Spotless loved being a part of the Service Design Fringe Festival 2017!

3 October 2017
Ben Logan

Ben Logan


Passionate about improving services and experiences for the people that use them.

During the Service Design Fringe festival, the Spotless team held two 1 day workshops; Mocha Methods and Underground Games. The first workshop aimed to apply Service Design methods to re-invent the experience of a coffee shop. While the second event, Underground Games, attempted to use service design methods to identify future opportunities in transport.


Mocha Methods by Hannah Steele and Kath Saeng-Uraiporn

Underground Games by Kayleigh Thompson and Erin Peace

These two events were successful well beyond our expectations with great ideas and enthusiasm from all participants. On Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st September, we welcomed people from the service design industry, experts in their own fields, students and graduates into our Shoreditch studio. Companies and universities included: Great Western Rail, NOW TV, Rainmaker Solutions, Adaptive Lab, Just Giving, Future Platforms, Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martin and Goldsmiths.


In both workshops we discussed what service design is both as a discipline and a process, why it is so important for brands, and the methods you can use to practice this strategic form of design. We launched version one of our Spotless method cards and toolkit of templates, which are available to download now! Our toolkit outlines different methods for each phase of our take on the Service Design process – Explore, Define, Ideate and Transform. Each card describes a method, when to use it and how it could benefit your project.


Here’s what we did in the workshop



Both workshops encouraged participants to go out and research in the field. We wanted participants to get first-hand experience of ethnographic research techniques such as conducting “Fly on the wall” observations, Contextual 1-to-1 Interviews, Service Immersion and Cognitive Walkthroughs.
Field research is such a powerful research approach, as it gives insight into what people do as well as what they say. At Spotless, we find Contextual Interviews to be a great technique for getting the most out of quick field research. During the workshops, participants conducted quick on the spot interviews within the service environment, and then spent time observing to validate their findings. We then got them to conduct Cognitive Walkthroughs where they immersed themselves in understanding by going through the experience of the service, documenting it second-by-second.

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Armed with their findings from the field research, participants were asked to develop personas based on the real people they spoke to and observed. Through the lens of these personas, they then created a “current state” customer experience map detailing what the customer is doing, thinking and feeling at every moment. These maps allow us to identify friction points and challenges within the service experience. We took these challenges and rephrased them into opportunity statements.

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The Ideate phase is all about creativity. Each team was asked to use the “crazy 8” method to come up with design ideas of quantity over quality. This approach may seem counterintuitive, but we encourage our workshop participants to draw any idea they can think of. We find this approach gets everyone collaborating, discussing and building upon their ideas. To help get the creative juices flowing we use five simple rules:

  1. ‘Quantity over quality’ early in the process!
  2. Think ‘Blue Sky’
  3. Vote and select the best ignore remit, costs etc. ideas- don’t be precious!
  4. Be visual: a picture says 1000 words.
  5. Build, bundle and expand on each others ideas.

We then bundled ideas, mixed and matched the best parts of several ideas and clustered them into themes. This is where potential design solutions start appearing! We got teams to vote on their favourite ideas to take into the Transform phase.



At the end of the workshop, participants delivered their thoughts and solutions through storyboards, concept posters, future headlines and a future state journey map. Each team presented and roleplayed their ideas for a final discussion and feedback session.

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A winning team in both workshops  

The winning team of each day showed a strong understanding of their user’s point of view, they identified a real challenge, and most importantly came to a creative solution that could deliver impact to the user!

The winning team from the Mocha Methods workshop presented an idea about helping front-line staff and baristas to pursue their personal passions and develop while earning a living. “The Daily Grind” extends the idea of a coffee shop being part of the community to their own staff, by providing skill sharing workshops. This team chose to roleplay their final idea which was very creative and funny!

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The winning team from Underground Games presented an idea to help tourist families travel easier with young child. “TFL Explorers” is a game for kids to play, keeping them entertained and calm while riding the tube. There are animal posters in every station that can be seen from inside the train, with an explorer book for children to colour in the animals they spot.



We want to thank those who gave us feedback:


“I was very impressed by your methodology and by your team, who led and coordinated the workshop, in particular by their ability to bring people together so effectively and inspire them.” – (Expert Participant)

“Thanks a lot! It was a fabulous workshop!” – (Workshop Participant)

“I absolutely loved the workshop and you guys did a really fab job of running it on the day.” – (Workshop Participant)


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Our primary goal was to increase attendee’s understanding of Service Design through this fast-paced taster project. We are very appreciative and encouraged by the level of attendance and engagement during both events, and we can’t wait for next year!

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Ben Logan - Director

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