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Opinion

Service design offers opportunities internationally

Businesses need to change their mindset to be there for their customers, not expect customers to be there for them, says Hanna Nissinen.

Global resources are becoming increasingly scarce and at the same time technologies are emerging from the waves of digitalisation: IoT, blockchain, AI and robotics are upon us, enabling more and more possibilities for business. But how to harness those possibilities to be there for people, in a relevant way as a part of their lives? You cannot win over the consumer just with technology – you have to be there to solve their real problems, to connect to their values and to make their life better and more delightful.

The customer mindset and the emotions behind it are not always as straightforward and easy to understand as might first come to mind. This is where service design is needed. It provides a holistic view of this complex world with a design-thinking mindset and with tools and methodologies to tackle complex design problems, while bearing in mind what is feasible to build and what is viable for the business.

At its core, service design aims to break corporate silos and include all the stakeholders in the design process of “empathise-define-ideate-prototype-test” early on, helping to build empathy with the user and find new business opportunities by exploring the problem that needs to be solved. As a result, companies can focus on the right areas of their development and save time and money in the long run, when iterations, testing and pivoting are done in an agile way.

Finland is a small market in the end. But the human needs of being connected to a community, and feeling safe and appreciated are global. Consumers are also becoming more and more accustomed to services like Netflix, Spotify and Uber with highly skilled designer teams behind them. These services raise the bar for how things should work.

Businesses need to change their mindset to be there for their customers, not expect customers to be there for them. The best ideas come from brilliant minds, but I believe that polishing those gems to be the right fit for the consumers usually involves having an open mind to listen to the user and getting the right professionals to work together towards the same goal.

This is what service design does.

Published on 26.04.2018