service design means and exploring its synergies with experience design.

By Laura Keller
Published: September 19, 2011