What if the end of a service was as desirable as the start?

In this short article we’ll share with you some highlights from the talk that took place on Tuesday 28th February 2023, co-organized by the HSLU MA Design programs and the Swiss Service Design Network Chapter.

The Absurdity of How Services End


Imagine this: you build the house of your dreams, so you take out a mortgage that you slowly pay off for years. During all these years, your banker checks in from time to time to see that all is good. They might even help you out with an additional loan to fix that darn garage door.


After many years, your house is truly your own. You’ve paid your mortgage in full. Sounds like something to celebrate, right? That’s a big milestone!


For you, maybe, but for the bank, no. They just send you a last letter. That’s it.


Compare this to how much time and energy the bank invested at the start of the relationship. There was nearly some seduction going on.


What this story shows is that service creators, product creators, and organizations have become masters at designing the onboarding phase, but often almost forget to create an offboarding phase.


In his talk, Joe shared many examples of how broken the end of the relationship with our products and services is.

Questions That Help Us Rethink Our Relationship with Ends as Service Designers


But there is hope.


Imagine this:


  • What if we spent as much energy designing the ends as we do designing the services or their onboarding?
  • What if the end of a relationship with a service was as desirable as the beginning?
  • What if stopping use of a product didn't create waste?


These are all questions that help us rethink how we usually design products, services, and experiences.

 --

Frameworks to Create Meaningful Offboarding Experiences


There is hope for creating a more meaningful offboarding experience. Many smart people have developed frameworks and conducted research to help us design better endings. During his talk, Joe mentioned a few of these frameworks:


  1. Terror Management Theory: by Ernest Becker, and the subsequent experiments done by Kasser and Sheldon in 2000.
  2. Role Exit: by Helen Rise Ebaugh.
  3. Cognitive Closure by Donna Webster and Arie Kruglanski.
  4. Emotional Design by Don Norman, including his work on Reflective Design.
  5. Mood Memory by Penelope A. Lewis and Hugo D. Critchley.
  6. Peak End Rule by Daniel Kanheman.

You can become an "endineer" too

To learn more, read Joe's two books on the topic of designing ends (Ends, Endineering), or join his next online course cohort.


Get notified of the next events

More service design events are planned, join the newsletter now to get notified once per month of all the service design events, meetups and talks that happen in Switzerland.

Thank you

A big thank you to the HSLU MA Design programs for hosting this lovely event, the attendees for their smart questions, and to Joe Macleod for sharing his knowledge in such a brilliant way.

Related Headlines

SDN Chapters Service Design Global Conference 2024 - Registration and Speaker Call are open!

Service Design Global Conference 2024 - Registration and Speaker Call are open!

Super Early Bird tickets for the Service Design Global Conference (SDGC24) are now open for sale. Register early and get a free workshop included in your conference ticket, as tickets are available in limited quantity.

Continue reading
SDN Chapters Join us for the next Service Design Network Next Gen Conference 2024

Join us for the next Service Design Network Next Gen Conference 2024

Attention students, young and senior professionals and career shifters: Join us for the 3rd annual SDN Next Gen Conference 2024 held online with the amazing theme: “Infinite Threads: Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Unlock the Power of Service Design” on April 12th.

Continue reading
SDN Global News Replay tickets SDGC23

Replay tickets SDGC23

If you missed the Service Design Global Conference 2023, you can now register for a ticket to watch the recordings from our Replay section.

Continue reading
SDN Chapters 2nd Open Innovation Challenge 2024 - Shaping the Future of Food Manufacturing with Service Design

2nd Open Innovation Challenge 2024 - Shaping the Future of Food Manufacturing with Service Design

SDN Singapore Chapter is thrilled to share the incredible energy and innovation that unfolded at the Ideactio studio during our 2nd Open Innovation Competition centred around ‘Shaping the Future of Food Manufacturing’! Our talented participating teams embraced the opportunity to tackle this dynamic challenge head-on, bringing forth a wave of creativity and cutting-edge solutions. It was truly inspiring to witness the diverse perspectives and collaborative spirit that our participants brought to the table. Teams showcased ingenious approaches to tackle the challenge statements given. Innovative technologies and sustainable practices took centre stage, reflecting our commitment to a greener and more resilient future. Cross-functional collaboration at its best - Engineering, design, IT and life science students seamlessly blended their skills to craft holistic solutions. The amazing winners! Winning Team - Ngee Ann Polytechnic: Process automation to optimise delivery and improve efficiency Co-Runners Up (two teams) - Ngee Ann Polytechnic & Nanyang Polytechnic: Attract and retain young local talent for business expansion. Third Place - Singapore Polytechnic: Attract young talents by understanding prospective employees. A massive congratulations to all participating teams for pushing boundaries and redefining the future of food manufacturing! We believe in fostering a culture of innovation, and this competition was a testament to the extraordinary talent within our partners. A heartfelt thanks to all participants, mentors, and judges who made this event a resounding success. Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue to push the boundaries of creativity and explore new frontiers in innovation!

Continue reading