Tuesday, 28 July 2009

a bit of travelling this winter in Scandinavian area

Got a bit planning going on - just to relax my fingures from writing...

Am off to Oslo for the conference 24-26, and will be spending 23th -28th there... gotta enjoy the city, don't I?

And I also got a really lovely invitation from Katarina Wetter Edman to visit the Service Research Center - CTF at Karlstad University... excited! So spending two days there will be my plan.

After Karlstad, I quite fancy heading to Stockholm and maybe spend 4-5 days there, just wondering around the Christmas markets!

So basically I have about 3 days free in Oslo and 4-5 days free in Stockholm…

To be honest, I don’t know these areas quite well, so any of you have suggestions of must-visit-places? Or even another invitation to show me around your place?

Definitely would love to make some new friends as well ;-]

Got another invitation to visit Fabian Segelström in Linköping - this journey is becoming more and more exciting now!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

people centered design - a bit discovery

just found this very informative blog:

First time I came across the term 'people centered design' was in the conference in Beijing, I think one of the presenter was talking about the different among co-design, participantry design, user centered design, people centered design and a lot of other weird-named design approaches... well, this reminds me that I haven't got the time to read through that really thick conference procedings yet... eh... more readings, more readings...

Monday, 13 July 2009

Thesis Outline ver2

Here is an update of the thesis outline, after a really helpful chat with my dear supervisors.

We had a in-depth discussion on Research Questions: what are they for in a thesis - I mean after I have done all that research, it is not simply where I started, it is somehow where I will end up going back to discuss in the final chapter as well. I, guess as well as many PhD researchers, started with a huge research question collection in the first year into the research, then we somehow end up focusing down a bit in order to concentrate our energy in actually carrying out some sort of actions to find out answers to some of the questions – well, whether we find the answer is another story yet. But when it comes to write up, it is about telling the story of this journey of finding, which means the research question here serves a different purpose. Somehow we are post-rationalize our research and try to make sense of it with very limited time and materials as we could manage to achieve in three years of learning-by-doing. It doesn’t mean that the answers we could find shapes the questions, but they do influence how we select the research questions to present in a 80,000 words thesis.

As I sign posted in this image, the literature give birth to research questions, so when we write up, each piece of literature we quoted has an aim and the findings point at the questions, which then will be structured and lead to Research Design – sometimes called the methodological approach in some thesis. The findings answer a selected group of these question collection, the discussion structure the answers again. So in terms of writing, it is very likely that we actually start from the answers and return to the questions – not that we invent research questions along the way, we select and refine them. The criteria is that they are important, they are relvant and they are interesting to read!

Any writing is about telling a story, sometimes we can start from the end of the story rather than from the start.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

PhD Thesis & Originality

I spent the whole day re-structuring my thesis outline. Here is a taste of the result:

I was told that writing up process is tough, but I have a really ambitious deadline and am still confident in achieving it. I felt very lucky that I have friends to discuss different views and progress about writing up ‘the big book’. The other day, Lauren and I talked about the originality of a PhD in our email exchanges. To be honest, I have never really seriously think of ‘protecting’ my thinking or my PhD progress – tell me that I am wrong and maybe I am! But I do consciously select things that I would like to tell in this blog, simply because I don’t want to cause misunderstanding due to the immaturity in my thinking. Originality in a topic like Service Design seems to be easier, compared with working in a well-established knowledge, as the theoretical models and concepts are relatively underdeveloped, and most importantly people are more open to new suggestions and research approaches. My understanding of originality is that if you can *prove* that your thesis is original then it is fine. I mean we all know that our research question and its landscape changes, especially in a project lasted for 2-3 years it’s almost impossible that no other individual in the world, at certain point, had a similar idea to what we are doing. But our literature review suggests our originality of the inquires, our empirical studies ensure the originality of our findings. Nobody knows my research better than me. Even if there are others out there doing similar research, there is always something original about all these works. We just need to be confident enough to claim it and work hard enough to prove it. After all, PhD is a learning process as well as a research process, we are not working towards Nobel Prize level breaking throughs…

Well, I don’t really know what I am saying here is right or wrong… if you have done a PhD already, maybe it would be great to hear what you say about this matter.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Re-public's special issue: Innovative Service Design for All

I got a paper published on Re-public's special issue of their online journal: Innovative Service Design for All. The title of my article is 'Mind the Gap: Theories and practices in managing stakeholders in the service design process'.

