Who owns the future – Jaron Lanier

A book about silent services. Our details that are being sold to third parties without our agreement, let alone benefits for us. How else can a company that is only giving us information making money out of us? This books gives a genius insight into the world of ownership. Is my Facebook profile picture mine? Or is it just my head and can Facebook do with it whatever it wants? We don’t know these things as all that is written about this issue is far too complicated for anyone who isn’t a lawyer. Lanier is able to pose questions, go for the extreme and then get back to reality where he shows strikingly how our world is shapable. 

While reading the book I had the feeling that Lanier was urging us, readers, to rethink value and ownership. He never said that any situation was good or bad, but he did explain how all these elements are a part of what we know as our reality. In any given situation we would ask someone: why do you need to know this. But when it comes to our behaviour online we don’t seem to care. As a designer with a possible future in chair positions I will at least review how we deal with these elements of our world. If possible I’d like to show what is happening with data we take or use. 

At the moment we, 6 service designers and myself, are building a service where the data of people is used. We made very clear that the benefits would not just be for the seller and buyer but also for the person who undoubtedly shares his information. Perhaps that is a step into the right direction.

A guidebook, the basics, explanations and examples, not all the answers but it provides some straws in the wind. This book is clear and understandable. This book has a multidisciplinary approach towards Service Design. It is nice to read how a product designer approaches Service Design. My bachelors’ in product design is pleasantly linked by Satu Miettinnen who explains that service design in product design has to do with approaching the whole manufacturing process. The idea of developing hybrid products, developing products that also provide services, is a field that suits me as I always search for the moment where the user comes in. The stakeholders play an important role in all service design developments. I am keen to start applying the approaches!  

The new book called ‘This is service design doing’ is the follow up, I am curious to find out what hands-on techniques they will explain. 

Representing Future Situations of Service – Blomkvist, Johan

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This paper explores the role of prototyping in Service Design. It questions different ways of prototyping such as a walk through, the use of external representations and it looks at how a prototype helps the design process in the future. The paper also looks at what prototypes really are. 

What I found most interesting is the explanation that there must be made a difference when talking about designing for services or designing of services. He looks at whether the question is to make a new service or if you design for an existing service. Blomkvist connects this information with using services as a design material, which I would love to see happening. The reason why I think this is an interesting way to position service design is because you get more playground with the company or institution you work for. If you can show how the material takes shape it means you can influence it, thus influence the users.

Service design is a design method (an approach) in order to become customer centric. It’s used to improve the relationship between the organisation and their customers but also to improve the relation within the organisation.

Daniel Ewerman @ service design network

I am still trying to define service design, there will be more, there will be iterations. This definition is a good start, but the part about ‘customer centric’ is not really how I think about it. What it is, I hope to define soon.

Happiness – Richard Layard

A whole book about happiness, wellbeing and the cause or lack of the two. This may sound unimportant, but it is highly interesting to find out that happiness has little to do with our financial state. [unless you get a bigger raise than people around you] The external factors interest me. In some cases we, as service designers, should keep them in mind when setting principles for the projects we run. Because the right environment where people feel acknowledged will benefit our society and their workplace.

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The book reminded me of Stefan Sagmeisters’ Happy Show, a show about happiness that would also make people happy. Happiness was measured and also stimulated in all kinds of ways. He uses aspects that Richard Layard writes about, a smile makes you feel better and when you move endorfine will give you a good feeling. Oh and not to forget are the people around us, who we have a relationship with, make us happy (or not). 

Layard, R (2011) Happiness lessons from a new science, penguin books