Meeting academic and industry needs with Service Design Thinking

UMIO’s course in Advanced Service Design Thinking is all about making innovation part of your organisations DNA, to truly understand stakeholders and in particular your customers, and be in tune with market dynamics and ahead of the competition. The course covers the use of different tools such as the Customer Journey, Service Blueprint, Prototyping & Validation techniques, and implementation methodologies and has a look at the latest developments in Service Design.

Among the participants in last weeks’ course, there was a delegation from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) headed by Prof. Rebekah Russell-Benett. Her group has found a partner in UMIO’s Service Science Factory for developing competences and incorporating the latest in academic research and methodology into their own practice.

Rebekah: “we use Service Design (SD) and Design Thinking (DT) in research, to teach, and to develop solutions for clients. I really like this multi-faceted uses of the method. As a visual person, I also like the way it brings a structured process to creativity, using mainly visual means. This visualisation is also a big help for clients to understand complex problems.”

Martine Hermans and Ellen Pijpers (Project Leaders at Business Intelligence & Smart Services (BISS) Institute | Brightlands Smart Services Campus) enrolled in this course to immerse themselves in Service Design Thinking’s methodology and background. Ellen: “our role at BISS is to ensure a holistic attitude and stimulate new perspectives, and that is a core quality of Service Design Thinking.”

Martine: “a deeper insight into the methodology will help us to better manage projects and guide processes. The international and multi-disciplinary composition of the group serves as a learning experience in itself.”

A big advantage of the combination of Service Design and Design Thinking is that it can meet both academic and industry needs in parallel, during the same trajectory. The benefits of Service Design Thinking (SDT) go well beyond solving practical problems for clients. Participants incorporate SDT into their way of thinking (DNA). This is a big bonus for the client, compared to the approach of consultants and other commercial partners.