Service Design masterclass links and goodies

by Andy Polaine on April 17, 2015

in Links

I recently taught a Service Design in Helsinki for Ratekoulutus and put together a set of links for the participants. They have their own special, private page for it including some extras, but the rest of it would probably be useful to a wider audience, so here they are. It it by no means exhaustive, but just the things I talked about in the Masterclass.

You will see that there are several books from Rosenfeld Media. This is not simply nepotism – they really do publish most of the best books on UX and related themes. If you use the code POLAINE at checkout you not only get 25% of our book, but all Rosenfeld books. They have a European distribution centre, so ordering direct from the publisher is usually pretty fast and supports both publisher and authors better than using Amazon. But we won’t cry if you opt for Amazon’s convenience instead. Not much, at least.

Some slides, templates and book

Insights gathering


Re-thinking organisations/structures/businesses

Service design & UX agencies/examples

Storyboarding & Experience Prototyping

Future Thinking

Switching hemispheres

by Andy Polaine on April 16, 2015

in General


I have some big news to announce.

After six years teaching and researching service design at the Hochschule Luzern I will be leaving my post there at the end of August. It has been an informative and formative time for me.

Thanks to all my former students on whom I have inflicted my prototypes of how to teach service design. Also my colleagues who have put up with me complaining about our own, internal, services. They have all given me some great insights and experiences over the years.

The biggest part of my news is that my family and I will be returning to Sydney, Australia in early January 2016. My new position will be as a Service Design Director for Fjord’s Fjord’s Service Design Academy in their Sydney office. The Sydney office is headed up by Bronwyn van der MerweThe Service Design Director there.

As well as working under Fjord’s Group Director of Organizational Evolution, Shelley Evenson, helping to shape and teach service design and innovation within the group in Australia and globally, I’ll also involved in providing strategic input, mentoring and guidance on client engagements. I really couldn’t ask for a more suitable job description to match my skills.

Since Fjord was acquired by Accenture Interactive almost two years ago, it opens up the challenges of working in such a large organisation, but also the opportunities of working at an enterprise scale with a level of access to top tier clients that few design agencies get the chance to do. I have a healthy mix of excitement and anxiety about the whole move and new position, but I’m really looking forward to doing some great work with talented colleagues. Feel the fear and do it anyway, as they say.

Obviously the excitement is tinged with sadness about leaving behind family, friends, cats and our lovely apartment that we renovated only 18 months ago. But we are compensated by reigniting our old friendships in Sydney, great working challenges, lifestyle, yoga, food, weather and beaches. Oh, and a Prime Minister with the rhetorical flair of a ten year-old bully, but incompetent politicians seem to be par for the course everywhere at the moment.

The other noticeable change from when we used to live in Australia is that smartphones and social media happened. Despite the time and attention sucking negatives of these, I feel somuch more connected to friends and family back in the UK and around the world than in the pre-2006 Dark Ages that I sometimes forget I haven’t actually seen these people for some time.

HSLU will be looking for a person or people to replace me before September, so if you are interested in a mix of teaching and research in Service Design and, ideally, speak German and English, let me know. There will obviously be an official process, but we want to put the feelers out already.

See you on the sunny side of the planet.

(P.S. That is not Fjord’s actual logo in the photo above. I walked past it the other day at Europa Park. It must be a sign.)

The Apple Watch, skeuomorphism and metaphors

March 25, 2015

I had a Twitter exchange with John Gruber yesterday in response to his point about the Apple Watch and skeuomorphism: I don’t think iOS or OS X needed to eschew skeuomorphic textures, but Apple Watch did. Gruber was referring to Craig Hockenberry’s piece about the Apple Watch’s OLED display. In particular Hockenberry’s argument that the […]

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Stop researching and start doing

March 13, 2015

Austin Kleon with some sage advice for anyone considering writing a book. It’s all good, but this is especially true: Stop researching, start writing. “There’s an awful temptation to just keep on researching,” says David McCollough. “There comes a point where you just have to stop, and start writing. When I began, I thought that […]

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Safety in games, from Shakespeare to Plato to Play Theory

March 12, 2015

Interesting piece from Jesper Juul on play with this note about Brian Sutton-Smith: On two occasions I heard Brian Sutton-Smith claim that play provides a modicum of joy in our pain-filled lives. Although that wasn’t meant as a definition of play, it is interesting by reversing the order of events: we aren’t safe, and therefore […]

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Antirom 20th Anniversary Event

February 18, 2015

REWIND to 1995 – A collective of young Londoners launches Antirom, a CD-ROM of experimental interactive software, at Cameraworks gallery in Bethnal Green. The many brief, playful, funny ‘toys’ on the disc have quite an influence in interaction design circles. FFWD to 2015 – Generations of computer hardware rush past leaving Antirom unplayable on any […]

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Comcast Customer Receives Bill Addressed to ‘Super Bitch‘

February 12, 2015

In our book on service design and elsewhere, we often talk about how much people are at the heart of services. Although branding folk like to speak of products having personalities, your car does not wake up with a hangover, and your iPhone does not hate its boss and act surly with its user all […]

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From hunch to research direction to design concept

January 29, 2015

The most common issue service design students face is project paralysis in the face of infinite possibilities and the synthesis of a mass of research material. Services are often complex and the interconnectedness of problems can soon appear too difficult to tackle. Taking the leap to tentatively develop an idea, and letting go of the […]

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Be My Eyes ~ Lend Your Eyes to the Blind

January 18, 2015

Be My Eyes is an app that actually benefits people. Imagine that. It crowdsources help for visually impaired people by simply using a video link to someone else who can tell them what they’re looking at. Smart and simple.

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