Organizing an event such as the Service Design Global Conference is definitely not a one-man job. In the past, SDN has received fantastic support from many volunteers and local chapters, resulting in great events full of service design knowledge, networking possibilities and great fun. This year’s global conference takes place in Madrid, supported by our Spanish local team.
What is good service design to you? Juanjo: “An excellent service should have a clear purpose that enhances people and their context. Keeping that in mind, the most successful upcoming systems will push the human-centered approach towards providing experiences that users love to be part of and make them better.”
Anxo: “Good service design meets user needs. Good service design lives under the touchpoints that are continuously improving to deliver better experiences, based on previously user interactions and data. Good service design is the one that can connect physical and digital experiences seamlessly.”
Marcela: “It's when design projects provide true value with an end-to-end design process, where all stakeholders involved are truly engaged, when it's supported by first hand insights, when strategy is properly grounded into tangible and iterated touch points that will keep adapting to the users needs as the service stays alive.”
Rafael: “Good service design works both for the end user and for the organisation. For the consumer, there's a coherent flow of touch points and a solid narrative throughout the service, with a touch of delight. For the organisation, it provides alignment around the customer in breadth and depth, from the tip of the touchpoint to the very bottom of business operations, for all the different internal structures that make the service happen and surround it.”
What is your role as a team member for SDGC17? Juanjo: “I have the chance of helping the SDGC team not only regarding content contribution, but also imagining the most engaging venue experience. Discussing how to make the most memorable journey from arriving until leaving the great place we have this year!”
Anxo: “I'm the local co-chair for this edition of the conference in Madrid. I'm looking forward to have service designers from around the world to share a coffee and talk about what we are doing here at what is happening around design disciplines in Spain. I love the city and I think that, as a design place, we are globally not connected enough.”
Marcela: “I've been part of the team that collaborates proposing, venues, keynote speakers, et cetera. I’ve also helped by engaging our local service design community to participate, by supporting local flavour initiatives that will be held at the conference.”
Rafael: “I'm the local team's main touch point with SDN, so my role is to make sure the team has everything they need to prepare different aspects of the conference, to keep everyone on the local and global teams informed and to serve the SDN as a local reference point in terms of the particularities of the local context and how to best navigate them. As just about any other team member, I also put out ideas for for the flow of the conference and the content.”
Why did you decide to take part in making SDGC happen this year? What has been the biggest challenge? Juanjo: “I am super excited about having the conference in Madrid! Madrid has an active service design community. I would say service design students and professionals have been working together to push and make the discipline more visible. Hosting this year's conference is a recognition for their efforts and I for sure do not want to miss it.”
Anxo: “We have an active service design community in Madrid and other major cities of Spain, but we are not that much connected to the global community. Maybe this is caused by the language or related to our history of isolation, but nowadays I think that we have many things to share internationally and that's the main reason to help doing this effort in Madrid.”
Marcela: “I am very excited about having an event of this calibre taking place in Madrid. I strongly believe it will help support talented professionals who relentlessly work every day demonstrating the value service design brings to their organizations.”
Rafael: “The SDGC has a great track record and a very loyal crowd. Past conferences have been great and everyone has very high expectations, and on top of that this will the be 10th anniversary... So, no pressure! It also means that the SD community is very mature at this point, both locally and globally, and there's loads of great content out there. Balancing content for different levels in the audience and putting together something worth experiencing in person is the biggest challenge.”
What can people expect to see at this year’s conference? Juanjo: “The topic of this year is critical to the future of service design. Design and measuring its impact is crucial to enhance our skills and improve our processes and tools, but also to make our work clearer to everyone else. I would say that this year’s event is open to everyone, not only practitioners.”
Anxo: “They can expect an active and motivated local team looking forward to share the goodies of the city. They can also expect a diverse international conference program with a lot of reflection on one of the most interesting topics of the moment: Service Design at Scale. Professionals like me, that are living the opportunity of introducing design in a large corporation, probably already know that this is something that makes the difference, not just in terms of how this impacts on user experience but also on corporate cultural transformation.”
Marcela: “A strong presence of the Spanish speaking SD community, which I believe is pretty strong and experienced, from academia, consultancies, and corporate sectors. I hope to see a strong impact on the local community, pushing itself forward to excellence, more visibility, and recognition in the international community of Service Design.”
Rafael: “Well, we wouldn't want to give it all away now, right? Beyond the solid content we've got in the pipeline, the awards, masterclasses and side events, expect to have a taste of the local city flavor, and a good sense of local community vibe. Plus, we do have to celebrate the 10th anniversary somehow!”
What piece of advice would you like to give someone who will attend SDGC17? Juanjo: “I encourage them to schedule some talks or workshops that are not considered your daily tasks or interest. It is an outstanding opportunity to hear different approaches and visions connected to design and great user experiences.”
Anxo: “Enjoy all the activities around SDGC17, especially the ones related to the local community. Take a walk around the city and enjoy Madrid by day and night. See you at the Spanish ‘Marcha’!”
Marcela: “To connect with the local service design community. To share their own experience with them, since local professionals are really generous and eager to share their own.”
Rafael: “Be present and leave the screen off for a while. Enjoy your time with the rest of the community, share and learn in equal parts and by all means: hit the city!”
This year's Service Design Global Conference takes place in the majestic city of Madrid, on November 2-3. For more information about the conference, feel free to visit our SDGC17 page, follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.
Hotwire is a global communications agency that helps CMOs to better engage and connect with their customers. They're also one of the sponsors for this year's Service Design Global Conference. We asked them a few questions about SDGC and service design in general. Let's hear what they have to say!
In November 2017, the global service design community will come together in Madrid for the annual SDN Global Conference. This year, the conference marks a significant milestone: It’s the tenth event that the SDN has hosted. In anticipation of the occasion, SDN President Birgit Mager, and Event Board principals Jamin Hegeman and Alex Nisbett looked back through the years at the milestones that have brought us to this point.
An Exclusive Interview from the Chairwoman of the International Service Design Network, Birgit Mager
Since 1995 Birgit Mager has held the first European professorship in service design at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, and since then has developed the field of service design constantly in theory, methodology and practice. Her numerous lectures, publications and projects have strongly supported the implementation of a new understanding of the economical, ecological and social function of the design in the domain of services.