Stefan Bucher’s inky fellas.
UPPERCASE. Making, creating and curating visual culture.
Here are the links to sources and resources, people and videos that I drew upon for my UX Futures Design to the Power of Ten talk.
In no particular order:
- Andreas Erbe at Launchlabs – a conversation with him reminded me of the Powers of Ten film.
- Dan Hill – Dark Matter and Trojan Horses
- Tristan Cooke – thanks for MYKI background info
- Nico Leonard – thanks for MYKI background info
- Reboot | Toward a 21st Century Social Contract reboot.org Towards a 21st Century Social Contract
- Smart Resources Nesta event
- Matthew Polaine
- Leisa Reichelt – gov.uk
- Russell M Davies – gov.uk
- Gov.uk transformation
- Powers of Ten film on YouTube
- Eames Office
- Derek B. Miller of The Policy Lab and UNIDIR
- Nathan Shedroff – Design is the Problem
- Worldmapper: The world as you’ve never seen it before
- Designing Our Tomorrow: sustainable design & BT’s Home Hub on YouTube
- The Anatomy of an Experience Map from Chris Risdon
- The above slides on Slideshare if you prefer that to Speaker Deck
Update: The workshops are now open for registrations and there are early bird discounts available.
I’m super looking forward to taking part in Interaction 14 South America in Buenos Aires where I’ll be giving a talk and running a workshop on Creación y Blueprinting Servicios Multicanal (sounds good huh?). I’ve never had the chance to visit Buenos Aires and always wanted to. I’m only sad I can’t stay longer (then I would have brought my family too).
An added bonus is that this is a conference in which I know almost all the other speakers. It’s a fantastic line-up and many of them are Rosenfeld Media authors, but most of them I have never met in the flesh.
If you’re going to be coming along, ping me a tweet. Your friendly “consultor de servicio y diseño de interacción, escritor y educador.”
“At home you feel lonely and at the office you get nothing done.”
Andreas and his colleague Tiziana Meletta have launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Swiss crowdfunding platform, wemakeit.com. They are building a co-working, co-creation and innovation space at Gundeldinger Feld in Basel and need some help reaching their final goal.
They are creating a “place where you can choose either to work alone, with a colleague, co-create in a team or host an event.” Pledges range from a 10 CHF trip on their crane right up to 5,000 CHF for a lifetime workspace. That’s pretty good when you consider you would spend that on about three months’ office rent in Switzerland.
Please consider backing them, you can either head directly to the funding page or use the embedded version below. The video is in German, but subtitled in English (Andreas is half English, half Swiss, so feel free to fire off questions in either language).
My older brother Matt works as Lead Researcher, The Circular Economy at British Telecommunications (yes, he is older than me, although I get the bald head and grey beard). He recently gave a talk at Nesta’s Smart Resources event about his role on a project to redesign and rethink BT’s HomeHub router. Although the initial focus was on reducing resource consumption, you will hear him talk a lot about service design and customer experience benefits too (he is speaking around 2:24). He also talks about how this is also about a cultural change as much as any engineering or design challenges.
Social engineering may just be the most important skill service designers need to learn.
There’s also an interview snippet it with him at 3:00 here, again talking about how important the service design aspect is:
A few people have asked me about the process of writing our book on service design given that the three of us are in different countries and all have different thoughts and styles of writing. I wrote a post on the Luzern MA Design site called Collaborative Long Form Writing that goes into the details.
It also contains some never-before-published behind-the-scenes photos!
I just backed David Hieatt’s upcoming book, Do Purpose on the crowd-funded publishing site, Unbound. David is a smart guy and a kind of serial entrepreneur. The book explores companies that focus on their purpose. Here’s an excerpt:
Most companies don’t have a purpose. This may sound odd but most people have forgotten why they are in business. The founders are dead. The purpose is no longer there. They think it is just to make money. But making money is a result. It is not the purpose. For me, a business that has a purpose is much more energised. It is the wind for the sailboat. It pushes you and the team on. It is the fuel for the journey ahead.
A lot of businesses fail because they give up. They give up because they never had a purpose so when things get tough, they quit. I would say 90% of businesses haven’t worked out why they are in business. I think it’s vital to do so. It’s important to do so because it gives you great motivation. Understand the why. It’s pivotal to your success. Your team needs to understand it. And sooner or later your customer will get what you are about too.
In a recent blog post David writes about smart companies who understand that most people are good:
For me, I don’t understand bad service. Why wouldn’t you be on the customer’s side? Why would you go to all that trouble to get a customer just to let them walk away? Why would you want a customer just once and not for a lifetime? 99% of customers are good people. Yet, all the rules in place are to protect companies from the 1% who aren’t so good.
The best companies have figured that one at. They have realised most people are good. They give them the benefit of the doubt. Smart companies trust.
As someone involved in service design, this is a question I ask about ten times a day. Germany (where I live) and Switzerland (where I work) tend to have excellent infrastructure, which means things like trains (especially trains) and public services work very well. But they also have terrible customer service when things go wrong, which is the time when you need excellent customer service most of all. I’ve lost count of the times companies have acted unreasonably, even illegally, in order to stick to the point of a contract or terms and conditions. It seems so obvious that you shouldn’t treat people this way, especially paying customers, so why does it happen?
The answer is culture and culture comes from a sense of purpose.
There is a phrase often used by managers in Germany and Switzerland, which is Vertrauen ist gut, Kontrolle ist besser!. It roughly translates as “trust is good, control is better.” It is why organisations still insist on using clunky and useless time tracking tools such as SAP, despite ample evidence that it reduces motivation and job satisfaction and thus productivity. If you can read German, my college, Jan-Erik Baars recently wrote a good post about this (or read the rather average Google translation of it).
This culture of trying to constantly monitor what employees do harks back to the mindset of the industrial age. It might make sense when employees give their physical labour, but their mind is theirs to own, but it makes little sense in any kind of service or knowledge working industries in which the mind-body connection is paramount. That is to say, around 80% of developed nations’ economies. We want to interact with humans, not robots. The irony of this phrase used by corporate managers is that it was originally coined by Lenin.
The worst effect of this culture is the destruction of trust and the cultivation of resentment. If I pay for a product or a service and something goes wrong, I want to be presumed innocent, not treated as a potential criminal out to rip off the company in question. Of course, a tiny percentage of people may try to rip off that company, but the cost of being nice is that some people will take advantage of you.
Germany and Switzerland are cultures that love rules. There is a rule for everything possible, which means there are forever exceptions to those rules. That creates a culture of rule adherence at the cost of empathy and common sense. Companies that turn this on its head do not even have to stretch that far. Simply being reasonable instead of pernickety can feel like a breath of fresh air. Imagine what a customer feels like when they are actually treated pleasantly. It feels so great you want to remain a loyal customer forever and tell everyone else about it. The same goes for employers. Assume your staff are reasonable adults and treat them as such and they’ll be loyal. Treat them as potential thieves who need to be constantly monitored and they will act like thieves and try and get away with as much as possible.
Companies that get this right have a sense of purpose beyond just making money and they usually make money precisely because of this sense of purpose. I’m looking forward to David Hieatt’s book and his take on how to achieve that.