Many years ago, before we had children, my husband and I had a weekend away in a great hotel! It was a lovely place, not too far away, but what made the visit extra special was the amazing service. So amazing that when we were leaving, we asked to see the manager to let him know how much we had enjoyed our stay.
When the manager arrived at reception, he looked worried. We felt he was preparing himself to deal with some clients that were about to complain! When he realised that we were complimenting his staff and hotel, rather than complaining, we saw his shoulders physically relax! He told us that it was so nice to hear some positive feedback about the hotel rather than having to deal with a complaint.
I thought that it was a shame that clients didn’t give positive feedback more often and only called to see the manager when something was wrong. It is easy to fix things when you know what the problem is but how do you know what you are good at and how can improve a client’s experience, unless they tell you or you ask them?
Perhaps this hotel and manager could have benefitted from some ‘Service Design Thinking’.
“Service Design Thinking is a holistic, customer-centric approach to using design principles, tools, processes and an empathic understanding of customer needs to design services that deliver a discernible difference that customers perceive provides a positive value proposition and/or ‘edge’ over competing service offerings” – Ray Schleibs – Iimagine Creative Innovation.
According to the book ‘This is Service Design Thinking’, there are 5 key principles of Service Design: User – Centred, Co-Creative, Sequencing, Evidencing and Holistic.
Along with many methods and tools that can help with each of these principles, companies and services can give customers positive experiences which they will like and enjoy, ultimately gaining loyalty and keeping the customers returning.
“How public services are ‘designed’ is central to their purpose, their function, their character. Design is about the application of hard disciplines, not soft furnishings” – Arren Roberts, Design Council.
For me personally, a bad customer experience can put me off a company or a service. I like to get recommendations from family or friends and if they have a bad review, it will definitely make me think twice.
I rely on ‘word of mouth’ and ‘recommendations’ for my own business and I can’t afford for my clients not to have a good experience when they work with me. I want them to have enjoyed our time together and go on to tell others all the positives about my business so that I can continue helping and working with clients in the future.
Saving the World – How can design bring about change in society for good?
“Leave the world a better place than we found it” – Carol A Wells, Center for the Study of Political Graphics, USA.
Drawing and illustrations have been a method used to communicate with one another for thousands of years. When the printing press came along in the industrial revolution, illustrations and type worked together to communicate what was happening in the world, reaching out to many more people than ever before.
When I think back to growing up and how we found out about the news from around the world, it was either via the radio, the news on a black and white tv, with maybe one or two black and white filmed reports, or via the black and white daily newspaper containing very few illustrations or photographs.
Fast forward to present day and with the development of technology, we now live in a world that has become so visual – not only can we hear what is happening in the world, but we can see it as it is happening and get first-hand reports of people who are there live!
When I think of some of the most significant historical moments of the last twenty years or so, it is visual images that come to mind, some of which can provoke various emotional feelings.
What comes to mind when you think about 9/11, Steve Jobs, Facebook, Barack Obama, Prince William and Kate’s Wedding or Donald Trump? I know that a particular image, illustration or piece of design comes into my mind for each of those moments in history which have been recognised around the world and have been very powerful.
That power to evoke emotions and feelings in people, is what companies, organisations and charities want to create when highlighting their own particular cause. What better way to reach as many people as possible across the entire world than to visually represent your cause?
As it’s been discussed in previous weeks throughout this course, we learn through ‘storytelling’ and we are more likely to understand complex information if it is displayed simply through visualisation.
Climate change is one of the biggest risks to our planet today, but I don’t believe everyone knows or fully understands the impact or contribution they, as individuals, are making in their own homes.
Design has played a huge part in highlighting what is happening to our planet right now whether it is through film, tv, magazines, campaigns, posters, leaflets – even engineering with electric cars and buses. More and more people are beginning to understand the impact to the planet and are actively making changes to their lifestyles.
Drawings, illustrations, communication and design have been vital to understand our history over the years and has helped us to learn from it. Whereas centuries ago, people may not have had much knowledge about life outside their local area, today we can watch, see and understand what is happening all across the world and we can work together globally through design making changes for good across many different areas.
