sarah drummond

#22 The Service Designer

Sarah Drummond needs no introduction on here :) - my co-founder at Snook, founder of Cycle Hack and the women I've spent the last six years trying to change the world with. I can't wait to welcome Sarah to Hyper Island to work with the students. Here's what she has to say...

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

Let people fail in order to improve and don't tell them how to be better, ask them what they think, what they think could be better, why they did things the way they did them and how they would do them differently.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 16.51.44 What’s your burning question of the moment?

What is the role of small design consultancies in a future where the capability is being spread throughout education, free online and embedded into large organisations and brought in house.  What will the new small design boutiques need to become and how will they adapt?

What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?

I was teaching in Amsterdam, and the tutor Karen, her sister was involved in the Bali boat sinking.  She spent 50 hours at sea in the ocean, where white sharks operate, there were storms and she didn't have a life jacket.  There was a dozen people some who didn't make it, she treaded water and held on for her life.  She talked to her sister about seeing a volcano erupt from a far, holding onto drift wood and looking at the stars in the sky feeling she was in paradise ready to die.  I feel quite affected by this and inspired that when she was ready to let go she said, her body kicked into survival mode.  I'm fascinated by this and inspired by human being's resilience.

What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?

Look around you.  Every single thing from product to service to system to political system can be changed.  It's not easy but never forget that everything around you is made by another human being and the only way to change it is to collaborate with others and have a vision.

You can read more profiles here...

#21 The Local Government Designer

#20 The Start Up Designer

 #19 The Human Centered Designer

#16 The UX Designer

#15 The Data Designer

#14 The Experience Designer

#13 The Design Teacher

#12 The Creative Technologist

#11 The Creative Generalist

#10 The Hyper Island Designer

#9 The Conscious Designer

#8 The Business Designer

#7 The Networked Designer

#6 The Speculative Designer

#5 The Digital Maker

#4 The Craftsman

#3 The Storyteller

#2 The Dreaming Maker 

#1 The Go-Getter.

Global Service Jam Scotland

I am very excited to say that Global Service Jam is officially alive and kicking. It's happening and it's coming to a city near you!!!!! When we say 'jam' we mean:  "Jamming": Developing new ideas through cooperation, improvisation and creativity. Location: Planet Earth. Rocking the world of service design and customer experience.

This is kind of a big deal! Sarah put up a little site for organising the Global Service Jam event in Scotland on the 11th to the 13th March 2011. Make sure you sign up and get involved!


So how does it all work?

"On 11, 12 & 13 March, 2011, people interested in service and customer experience will meet all over the globe. In a spirit of experimentation, co-operation and friendly competition, teams will have 48 hours to develop brand new services inspired by a shared theme.

The Friday evening (local times) will see service designers, customer experience folks, students, professors, businesspeople, anthropologists, customers, hackers and actors converge on jam locations all over the world. After meeting up and warming up, they will be given a set of common themes for a brand new service. Based on brainstormed ideas, teams will form. Then it's time to get practical.

The teams will have less than 48 hours to research, ideate, prototype (and iterate) their service using whatever methods they want to explore. A social media thread will make sure that all teams - worldwide - will know what is going on, and who is working on what. Groups will learn together, experiment, and bounce ideas and techniques around the planet.

On Sunday afternoon, each team will upload their ideas in a digital, disseminable form, under a Creative Commons license. (The idea remains yours, but the world will see how you made it).

Sound like fun?

Perhaps you want to run a local jam? Or perhaps you want to find other people local to you who might be interested? Maybe you just want to enjoy the buzz?

Get on list at and keep in the loop by following @GSJam,,,"

Round of applause for Adam and Markus who have made the Global Service Jam a reality. The two chaps really are one of a kind -  thanks to them I now carry a rubber chicken in my bag every day ... watch them in action at the Service Design Network conference below.

[vimeo 15969083]

Berlin Beckons

The  Service Design Network Conference Agenda was released this week. I went along to their first event in Amsterdam, November 2008, I couldn't afford a ticket on my student budget so I asked my university to buy me a ticket instead of paying me for the teaching I was doing at the time. Like many others I decided not to go to the event in 2009 primarily because its location, but it did spark a huge debate amongst the community about what the next conference should be!

So, here we are in 2010 with the "next conference "only months away! I'm feeling pretty proud of myself because I have been invited to be a keynote speaker on the second day and my partner in crime, Sarah is lecturing on the first day. I am also initiating a design challenge around Making Service Sense. A hat trick for the Snook team !

I can't wait to meet new people and put many faces to twitter names! This opportunity has really got me thinking, I want to make an impact. I re-read the post I wrote about the event in 2008 and the journey I have been on since then has been pretty incredible.

I can't wait to share it with you.

adventures with FutureGov

"We seem to be in a run of telling you about new projects we’re involved in at the moment. This time round, we’re partnering with our associates Snook to work with the Scottish Government on their groundbreaking ALISS project. Here our project lead, Lauren Currie, tells more…Dominic, FutureGov"

We are working with the Scottish Government to create a service that helps people with long term conditions find local support and services. This project is called ALISS ( Access to Local Information to Support Self Management ) and you can catch up on the rest of the team’s activities here. We are documenting our phase of the project at Supporting Pipes.

