joel bailey

Service Designers Cast your vote

At this very moment Service Designers from all over the world are voting, debating and discussing. Joel Bailey has set up a forum to capture the online conversation about next years Service Design Network Conference. joel_baily_service_design

The location of the event, accessibility and content are the main thread of chatter. The way our online community lives and breathes is something that has been on my  mind alot lately. Particularly, as it was one of the main influences of MakingServiceSense and the reality that things are changing, the landscape is shifting at such a dramatic pace.

Here is a snapshot of a very insightful chat  Fergus Bisset and I had about this very topic...

"What of that value our networks provide? Beyond the obvious pleasure that sharing links, drinks and thoughts provide, or the joys of discoursing with like minded individuals? How are we formalising the value that each of us takes away from these interactions? How is it guiding our autonomous activities, how is it intertwining itself with our ‘personal’ thoughts, dreams and ambitions? As Shirky, Leadbetter and many others have highlighted, social connectivity can be such a powerful driver and influencer how can we be sure we’re heading in the right direction?"


I think this is brilliant and a definite leap in the right direction. Hopefully, the network is listening to this conversation - the overriding message to you is 'practice what you preach'...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.

Joel Bailey recently wrote  Service Design: A feminist manifesto

"Got me thinking about the worst kept secret in service design, that 90% of clients are women. I’ve been pondering this and reckon it’s down to the method – an approach to change that is about collaboration and listening. Not wishing to stereotype, but those are not characteristics of the male board room. Certainly my years in management consultancy were about command and control, with top down change imposed and directed. The greatest appeal of service design as an approach is that it looks to peoples inherent resourcefulness for the answers. It says to people – you have it in you to transform the service you deliver. For me there’s something quite maternalistic in there"

Engine's Tamsin Smith posted an interesting reply:

"...the attraction of females to service design is something we’ve discussed as an emerging trend. It is certainly not reflected in current practice in which females service designers are definitely the minority.

The softer skills of a service designer such as empathy and capacity-building, for example, are more inherent female traits. The ‘People’ part of service design i.e. designing for people, with people, to make better people roles- again appeals to the feminine side in us"


I find this debate fascinating.  I had an insightful conversation with Sophia Parker about her research for Social Animals – and in her talking to many students focused / interested in Service Design – the majority of them were female. Certainly, from a product design background I think the Service Design practice appeals to designers who are happiest talking to people and researching -  compared to being in the work shop making.

The students / researchers I know who are focusing on  Service Design are female, yet the practitioners I know are male...

I'm curious…what do you think? and are you a Mr or a Mrs?

Photo credit

Tip Good Service Day

Joel Bailey, Director of Service Design at The Team asked a question that really got me thinking: why is it only restaurants that acquire regular tips? Sometimes, we also tip bell boys,bar workers, taxi drivers and hairdressers. However,  our daily lives are made up of services - surely they are all worthy of recognition? Postmen, shop workers, security guards, cleaners, nurses, librarians and the lolly pop man.


"People that provide me with a memorably good service experience should be recognised regardless of their industry."

Joel proposed the creation of a "Tip Good Service Day" Would this give rightful recognition to the fact that so many of us work in service businesses? Would it give those who strive to give good service an opportunity for recognition and reward? Would it give people who receive good service a chance to say thank you?

This immediately reminds me of Public Service Thank you: a thank you space created by the team at ThinkPublic. I have also recently become an author on the Thanks Stranger blog, which is a really simple and personal way just to say thanks to a stranger.

Let's do it. What could this look like?Who would you say thank you to and why? Who was the last person you tipped?

Photo from BC on Flickr

Service Design goes Pink*

Pink* Although many companies are seemingly practicing service design, or elements of the discipline, there are few who are wholly brand themselves as service designers. However, Frontier Design recently announced they were the first service design firm in the US... so I am eagerly awaiting more information from this very interesting group of people! What an exciting development for Service Design! Head Service Designer Joel Bailey echoed my opinion.

Thanks to Elliot's comment, I have discovered Pink*, a service design company based in Pennsylvania, founded in August 2008. Although their website is not completed, it is simple, informative and beautiful. I love that 'SEE' is part of their process: "we work with you and your stakeholders to understand the problem space from varied perspectives." I really look forward to learning more about Pink*!