5 x 5 - Taking Issue, Jonathan Campbell

Interview with Jonathan Campbell, Senior Vice President, Experience & Service Design at Continuum

by Thomas Brandenburg

A code of ethics could be a powerful contribution by the Service Design Network and might be worth codifying.

1.What kind of hybrid communication tools have you seen or been asked to create? For instance, service blueprints that show journey stages, or journey maps that show blueprint visualizations. Do you think mixing different tools into one visualization is a good idea?

At Continuum we have a role called Envisioner. These are designers that communicate experiences using a variety of mediums, highlighting the emotional as well as functional aspects of a service through the eyes of the end user. This includes web-based tools, immersive spaces, video, and augmented reality.Because experiences are only increasing in complexity with more digital and analog touchpoints, we often find ourselves using a mix of tools to communicate. For work we did on the future of first response, we developed a set of prototypes and then created videos that showed their use. However, to create tangible interaction a kit was built that contained physical manifestations of the future experience to interact with. This allowed police, firefighters, and EMTs to engage with this experience. http://www.futureoffirstresponse.net/

2. Do you think design thinking has gotten more traction in the business world than service design? If so, why?

The term design thinking has indeed gotten much more traction, evident in its coverage in an entire issue of Harvard Business Review in September 2015. Unlike Design Thinking which is more focused on philosophy and process, Service design as a term suffers from multiple interpretations on the types of challenges it tackles. Does it stand for digital products? IoT? Multi-touchpoint experiences? Identifying new service business models? Service industries like insurance, healthcare or retail? Civic and social impact? Or new experiences for product industries such as auto manufacturers’ entering car services?

Yes. All of them. And that’s become the challenge in getting more traction within organizations.

3. Where is service design not happening? Why?

We see service design happening across industries and geographies with impressive and dedicated efforts happening in healthcare, financial services, retail, hospitality, and social impact. Some industries are only now really catching on to the power of service design, even as we see occasional great examples. This includes education, transportation, civic efforts such as urban planning, and B2B industries. Why the lag? I think many of those industries are only now realizing that the ‘customer’ has won. That there are more options, more competition, more avenues for having a voice, and that expectations from other industries are bleeding into the way a citizen, a commuter, or a logistics manager views their other experiences.

4. Given the attention to topics of demographic diversity and a culture of inclusion in design, do you think enough is being done, especially regarding the field of service design?

No, there isn’t enough being done. We need more diversity and inclusivity as an industry. Philosophically, we all celebrate the power of diverse design teams to build empathy and get to better outcomes, but diversity needs to be much more than disciplines.

5. Thinking about the “dark front stage” of service design, created to trick and manipulate the customer—do you think this is a growing trend for service design in the same way dark patterns have been for UX?

This is a real concern but I don’t see this as a growing trend in service design yet. The fact that we have seen manipulation occurring in parts of the UX discipline to warn us is a good thing. A code of ethics could be a powerful contribution by the Service Design Network and might be worth codifying.

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