Assignment 3A: Service Design Tools

21st Century Design, Assignment 3

Last year, I studied a module in University called “Change By Design”. In this module, I learned a lot of interesting and very useful information about design and information like how to design for a purpose as well as a particular person or client.There was a particular topic that came up during last year and it was based on Service design. Service design is about planning and organising people, communication and the materials of a service in order to improve the quality and communication/interaction between clients or customers.

For one of the lectures last year, we had a guest speaker who discussed her company and what service design is all about. Lauren Currie, our guest speaker, is the director of her own service design company called Snook. She focuses on changing the lives of people in Scotland with service design and practical actions. Her lecture was very interesting! there was a lot of different information about service design and it was something that I had never knew about before.

For one of our very first assignments last year, I was put into a mixed group of different second year design students. This gave us the opportunity to get to know different students from a different design specialism and experience different ideas and views from another students perspective. So for that first assignment, we had to brainstorm and then create a mind-map based on “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. We had also been assigned to read The Mind Map book so it would teach us how to mind map properly and more effectively. Also, when Lauren Currie held some workshops, she taught as effective ways to brainstorm and mind map.  From doing this assignment, I feel much more confident with mind-maps and I think that since then, I have learned to use them a lot more within my projects.

Mind Mapping is a service design tool and it has been one that I have come to use a lot since my “Change By Design” module!

At the start of each new project, I start my first page in my sketchbook as a mind – map. Reason being, I feel that after my previous workshops in last years module, the skills I have learned have really helped me with my work. When doing my mind-maps, I always create them the way that I had in my previous module. This has helped me remember a lot more information about any theme or project work because of the effective layout of my mind maps. For example, it is essential to use different branches that show the different points that have to be remembered and it is best to colour code them so they are easier to remember! Also, it is also suggested to include small diagrams as this helps makes things easier to remember. Good excuse to get creative! Also, the mind map is always there to refer back to if needed.

Here is an example of a few mind maps done in my “Change By Design Module”. I really liked creating these mind maps and I have found them useful in my sketchbooks. Not just for me but I think that by having them there, it makes it easier for the viewer to understand parts of the project illustrated in the sketchbook.

There are many different Service Design tools such as:

  • Mind Mapping
  • Mood Board
  • Affinity Diagram
  • Story Boards
  • Task Analysis Grid

and many more…

Throughout my studies, I have only used the mind-mapping tool as it has been the most effective and perhaps easiest way to approach any new projects or tasks. Even in school, mind maps proved useful (even though they may not have been done correctly!). When I was looking through a website based on Service Design, I looked at a lot of the different service design tools and related case studies for more inspiration and ideas on how to approach new tasks, projects etc.

A Service design tool that I came across that I would like to explain is the Mood Board. A mood board is basically a visual composition of photographs, pictures, drawings or ideas. When together, it is easier to see all of your ideas and thoughts on a current task as they are arranged neatly in front of you. I have never used a lot of mood boards in any of my current projects but from reading about this tool, I think they would be highly beneficial. If I were to use it in my current project at the moment or projects to come I think that I would first start out by creating a mind map and then once I have my key ideas that I really like from my mind map, I would create a mood board based on those ideas. I think that this would help me visualise what would be best to do for my project as I think it would give me a much clearer idea of my current theme. Also, I think that by doing this, it could also spark off other ideas. I think it would be important to have your mood board looking very neat and precise as I think it is key that it must have a good composition so you can clearly outline your main ideas.

This is an example of an effective mood board.


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