All the articles are very interesting, two draws my attention especially:

Nicola Morelli's 'Beyond the experience: In search of an operative paradigm for the industrialisation of services' , which talks about the industrialisation of services in the public sector. Morelli says:
"The process of building the service starting from the customers’ experience can
be compared with a process of reverse engineering of such experience. The
experience is de-composed in elementary modules. A set of competences, knowledge and technologies is associated to each of those modules. [...] The
disaggregation of service systems in modular structures makes it possible to
shift the production process for those services from a centralised and vertical
logic to a decentralised and horizontal one."
This is very true in some of my case study experience, and also interestingly ties into the three themes of my findings: People, Process and Knolwedge. although mine still needs a bit thought-through ;-]

Soumitri Varadarajan proposed a design for the new university design programme of Service Design in India. A nice piece to read if you have the ambition to set up Service Design programme in your own university or maybe like what we do here in Dundee - integrate the elements of Service Design into the teaching of all kinds of design courses.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Service Design reading list

I was building up my Endnote database yesterday to get ready for writing up 'the big book' - yes, welcome to hell...

Not very surprisingly, my database covers a lot of management books, some design books, some experience books and couple of economic books... it makes me wonder if you are a Service Designer/student, what kind of books are you reading?

So here I would like to collect your comments on a reading list for people who are interested in Service Design and maybe want to do a bit reading for it. It would be great if you could spare 2 seconds recommend two books (or journal articles) you think every Service Designer should read - not have to be Design books, can be anything really!

Think I might kick off first here:
Bernd Schmitt,
Customer Experience Management - not exactly a Service book or a Design book, but it presents a very interesting framework to build 'experience platform' which then spread the seeds of customer experience into different business functions.

Bill Hollins,
Total Design. Perhaps also couple of his more recent books... to be honest, although I am not a big believer of standardisation, this little book does provid a nice flavour of the many other issues along with the design process that any development processes will have. Plus, it is a small book that doesn't look scary!

This list will go to our librarian for furture purchase and I will keep update the comments into this post here!

Alright, you turn now... Thank you in advance!

From Arne Van Oosterom (DesignThinkers):
Linked , Albert-László Barabási
The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins

From Tom Allen:
A summary of the past thirty years of service design literature.

From Nick Marsh (Engine):
These are two pretty heavy going books that are worth getting:
Here's more:

From Deborah Szebeko (ThinkPublic):
The Tipping Point -Malcolm Galdwell
It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be – Paul Arden

From Ben Reason(Livework):
Natural Capitalism - Paul Hawkin et al
Reassembling the Social - Bruno Latour

From Todd Johnston:
The Timeless Way of Building (Alexander),
Biomimicry (Benyus),
Out of Control (Kelly)

Lauren Tan:
I would recommend the
Designing for Services reader that was distributed in the early stages of the project and also the report which combines reflections on the project from the designers, academics and the project leads (Lucy Kimbell and Victor Seidel).

Designing for Services - Multidisciplinary Perspectives: Proceedings from the Exploratory Project on Designing for Services in Science and Technology-based Enterprises, Saïd Business School (2008) Edited by Lucy Kimbell and Victor P. Seidel

I would also highly recommend:
Boland, J., Collopy, F., Ed. (2005).
Managing as designing. California, Stanford University Press.
This book is more general in terms of design in a business and management context but very helpful where ever design is crossing into other disciplines.

