Pair Design and the Power of Thought Partnership

From Lennon & McCartney to Holmes & Watson, popular culture is teeming with examples of creative pairs. When we think about famous creative partnerships like Eames & Eames, or creative problem solvers like Mulder & Scully, what’s special about them?

In addition to their individual genius, what makes these pairs so effective (and what we’re talking about when we advocate Pair Design) is that these are true thought partnerships, in which each person has…​

  • shared ownership of what they’re creating
  • shared responsibility for making it
  • great shared risks and rewards if they succeed or fail

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On the Road to Cooperlandia

Cooper U Offers Special 2-Day IxD Training in Portland

This fall from November 6 to November 7 Cooper U is excited to be bring a special 2-day training to Portland, Oregon.

What’s Inside This Training?

Grounded in Cooper’s foundational Interaction Design training, this condensed 2-day course is a chance to take a few steps back from the details of design and absorb a higher-level view of Cooper’s practices and techniques. During this course you’ll define the qualities of an ideal user experience and discuss why human needs come first and technology second. You’ll envision products and services that are financially viable, technically feasible, and delightful to your customers, and you’ll understand what goes into Cooper’s secret sauce to make that magic happen.

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Disrupting Healthcare – The UX Boot Camp: Emessence

Exploring ways to support patients with the neurodegenerative disease Multiple Sclerosis.

Imagine being diagnosed with a volatile disease that gets worse the longer it goes untreated. Now imagine a doctor telling you that the available drug therapy is only effective 40% of the time, and they won’t know if it’s actually working because symptoms are so unpredictable.

This is the reality for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We can do better.

For the November UX Boot Camp, we are partnering with Emessence, a healthcare startup that strives to help patients with MS to take back control. In four intense days, you’ll craft mobile design solutions that help MS patients manage their medical treatments and lifestyle in order to slow the disease progression and improve their quality of life.

Ready for the challenge? Come join us this November 18-21 for the UX Boot Camp: Emessence in San Francisco.

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The Designer’s Lifeblood

A portfolio is the designer’s lifeblood—both a record of accomplishments and an implicit promise of quality. It’s also a sales pitch, a way to help others imagine how our work could apply to their problem. We want prospective clients to look at our body of work and think: This is how great my product could be.

As we sat down to re-think how we talk about what we’ve done in the past, and what we can offer in the future, we came to the realization that the work isn’t only about us. Yes, we’re proud of what we deliver to clients, but the truth is that the work we do is just the beginning of a client’s journey. After the applause and the handshakes and the goodbyes, our clients still have a business to run and competitors to best and industries to reinvent. Their success is not guaranteed, but we aim to give them a fighting chance.

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Inside the Empathy Trap

It’s not uncommon to find yourself closely identifying with the users you are designing for, especially if you work in consumer products. You may even find yourself exposed to the exact experiences you’re tasked with designing, as I recently discovered when I went from researching hematologist-oncologists (HemOncs) and their clinics to receiving care from a HemOnc physician in his clinic. (Thankfully, all is now well with my health.)

This led to some revealing insights. Suddenly I was approaching my experience not just as a personal life event, but as both the designing observer, taking note of every detail, and the subject, or user, receiving the care. Instead of passively observing, I focused on engaging in a walk-a-mile exercise, literally walking in my own shoes, as my own user.

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Service Blueprints: Laying the Foundation

Cooper workshop service blueprintingThis article was co-written by Izac Ross, Lauren Chapman Ruiz, and Shahrzad Samadzadeh

Recently, we introduced you to the core concepts of service design, a powerful approach that examines complex interactions between people and their service experiences. With this post, we examine one of the primary tools of service design: the service blueprint.

Today’s products and services are delivered through systems of touchpoints that cross channels and blend both digital and human interactions. The service blueprint is a diagram that allows designers to look beyond the product and pixels to examine the systems that bring a customer’s experience to life.

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Cooper + Studio Dental: Shining a Spotlight On Service Design

How service design helped this startup learn to tackle their business step-by-step.

As part of our continuing mentorship program at Rock Health, Cooper teamed up with Studio Dental co-founders Dr. Sara Creighton and Lowell Caulder to help them disrupt the dental industry with their mobile dental service. The startup gained early support from a successful $40K Indiegogo campaign, and for Cooper, this project has been a great opportunity to demonstrate the value of service design.

If I were to put a finger on the biggest ah ha moment, it was probably, “Oh, services are designed!”

- Lowell Caulder, co-founder, Studio Dental

In this conversation, the co-founders share how and why Studio Dental was born, and they reveal an “ah ha” moment or two, including the discovery that the impact of service design is everywhere, and central to any industry’s success.

Dr Sara Creighton and Lowell Caulder, founders of Studio Dental

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Changing Healthcare Delivery Through Design

The SF Service Design Network + Cooper are teaming up to host a conversation about the impact that service design can have on healthcare.

When: Tuesday, August 19
Where: Cooper’s Studio, 85 2nd St, San Francisco, CA
Cost: $10
Moderators: Lauren Ruiz, Interaction and Service Designer at Cooper and Izac Ross, SF SDN Co-Chair, Interaction and Service Designer at Cooper

Tickets here – Space is very limited.

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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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