Snook “Transforming People”

21st Century Design

I had a lecture today from Lauren Currie, the director of Snook. Snook is a service design company and it focuses on social innovation.  It also makes new tools to help deliver a service. It’s all about how you use it and it’s solutions! Snook is particularly passionate about public service design as they love to work with people and help make a difference in their lives…which is just a great thing to work towards! They give the people the opportunity to take more control over the services Snook brings or at least make these services suited to their own needs for their community or themselves. I think this is a great way to approach design, asking the people what they want and showing them ways in which they can help make the difference.

I have never really thought about service design that much since Lauren’s lecture last semester but I think that I am starting to grasp the concept of service design and how important it really is in a company! Something to definitely consider when designing a collection or product because you need to know who you are designing for and make sure their needs and wants are met. This lecture helped me understand this a lot better. As well as learning about service design, we learned about the wide range of service design tools. Tools such as:

  • Prototyping
  • Story Boards
  • Mind Mapping
  • Persona
  • Journey Map
  • Interviews
  • Touchpoints
  • Future Visioning
  • Rubber Chicken (it’s fun and lightens the mood,so why not!)

and many more…Empathy is also a key element in service design! It is so key because it is important to listen to the people and get their insights. Also, Lauren also said people tend to feel much more comfortable with a neutral person (someone who is not the police, counsellor etc) so it is good to have someone who has good people skills  to talk to the people as it makes the people feel much more comfortable and more willing to answer.

“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple, every head is a world” – From Snook presentation from Lauren Currie

Before the workshop in the afternoon, Lauren gave us a little project to do! In pairs or preferably on our own, we had to go and ask at least 5 members of the public or more if we didn’t a lot of results . This mini project was based on the community and how it could be changed to suit the needs of the public so we had only one question to ask:

Who do you know that makes a difference in your community?

I asked six people and these are the answers I got!

  • Person 1: No idea
  • Person 2: The Army and those on the front line. The people who are saving our country.
  • Person 3: Her local shop as she said she lived in a small community.
  • Person 4: The guide dog/ company/guide dog community
  • Person 5: No idea
  • Person 6: The local Priest, her dad as he is a policeman.
The service design tool that I used was: Interviews.

When we returned for our workshop, everyone discussed their results and we found that there was a few main themes going around and similar answers…which was probably expected since we all went out in the city centre of Dundee to ask our question!

So for this workshop, we had to write down all the information we got in groups or pairs and then select an answer from each of our lists and pair up with someone who we were not sitting with. I paired up with Rosie Reid a fellow Textile Student! We decided to go with one of my answers and that was from a woman who answered with the guide dog community. For this part of the workshop, we had to create a “Persona” based on this woman. We had to portray what we think she is like from the little information we received so this is our persona:

Very sketchy persona profile!  and a funny drawing (not a portrait of the person! only things like hair colour…)As to keep the woman anonymous, we gave her a fake name/age etc so this is Jenny Smith!

We had to say what we thought this person would be like and based on her appearance and job, we guessed she was friendly, bubbly, happy and caring because she mentioned she has children. This is our quote we made for her based on her thoughts and her answer to “Who do you know that makes a difference in your community” …

“Above all of the answers I have in my head, I have to say the guide dogs/community”

We then had to have interviews and someone from each of the pairs had to be the persona. Rosie volunteered to be Jenny and did a very good job! I interviewed her and asked questions like: What do you think the community lacks? Do you volunteer anywhere? and what would you do to change the community? Rosie (as Jenny)was great and gave me lots of interesting answers!

Q: What do you think the community lacks?

A: A neighbour hood watch as I feel that my children are not as safe in the community. By having someone there to help keep the community safe, I found feel at ease because I know my children are in/playing in a safe environment.

Q:Do you volunteer anywhere?

A: Yes, at charity stores such as Oxfarm. However, I feel that more charities could be promoted a lot more so it encourages more volunteering! anyone can do it and it can help a lot of people!

Q:What would you do to change the community?

A: Hold fundraising events, informal interviews to listen to the opinions of those who wanted listened to and those of the community, have posters, informal meetings with police etc so it makes them feel more approachable because even though they are supposed to be there to help the community, people still feel intimidated about approaching them.

After the interview, we all had to present our results. This was quite a fun exercise! there was lots of laughs and everyone had great results!

I really enjoyed this workshop! it was quite fun and I feel that I have learned a lot and I think that I am learning more about the importance of Service Design and Service Design Tools!

Here’s a link to the website for SNOOK It’s a really helpful site so check it out!

So…what do you think? if I were to ask: “Who do you think makes a difference in your community?”







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