Richard Randolph:
The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore. This is the one that started it all.
Experiential Marketing, by Bernd H. Schmitt
The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What To Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
Brand Sense: Build Powerful Brands through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound by Martin Lindstrom

Tom Kiehl:
My view is that good service design must balance customer satisifaction, profitability, and associate morale, particularly in businesses where front line associates are key to delivering service.
Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right by Frances X. Frei, Harvard Business Review, April 2008
Zero Defections, Quality Comes to Services by Frederick Reichheld and Earl Sasser, HBR, Sept-Oct 1990
The Trader Joe's Adventure: Turning a Unique Approach to Business into a Retail and Cultural Phenomenon by Len Lewis
Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success by Kevin Freiberg and Kevin Freiberg

James Samperi (Engine):
2 books which aren't focused on 'design' but any service 'designer needs to understand and know about. The latter book is comprehensive and pretty accessible - i can't vouch for the first but recommended by my colleague.
New Service Development and Innovation in the New Economy

From Products to Services: Insights and experiences from companies which have embraced the service economy.

Sarah Drummond:
simplicity- edward de bono
'In an increasingly complex world 'simplicity' is going to be a key value. The pace of change is not going to stop so we have to make a conscious effort to make things simpler.'

Marc Fonteijn(31VOLTS):
The experience economy
Subject to Change
Everything is miscellaneous
10 faces of innovation
The knowing-doing gap
And I second Sarah with
simplicity as a must read

proto partners:
Wired to Care by Dev Patnaik and Pete Mortensen of Jump Associates,
The Loyalty Effect from Fred Reicheld

Lucy Kimbell:
Vargo, S. and R. Lusch (2004), “Evolving to a new dominant logic in Marketing,” /Journal of Marketing, /68, 1-17
Vargo, Stephen L. and Lusch Robert (2008), "
Service-dominant logic: continuing the evolution," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 36 (1), 1-10.

Jeff Howard:
John Thackara's book "
In The Bubble: Designing in a Complex World" and a bi-monthly magazine published in Los Angeles called "Good."

Isaac Arthur:
Adaptive Path's 'Subject to Change' is the best all around service design book I've found,
Neumeier's 'Brand Gap' and 'Zag' are indispensable books for all designers, regardless of their specific discipline'
And a great article from NextD on design 3.0 (transferable philosophies and processes to service design)

Paul Thurston(ThinkPublic):
Designing Services with Innovation Methods

Garrick Wood:
'How Designers Think: The Process Demystified' by Bryan Lawson
'What Designers Know' by Bryan Lawson

Lorne Mithell:
One of the main folk I track in this area is John Seddon (Vanguard Consulting) who is visiting Professor at Cardiff University. He has adapted the Demming/Ohno Toyota Production System philosophy to Service Design in both the Private and, more recently, Public sectors. He is an excellent speaker as well. You can get his material at Vanguard Consulting - and you can see him on video at: http://www.vimeo.com/4670102

Bhavna Bahr
In the Bubble - John Thackara
Naked Brain - Richard Restak
Buyology - Martin Lindstorm
Why We Buy - Paco Underkill
The Hidden Dimension - Edward T Hall
How Customers Think - Gerald Zaltman
Universal Principles of Design
Ten Faces of Innovation - Tom Kelly
Visual Ethnography - Sarah Pink

Jonathan Norman:
Maybe too far off for your pusposes but we are publishing: Design for Services, edited by Dr Anna Meroni and Dr. Daniela Sangiorgi in March 2010


Birgit Mager
Touchpoint . The Journal of Service Design, Köln: Köln Interntional School of Design
Miettinen, Satu / Koivisto, Mikko (Hrsg.): 28Designing Services with Innovative Methods, Keuruu: Otava Book Printing,

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

any Service Design in China?

I was looking at this world map of Service Design activities [via Jeff's blog], and was surprised that there is nothing about Service Design from mainland China...
I notice some visit of this blog from Shanghai and Beijing... so... anyone know anything like that happening in China?