joe heapy puts pen to paper

A new service design publication is on it's way next summer... Service Design: A design for new challenges written by Joe Heapy, co-founder and director of Engine. I met Joe at  Service Design Drinks in February, he recently collaborated with Demos to research and publish, The Journey to the Interface, a pamphlet setting out the role of user-centred approaches to service design in the public sector. Picture 22

"In Service Design, Joe Heapy looks at the ways people use services, the ways innovative organisations across sectors are now looking to develop the services we use; and the new needs that they've created for us. The author identifies the reasons why organisations need to adopt new methods to develop their understanding of how services work and how to go about designing really good ones; and the importance of designing services with and not just for people.

Service Design outlines Engine's approach to innovating and designing services and that of other design and non-design organisations. The author identifies trends in the design of services and the big issues and opportunities that are shaping the services that we use."

Thank you to Jeff for discovery!

Graham just reminded me - why is it hundreds of dollars? Very inaccessible...

Engine nominated for award

SILK by Engine Engine have been nominated for the British Insurance Design of the year award 2009 for their project with Kent County Council and the Social Innovation Lab. Here are a list of all the nominees.

Congratulations! It is a fantastic project that deserves recognition. Although, I was a little surprised to find the nomination in the Graphic Design category...

Via. Choosnick.

Service Design on film

This film was created by Engine's Cale. It is about a Service Design student workshop. [youtube=http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=p88xV-aRirA]

I liked the quick and dirty approach Cale used to getting the students into the 'service' mind set by analysing the content of their wallet!

"Engine are committed to developing a greater awareness of the value of service design and help students to develop their capacity to think as service designers with the aid of new tools and new approaches."

Service Design takes centre stage

I have spent the last few days at Europe's first conference dedicated to Service Design. I was also lucky enough to see beautiful Amsterdam in the snow.. In the 168people crowd there were many familiar faces; it was nice to finally put faces to names I have gotten to know. The presentations were all good, some were excellent... Oliver King, co-founder of Engine, most definitely stood out from the crowd.


I left inspired although I have to say I didn't learn anything new; this was a missed opportunity for show casing and bench marking. I was hoping to learn about successful Service Design projects from the business world, the private and public sector.

I would have liked to learn more from Shelley Evenson from Carnegie Mellon University who discussed Service Innovation within Health Care. She described design as a 'catalyst for change', reinforcing the importance that designers adopt a 'fearlessness of really listening'.

I believe our job now is to develop new ways of communicating Service Design to the public. We need to spend less time talking to ourselves and each other. There is still too many fruitless conversations spent defining disciplines and labeling people; it doesn't matter how we define it. It is how we do it that counts!

This will require painting the bigger picture; conveying the strong connection to business, strategy and the importance of diving into the customers world.


For me, the last few days proved that the demand for Service Design is growing. It definitely is an emerging field and more people are curious... I hope to stay in touch with the interesting people I met. As Birgit Mager concluded "We need to spread the word. Let's get started and do it, getting better and better everyday."

My plan now is to get out into the world and do just that.

My Flickr photos from the event.

Engine and the local government

"Kent County Council and Engine Service Design have been supporting teams of innovators across the county in using new tools and techniques to deliver better services. Local Government Channel explores the difference these innovations are making." Watch the video here.


Engine are opening the minds of ordinary citizens, creating opportunities for learning through doing.