In spring 2014, when Service Design was still a niche method in Germany, together with Innovation Researcher Carolin Thiem I decided to introduce the method at the re:publica, since many emerging topics had gained momentum after being presented to the audience of Europe‘s largest digital conference.
Instead of just talking about it, we wanted people to explore the core principles of service design by applying them hands- on. However, we had only one hour, no equipment except the usual conference technology, and had no idea how many people would participate: from 5 to 150 anything was possible.
We designed a workshop that led participants through a whole design process in six steps covering research, ideation, concept development including a rough customer journey and an iteration based on other people‘s feedback.
As every workshop is just as good as its preparation, we approached the project like service designers – in an iterative process. We outlined the instructional concept, tested it with a small group of participants and reworked it afterwards based on the feedback we got and the time our testers required. In the end, every interaction of the workshop was timed by the minute.
The preparation payed off: The nice workshop room we were assigned started to fill and finally was jam-packed with about 100 people who followed our guidance with attention and engagement. In 60 minutes they invented about 30 new services that aimed at adopting a healthier lifestyle like healthy food delivery or training serivces. Many results and positive responses can be found on Twitter searching for #rp14sd.
The workshop was later repeated at different conferences, as it proved to be a well working format to engage large audiences in a relatively short amount of time.