Snook are going to Scotweb2

On Friday Snook are going to the Third Annual ScotWeb2 event in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. The event is aimed at people of all ages to come and share their experience of collaboration on the internet...that means YOU!

This event is aimed at the following folks:

  • Central government, local government, NHS and other public sector employees
  • School children and their teachers ; students ; those in their middle age and the older generation
  • ICT people ; teachers ; life-long learners ; communications ; marketing ; PR
  • ICT Developers. programmers ; social media ; digital enablers
  • Campaigners from NGO and third sector
  • Public, private and third sector employees
  • Business and social enterprises
  • Academics ; students ; FE and HE

The event showcases enterprising, innovative and entrepreneurial behaviours in the web 2 world:

  • Stewart Kirkpatrick talk about Scotland's first on-line newspaper The Caledonian Mercury,
  • Mike McTernan on mobile devices and the web
  • The City of Edinburgh Council web team on their work with new CMS and Jadu,
  • Nokia on mobile trends
  • Iain Henderson on Vendor Relationship Management and Personal Data Stores from Mydex,
  • Peter Ashe on the NHS user-centred long term conditions project ALISS ( tip top -can't wait for this one ;)

"This time we focus on individuals, organisations, communities, social enterprise, businesses, local and central government, and other public sector agencies working with web 2.0 to grow a sustainable economy and deliver public services and public value to the people of Scotland.In the afternoon we will have more of an Un-conference feel with suggestions and discussions primed by participants"

If all these types of people turn up it is going to be a good one. We will be having conversations about:

  • Social media and how it is used
  • How to set up social media options and advocate for change
  • Engaging with different generations
  • Is social media helping people make connections and feel happier ?

The organiser, Alex Stobart, is keen to involve students and graduates in the event - please get in touch with him and come along. He is brilliant and the event will be too. It makes sense.

Snook's week under the coten spotlight

This week Snook are the special guests on the Coten Project. We made this video to share our views on service design education. Service Design Education for the COTEN Project.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.942333&w=425&h=350&fv=]

We talk about lots of things including our experiences of learning service design and the conversations we have with students and graduates who want to know more about the topic. For those of you who didn't sign up to be part of the Coten Project you can post any questions / thoughts right here and we will get back to you! For those clever people who are part of it - please visit the main studio section and join in the conversation!

MyDownhamMarket needs service designers

Wow. It seems a call out for 'service designers' is becoming a regular item on my to-do list... it's my pleasure to introduce MyDownhamMarket ... SI Camp and The Young Foundation are teaming up to run an event in King's Lynn. Young people will be entering ideas and 3 of them will get developed in a day. They are looking for service designers to get involved. They can offer travel expenses for people that come along, and food during the event. Ideally they're after some students who want some experience or freelancers that can give up a day of their time.

So what's it all about?


"MyDownhamMarket is all about coming up with new ideas to make your local area better using simple web and mobile tools. We’ll be bringing young people from the Downham Market area together with students and professional software developers and designers to create new projects that use web and mobile tools to make Downham Market better for everyone.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be hunting down some of the best ideas that could change something that matters in the local area. Ideas might be about finding a sports team, getting people together to clean up a park or ways of sharing lifts to school.
We’ll be choosing three of the best ideas to help build at a day-long event 4th June from 9am-6pm at the Highschool with the help of a whole bunch of different people – from business students to professional software developers."

Do it. It's real service design for real people...

The role of a service design graduate

This one minute video is a snapshot of my Masters final project, set out to explore; "What is the role of a service design graduate in tomorrow's design landscape? [youtube=]

1. AIM: The objective of the final project is to first define the skill set of a service designer and make a tangible contribution to an evolving field. My project will be both about and for people - for members of the public, graduates and for young designers who are keen to push past the status quo.

2. METHODS: In developing my own brief, I have adopted a metaphorical model recently pioneered by a writer on innovation Charles Leadbeater. I have visually created my current 'landscape', showing all the ' real world ' projects I am immersing myself in, and how they are related to one another. For example, I have recently become a news scout for the International Service Design Network.

3. DELIVERY: The third stage of my project is delivery. I intend to deliver a new voice to the world of service design and aim to create a service that offers an accessible pathway for all, through and into the service design industry.

The following insights from IDEO's Ryan Jacoby have influenced how I am perceiving this piece of work...

"If it isn't new, you aren't learning. If it isn't new, it probably isn't a meaningfully differentiated offering. If it isn't new, you aren't going to get the attention of a new user. Since new offerings and new users are how you grow, then you're probably not growing.

When you're at the edges, people are bound to disagree on the right path forward. If everyone on your innovation or design team agrees, you probably aren't pushing hard enough. That's a tough reality and one of the hidden facets of what is usually a team sport.

So, what can you do to help inform your decision? Here are some options.

Observe and interpret what the ultimate user wants: Design research is meant, in part, to uncover explicit and implicit functional, emotional and reflective needs of a user. Getting out into the field to really look deeply and listen faithfully makes the difference.

Test, validate and repeat: Most large scale organizations know this well. Unfortunately, the thing about traditional validation and the use of benchmarks is that they are actually a form of consensus (albeit with folks or a standard that isn't even in the room).

Design for "yourself": There's a school of thought that says you can and should design for yourself. Steve Portigal has an article (the first in a series I believe) in Interactions magazine that discusses this point of view. I think this usually doesn't work for most large-scale companies (with notable exceptions of course) because most of their people are not the user.

Show the user: Build a prototype and show it to someone. Anyone. Projective methods, a type of design research, puts a question in front of someone to let them react. Let your users' reactions influence you (not necessarily guide you), refine what you're making and helping to craft how you'll tell the story of what you're making.

Build it, see what sticks and learn from it: The less the experiment costs, the better. Build a discovery-driven plan and you'll know what to learn."

This is my initial prototype and I have decided to show you it. This is very much a draft piece and it is worth mentioning I am not entirely happy with some of the editing techniques used.

I am putting this question to you: Can you find fault with this?

Your reactions will influence me, help me refine the direction of my project and craft the story of what I am aiming to achieve.