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Service Jam Amsterdam took me out of the box

March 18, 2014 at 4:29 pm

In the weekend of 7,8 and 9 March, 2014 I was joining to the Service Jam in Amsterdam for the first time. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was seized by gaining new insights through collaboration with people in the field of Service Design. I look back on a very inspiring event with lots of fun, a great team to work with and creative output. So how did we reach this point?

Short time period
The theme of this year was “square” and together with 50 other participants in Amsterdam we had to work this out into a prototype. I was working in a team with three others with different backgrounds: Laura from Italy and Elenora from Uzbekistan both studying at the TU Delft and Antonia, a freelance Graphic Designer from Chili who was visiting her brother in Amsterdam.

Photo 09-03-14 18 11 14My team ‘The Real Surprisers’ (Me, Elenora, Laura, Antonia)

We had 48 hours to come up with a low fidelity prototype and in the meantime we got instructions from the hosts and feedback from the coaches. Also on Sunday morning Froukje Sleeswijk, well-known as the “context mapping guru”, was giving us a lecture about Service Prototyping. So we had a lot of input as a multiplier for the creative process.

Different point of views
From the moment we started brainstorming in the group I saw different ideas around the theme “square” because you could interpret this theme in many different ways. For example: movable houses, cubes for kids or something like pandora’s box. This resulted in a variety of ideas and different angles where we could go further with creating a new service concept.

On Saturday we went down the streets of Amsterdam to interview people about our subject. My team was working on a concept what had to do with small happiness so we asked people “what makes you happy?”. We concluded that people found it difficult to say exactly what made them happy but in general they said that doing things with friends and family makes them very happy. Another interesting insight was that when people felt bad they trying to find the happiness in themselves. But we thought that we just make each other happy. So we came up with our concept “HAPP app”

Stop thinking, start prototyping
Even though we still had noting concrete en we were swimming in ideas, we had to start prototyping. We begun with little sketches, flows, persona’s and customer journeys to made the idea more concrete. There was material to share among the teams and we were stimulated to share this. Some teams where experimenting with Lego where others used pieces of cardboard. It was interesting to see each team working hard on their prototype.

Photo 08-03-14 15 00 32After each team had made their first prototype we had to share this with other groups and gave feedback on it. I liked the way we co-created with the whole group. This really helped the creative proces. Prototyping helps you to make your concept comes to life instead of it only stays in your mind. It works well in a team for reason everyone can see how you can interact with your service. For example we did a little rol play game where we used our scenario’s to see which points of our scenario where too fuzzy and we had to re-think.


A fruitful weekend with a lot of energy
A jam makes it possible to meet new people from different backgrounds and share your experiences with others. What I’ve really learned these days was to think in a different way and deliver in a short time period. We had to deal with pressure when we generated a lot of ideas. But we compensated that with a delicious lunch in the sun (credits for the hosts!). I love the environment and ‘Alab’ as workings space next to the ‘EYE film institute’. It really got out of my comfort zone of interviewing strangers on the streets. And sharing my ideas in English was a new experience for me. So I am totally hAPPy.

Impression of the whole weekend
(Thanks too all jammers for this great experience)


Minor Designful Innovation For One Billion People

January 31, 2014 at 9:45 am

Last september I  started the minor ‘Designful Innovation For One Billion People’. Now 5 months later I am looking back from what I’ve learned in this minor course. It was a journey of finding an innovative idea that suits 1 billion people. It wasn’t easy to find the right idea because you have to look at different perspectives like there are cultures where people have not always the same motivations. So, I challenged myself to find the right idea and used a lot of methods to find useful insights.

What’s innovation?
What I have learned is that innovation is not always about improve existing products but more about how to change the meaning of a product. The difference between incremental and radical changes is that radical is doing something completely new. For example how the Nintendo Wii changes the use of a game console. This change helped me a lot to think in a new way for example in new services and not to make existing products better.

Finding insights
For the minor we had to create a innovative idea for at least one billion people. My question was; where do I have to start? So I started to do a little desk-research about trends and problems. I set up a little survey about ‘How do people make choices’ because I think today we are standing for many choices in our lives. The result was interesting and gave me a new direction for my project. I started to focus more on money because from the results of the survey few people answered that some choices depends of how much money you have.

From that point I planned to do a ‘Context Mapping session’ with users. I ask them to come together so we could do a little research experiment.

Context Mapping

IMG_9711This session helps me to gained deeper insights of the user with their behavior and thoughts of the way they spend their money.

[Respondents where making collages about their spending behavior. After they made a collage the next step was to present to each other what they had made]

After I did enough research I started to create concepts on basis of the insights. I formulating a problem that was focus on the spending behavior of students. “These days students don’t know how much money they spend because by the use of their debit card”

As a solution a created SPENDER, a smart service that helps students and people who have difficulty with their spendings be in control of their spending behavior.

Prototyping and testing
To feel and interact with the product I made a low fidelity prototype also known als ‘paper prototype’. To see how people interact with the service SPENDER. I record it (in dutch) to use as reference book.

Final Exhibition
Our end event was the minor Exhibition where every student has to present their concept, prototypes and final deliverables. It was the “big” day to show your end results to everyone who was visiting our exhibition. First we gave a short pitch to the rest of our class and teachers who where involved in this minor and after that everyone was free to visit our stands. There were a lot of people interested what made it really nice to talk about your project and what I’ve done in this months. This exhibition made it possible to see every part of your project come together.

[ See how I experienced this Minor]