Exploring 'playful service walkthrough'

On May 12th, the SDN Netherlands chapter organised a workout at Amsterdam hospital Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (AVL). The topic was: "Playful service walkthrough".

We welcomed about 15 professionals of AVL itself and about 25 service designers. There was a great vibe, lots of innovative ideas and a lot of fun and creativity.

 

Playful service walkthrough is a way of prototyping services that's becoming more and more popular. It lets you prototype with cardboard, a Stanley knife, Playmobil, Lego, and anything else physical you think comes in handy. With a 3D prototype you subsequently role play the new service. The effect is much greater empathy with the patient and her context. At the same time, this way of working triggers creativity a lot, so together with your team you arrive at many new ideas.

Besides the low cost, the speed and empathy-effectiveness, its success maybe also lies in the guilty pleasure aspect: One could easily see the sparkling in the participants' eyes. Everyone was completely focussed this evening. "Actually, this is what I really like to do all day long," one of the participants whispered to me.


We applied the method to a serious topic: Onboarding at AVL – A hospital specialised in cancer treatment. Having received bad news, patients who come to the hospital for a diagnosis are often very emotional. And this first day, they need to digest a lot of information, undergo all kinds of examinations and have conversations about their health. 

For the meetup we prepared a patient journey map so that participants would have a shared view of the experience to start from. Playful service walkthrough, and the presence of field experts and service designers helped us explore ways to improve the patient experience of their first visit. Many ideas for improvement for a better patient experience resulted.


 

The meetup was a great success: it helped AVL with innovative ideas and get more acquainted with design thinking. And some of the participating service designers recently applied the technique himself at his own company. Mission accomplished I'd say.


- Susanne van Mulken

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