On Monday, December 18, numerous staff from User Services attended a full-day workshop on Design Thinking in an ongoing effort to become subject matter experts for their groups.
Jaclyn Zavoral, who organized the event, said that this workshop built on the foundation of design thinking to explore service design. According to Design Concepts, service design is a “human-centered design approach that places equal value on the customer experience and the business process, aiming to create quality customer experiences and seamless service delivery.”
Jaclyn went on to say that during the training they “used a service blueprint to explore the visible and invisible steps involved in service delivery of a few real life scenarios [in User Services]. Then they analyzed these steps for potential pain points or unknowns and brainstormed ideas for how they might improve the process.”
Jaclyn particularly liked that the activities helped them see the world as the customers do and encouraged them to consider the entire customer experience rather than their single point of interaction within the service delivery.
Another point Jaclyn commented on was the value in prototyping an experience prior to full implementation. She pointed out that one thing that can be challenging with design thinking is making the process tangible. The facilitators at Design Concepts helped everyone understand that role-playing helps makes complex services more understandable. Role-playing also allowed for everyone to practice empathizing with the customers, as well as assessing the feasibility of the proposed solutions.
Providing trainings like this helps to ensure that User Services continues to provide user-focused solutions that are desirable, feasible, and viable.
Take a look at what those who participated had to say about the workshop:
1) It’s easy to try to come up with solutions right away, but before doing so, you need to make sure you understand the heart of the problem—define, then redefine, until everyone on your team is speaking the same language. Even then, you still need to ask “how might we” until you have not only looked at the problem from the obvious angles, but you have also questioned your initial assumptions about the nature of the problem itself.
2) Just like in customer service, you need to make sure that you are considering every one of your users. The “front stage” end users are easy to keep in mind, but every single person who interacts with your service—whether they build it, support it, or fix it—are your users, too.
I also learned that pretty much everyone loves their Contigo coffee thermos
Service Design (which was the topic of the class) is somewhat different from Design Thinking, in that it is the application of Design Thinking principles to the improvement of specific services.
Service Design offers us a set of specific tools (Customer Journey Mapping, Service Blueprints, Service Prototyping, Experience Prototyping, etc.) that we can use to help improve the services we offer from the customer perspective.
We will apply many of these tools to the development of our Help Desk and User Services initiatives over the course of the next year.
Design Concepts (the company that provided our training) has an impossibly beautiful new space on East Washington Avenue
I really enjoyed how Design Concepts was able to reduce the concept of “Service Design” to a blueprint with a handful of straightforward steps. It reduced the perceived complexity of the process, while still emphasizing the importance of human-centered design. Also, their space was amazing (and inspiring)!
I don’t have a single biggest take-away instead I would sum up my experience by saying – Time spent designing our services to meet our ever-changing customer needs, is time well spent. It was great to take a day to really focus on how we can use design thinking as a tool for our services.