Bringing ideas to life: how to turn well-designed services into well-running services

In my research, I want to understand what can be learned about consequences of implementing a service while the service is being designed, to make the realisation of the service more successful for the people and organisations involved in it.

Going from idea to reality is not easy. When you decorate an apartment or house, you can have an idea of what it should look like, but then find that you lack skills, time, money, etc. to make it exactly the way you have in mind. The same goes for services.

A service can be seen as a collaboration between organisations, technology and people, that is aimed at supporting its users in achieving what matters to them in their daily life. Going from an idea for a service to realising the service is difficult. Reality is unruly and organisational or contextual factors can make it hard to implement a service exactly the way as it was designed. Therefore, services are not always implemented the way they were imagined or they are not implemented at all. I think this is a shame, because then people will not be able to experience the service and development resources are wasted.

To change this situation for the better, I am looking into what can help to turn well-designed services into well-running services that people enjoy using and that make economic sense.


Exploring consequences of the future service during its development

In my research, I do this by testing the future before it is here. By this, I mean looking at consequences of implementing a certain design of a service, before actual implementation. You can compare this to trying to build a castle you have pictured in your head with a given set of blocks. Then you may find that some blocks have a wrong shape (a new routine does not fit in the organisation) or are even missing (you do not yet have certain resources that are needed in the service). In other words, you develop knowledge about what parts of the designed service work and what parts still require work in order to be able to implement the service as it is imagined.

In a similar way, I try to understand what different ways of presenting the future service can provide in terms of knowledge regarding what is needed for successful realisation of a service. For example, together with the development team for a new service, I make process flows that describe who will do what in the situation where the service is operational. I then use such a visualisation in interviews with those who will fulfil a role in the service, to discuss what they see as consequences that implementing the service could have for their work.

Teaching and other departmental activities

Besides my research, I teach in several design courses on bachelor and master level. These courses focus on the use of various ways of involving the people who will be the users of what is being designed in the design process, either informants or as collaborators. In addition to this, I supervise students who are writing their bachelor or master thesis. 

Furthermore, I organise what is called the mentor company programme - a collaboration between the Cognitive Science bachelor programme and several companies in Linköping. In the programme, students work together with one company (their mentor company) during several course projects in the bachelor programme. The programme aims to create long term relationships between students and companies that can lead to, for instance, thesis work or future employment, thus retaining competent employees in the region of Östergötland. 

About me

I have been trained as a designer at the University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands, where I have received a Bachelor diploma in Industrial Design Engineering in 2009 and a Master diploma in Design for Interaction in 2012 from the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.

Following my university studies, I have worked as a research assistant in the Interaction and Service Design research group at Linköping University, where I have started as a PhD student in 2015.

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