Posts about Strategy


Customer Journey Map or Service Blueprint?

If you have a hammer, everything is a nail. If you have a service blueprint, everything is a detail to be nailed down, even if those details don’t contribute to your ultimate goal. To design and deploy services, it’s crucial to have both journey maps and service blueprints in your tool kit. This post will help you determine which tool is right for the job. 

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To design and deploy services, it’s crucial to have both journey maps and service blueprints in your tool kit. This post will help you determine which tool is right for the job. 

Why We're Excited About Service Design

In the last few years, we’ve rapidly and intentionally grown our service design practice. Today, more and more of us have a perspective to share—and not just the designers! Service design touches everyone involved in the delivery of a service; accordingly, this post includes a few thoughts from designers, operations, and marketing at Cooper. 

Share your own thoughts using #servicedesign

Greg Schuler

For me, Service Design is all about freeing ourselves to think beyond small screens we design for (and have been engrossed in) for years. It’s the logical evolution of digitally centered UX. 

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Service design touches everyone involved in the delivery of a service; accordingly, this post includes a few thoughts from designers, operations, and marketing at Cooper.

Are You a Coconut or a Peach?

Do you have a coconut or peach approach to the services you provide?

Coconuts: 

  • Hard, defined exterior that intimidates newcomers 
  • Hollow core: once you break through to the center, there isn’t much there 

Peaches: 

  • Soft, fuzzy, approachable exterior, low barrier to entry 
  • Contain a tough seed that provides support from the inside out

It’s not about the taste of the fruit - It’s about how it feels to customers and the considerations given to the behind-the-scenes service providers/employees. Don’t be a coconut. Be a peach.

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Do you have a coconut or peach approach to the services you provide?

Six (6!) new ways to push your practice

You asked. We answered. Bringing you SIX new workshops and courses in customer experience, brand strategy, leadership, product definition and design, research, ideation, personas and more—each chock full of skills for taking your professional game to the next level (and maybe even the level above that). Stay current, get smarter, make an impact, effect the bottom line, and teach your team a thing or two (or ten) about your new-found knowledge. We've saved you a seat.

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Visual Design for White Labelled Products

Designing a product with the intention of being “white labelled” means that you are creating a software for a client to incorporate into their existing (visual language) system. Every now and then design consultants are hired by another consultant to work on a third party’s existing system. This what you call a super white label. Here, you not only have to consider your client’s needs, but your client’s client’s needs, too. It can be easy to start designing with everyone’s goals in mind and eventually lose focus, leaving no one satisfied in the end. These are some basic tips I’ve found that to help start and manage a white labelled project. 


It can be easy to start designing with everyone’s goals in mind and eventually lose focus, leaving no one satisfied in the end.

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Day 3: Interaction13

Notes, pictures, and recaps from the last day of Interaction15

Catch up with everything that went down on Day 1 and Day 2

Keynote: Design as Language

by Ayah Bdeir 

"The electronics are not the point. Technology is not the point. It’s about the poetry you can make."

Picture by Julie Celia, recap by Shahrzad Samadzadeh

The problem

Electronics are everywhere, yet their language is closed, cryptic, and ugly. We generally don’t know what our electronics are doing, and consider them consumable and disposable, yet we rely on them as a fundamental part of everyday life. This is a strange and dangerous state of things. 

The big shift

Instead of a closed discipline, how can electrical devices become a shared language? This is an extraordinary shift, and LittleBits made it happen by doing the following.

  • Make the language usable and accessible; “It’s not about the technology, it’s what you can do with it."
  • Make the language inviting and coherent, so users feel in control.
  • Define the alphabet, the grammar, and the context, then let users build a community around the new language. 

The outcome

The gap between defined market and one-off individual need is bridged, and users feel empowered to break down barriers and create new interactions in the world. 

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Stop Solutionizing and Start Problem-Solving

I made up a useful word a while ago, though I doubt I’m the first to have done so. The word is solutionize, and it means “to come up with a solution for a problem that hasn’t been defined (and might or might not even exist).” Solutionizing leads to solutionization, or “any outcome of the act of solutionizing.” 

This all sounds like nonsense, because it is nonsense. The word solutionize comes from materials science and has nothing to do with design. 

The word is solutionize, and it means “to come up with a solution for a problem that hasn’t been defined (and might or might not even exist).”

Some blatant examples of solutionizing, as I define it:

  • Designing an iPhone app for users who don’t have smartphones
  • Building an MVP that addresses no customer need
  • Creating UI for a service users want to get from a person

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Service Design 101

This article was co-written by Lauren Chapman Ruiz and Izac Ross

We all hear the words "service design" bandied about, but what exactly does it mean? Clients and designers often struggle to find a common language to define the art of coordinating services, and frequent questions arise. Often it emerges as necessary in the space of customer experience or complicated journey maps. In response, here is a brief FAQ primer to show the lay of the land in service design.

What are services?

Services are intangible economic goods—they lead to outcomes as opposed to physical things customers own. Outcomes are generated by value exchanges that occur through mediums called touchpoints. For example, when you use Zipcar, you don’t actually own the Zipcar, you buy temporary ownership. You use the car, then transfer it to someone else once it is returned. Every point in which you engage with Zipcar is a touchpoint.

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This article was co-written by Lauren Chapman Ruiz and Izac RossWe all hear the words "service design" bandied about, but what exactly does it mean? Clients and designers often struggle to find a common language to define the art of coordinating services, and frequent questions arise. Often it emerges as necessary in the space of customer experience or complicated journey [...]

Global Service what...?

and is there any peanut butter with the jam?

No, this is not that kind of jam. Think of a music jam, but instead of feeding off each other’s instruments to come up with interesting songs, we will feed off of each other’s ideas to come up with creative service solutions. 

The Global Service Jam is a 48-hour design event that brings people from all backgrounds together to learn new approaches, tools, and methods for designing services. This isn’t a watch-and-learn kind of conference, the GSJ gets participants’ hands dirty, asking “jammers” to create services, not slide decks. A theme is announced on the first night of the Jam then for the next 48 hours jammers focus on exploring, iterating, and prototyping new service design ideas. One person introduces a ryf, or rhythm, and together you get the chance to build something that you couldn't have built by yourself.

This year, Cooper is excited to host the SF Service Jam, March 7-9.

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and is there any peanut butter with the jam?No, this is not that kind of jam. Think of a music jam, but instead of feeding off each other’s instruments to come up with interesting songs, we will feed off of each other’s ideas to come up with creative service solutions. The Global Service Jam is a 48-hour design event that [...]

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