This project echoes our belief that, by empowering people to make informed decisions about how to manage their life with the necessary support, it can have very real and positive outcomes for all involved.

Living with a long-term condition can have a profound effect on a person and their social network (family, friends and beyond). The impact can extend to social, economic, psychological, physical, cognitive and cultural aspects of a person’s life. I have been literally blown away by the people I have met so far. People who light up a room with their stories and laughter despite the day to day challenges that can come with living with a long term condition.

People cope as well as they can with the support they have, but frequently do not have the adequate information or skills to develop a sustainable coping strategy to manage their condition, or make informed decisions about their life. We have met people of all ages, with various conditions ranging from depression to asthma. When I asked Kate, who has eczema, what she got out of being part of the eczema society, she said:

“Post and paper work I don’t read or need.”

We want to empower people to learn about their condition, acknowledge the impact it can have on their life, make positive changes and identify areas where they might need support.

Of course, people with long-term conditions are major users of the health and social care support services in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. Often these services are driven by external and internal pressures, rather than placing the people and their direct needs at its centre. That’s why a big part of our research has involved talking to the people who run and provide these services. Alan, pictured below, runs a drop in centre for adults with mental health issues where he encourages people to build their own support services.


We have been working with people to document their journey, with a particular service user mapping their emotions, physical touchpoints and areas where support is needed. This is Marjorie who was diagnosed with osteoporosis eight years ago and was left to find her own way.


We have suddenly found ourselves immersed in this world that is what it is because of connections and empathy. These service users see themselves as part of a system and for one reason or another have lost faith in this very system. What we are working to achieve is to seamlessly link up the offline and the online, focusing on the points of contact. The one thing we have learned so far is that face-to-face contact should never be undervalued and people are our best resource – not only can they be hubs of information, but experts in their own lives and health.

I am snook

Hello! It has been over a month since I went offline to begin a new adventure. Closing my blog and twitter account for a while just felt like the right thing to do, Redjotter has become more than I ever imagined it could be, opening my mind and challenging my perspective on what it means to be a Service Designer in ways I never thought possible. I am humbled and excited that students and educators from all over the world are keen to hear about my online 'journey' and I hope I can continue to share this with all of you via The Studio Unbound.

Now that MyPolice is grown up and officially a ‘business’ it was time for Sarah and me to become an official company.  We chose to create an ‘umbrella concept’ that MyPolice can live under. MyPolice is my main focus, it is what I work on every day. Nevertheless, we wanted to develop an identity to convey the ethos of MyPolice and what we believe can happen when designers work with public services...

I would like to introduce you all to Snook:

"The idea is a simple one.

We just want to change the world.

Snook is all about the power of people.

Sure, we are young. We may not have run a business before. And we may never fully understand what indemnity and grey market mean.

But, we do know how to make people listen to us. We do know how to get a community to speak up about what's important to them with lollipops. And we know how to bring change to a closed organisation with a few pages of newsprint and red felt tips.

We are part of a new movement; a shift in ways of seeing and ways of being.

You can follow us on twitter at @wearesnook

We hope you are as curious as us as to what Snook might become…"

As part of our 30 day social media rehab Sarah and me wrote letters to each other to develop our thinking about what we wanted Snook to be. Hand written letters have always enchanted me, I spent a year designing 'Douceurs' ; a service that enabled people to send letters to their future, intended to capture the beauty, simplicity and personal touch of traditional communication methods. This time around, our letters were to each other in the present day, each letter answering and asking a new question.  They are all available to read on our site.

What a month. Alot of learning that went on,  out of my past year in this space this month was really different. It was a time of the unknown, conflicts, newness and amazing conversations. For me personally this past month and this year end marks the beginning of the year ahead as a fully fledged entrepreneur.

I was uneasy about giving myself such a 'title' but people often ask me "What is it about being a designer that has helped you to be so naturally entrepreneurial?" and "Have you always been entrepreneurial?" and the truth is I think I have been. When I discovered the world of 'service design' I knew the job I wanted didn't exist yet.  I have suddenly found myself interviewing employees, generating cash flows and signing too many forms to count. It feels a bit like a crash course but I am loving every minute of it.

Joining up in all its forms has happened, is happening, and I hope it will happen even more in the future. I have met incredible people with ideas so good they give me goosebumps. I am on a mission to practice what I have been preaching and win the hearts and minds of those who are in charge of putting my ideas into effect. With Sarah by my side, I believe we can do it.

Coming offline gave me space to reflect on what Redjotter means to me, in terms of what has been and what lies ahead. It also made me value and appreciate the online network I am part of.  Thank you to everyone who asked me to come back online, wrote to me to and text me instead of tweeting me.

Last year I offered you all winter wishes, this year I think we should all put some of our Christmas spirit into jars and open a jar of it every month...