Service Design Thinking
There are many different processes and tools that can be used in ‘Service Design Thinking’, some of which include Empathy Map, Emotional Journey, Interview Guide, Issue Cards and Service Specifications.
Diary Study is one such tool which asks users, customers or employees to track their behaviour, activities or experiences over a period of time. It can also be called ‘Cultural Probes’.
Through the logging of information, it gives a better insight into a customer’s perception and attitude, their behaviour and even their customer journey. If completed by multiple users, it can track patterns, behaviours and any similar habits over time. All of which adds up to a volume of data – valuable to any company.
There are various stages throughout the study, one of which is to have a follow up interview with the users to discuss in more depth the results and to gain feedback.
This tool can be more time consuming than other tools, but you gain ‘live’ information from the participants as and when they are recording it.
Saving the World
I think it might be an age thing but last weekend my friend showed me her new greenhouse with all the wonderful plants, fruits and herbs she is growing, and I told her about how I have been getting feeders for the birds and trying to encourage more wildlife into our garden!!
So, because of that, I started to look into campaigns where ‘Graphic Design’ has helped the wildlife! I feel passionate about this because my childhood was filled with birds, butterflies, bees and many other insects that my own children don’t see as much of anymore. Many wildlife and plants have lost their natural homes like woodland, ponds, marshes, fields and hedgerows, to make way for new housing, roads and other buildings. People gardens today can be quite simple and may not contain as many plants and flowers that attract the wildlife.
We planted lots of lavender last year when we had our garden redone after building work, with the intention of attracting more bees!
Bees are amazing insects which are very important for the environment. We rely on them to pollinate most of our fruit and vegetables, and they have been under threat for many years due to various pesticides, lack of habitat and climate change.
On the ‘Friends of the Earth’ website there is an area dedicated to ‘Saving the Bees’ with lots of beautiful photography, film and design, which adds to the story and understanding of what is happening the bees right now and how we can all help.
You can make a donation to the website and receive a ‘Bee Saver Kit’ which includes some wildflower seeds, a garden planner, a bee-spotting guide, a step-by-step guide and a bee postcard. All of which have been colourfully designed under the branding of ‘Friends of the Earth’ with simple illustrations, clear diagrams and easy to follow charts.
There have been various protests to highlight the decline of bees due to pesticides. One notably being by Beekeepers and their supporters in 2013 outside Parliament Square in London. Protesters dressed up as bees holding bright yellow placards displaying various messages. Some protesters were singing “Give Bees a Chance” to the tune of John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’! Other messages being shouted out, were a play on words; ‘Bee Warned’, Bee-Yond Politics’, ‘Honey Before Money’ and ‘Don’t get stung’! All clever ways to get their message across verbally and visually.
In 2008 Häagen-Dazs created a program called ‘Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees’ with the aim of helping bee conservation through investments in research, sustainability and campaigns.
Häagen-Dazs received an award in 2017 for their VR film “An Extraordinary Honey Bee” from HTC Vive’s VR for Impact program. VR for Impact is a program that HTC Vive created to invest $10 million on VR projects that help with the UN’s sustainability goals.
The film takes you on a journey that shows you the impact that bees have on the world, what we can do to help and to teach people to be part of the solution.
The film was promoted through a ‘Free Cone Day’ that Häagen-Dazs set up, inviting ice cream lovers to receive one scoop of free ice cream that included bee dependant ice cream flavours, in shops across the United States. People were asked to ‘pay’ by planting wildflowers native to their area to attract the bees and help with their survival.
These are great ideas and ways to highlight the importance of bees. Telling a story through a VR film but also getting people involved in discovering ice cream flavours that are possible with the help of the bees and asking then if they can do their bit to help as payment.
With this example you can see where design has really helped highlight a particular cause which gets people involved, is interesting, informative and fun – all the while educating people, doing good for society and most importantly, helping the plight of the bees!