Last Thursday, designers at Cooper co-hosted San Francisco Service Design Drinks at our offices. We had a great time drinking and making stuff with local folks interested in the emerging practice of service design. Jamin Hegeman launched this city’s chapter a year ago, and the event was a testament to his efforts to expand the conversation.
Over 30 people joined us for an evening of service blueprinting, and drinking, of course. Cooper’s Susan Dybbs and myself led attendees through an exercise in which we focused on a recent dining experience. Each design team included someone who had worked in the food service industry, providing quick access to domain knowledge. Teams began the exercise by listing all the steps or actions of their experience. They then cataloged the restaurant’s staff and artifacts interacted with and the support systems that were less visible yet enabled the meal. Finally, each team presented their three most interesting reflections on the exercise.
Highlights included discussion of service recovery, and the ways in which experiences succeed or fail because of the staff’s ability to adjust in real-time. We talked about the seen qualities of a service supported by those unseen. We also discussed how services can go to great lengths to curate a certain experience yet come across as disingenuous when inconsistencies in execution emerge.
By deconstructing a single service into rough but simple terms and parsing all the pieces to co-create a visual model, we hope that the attendees left with a greater understanding of Service Design and blueprinting, and an appreciation for local brews. We’re all looking forward to attending next month’s event!