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Design Thinking 101


Nov 27, 2018

Today’s guest is the remarkable Linn Vizard, currently an independent service designer based in Toronto. Linn writes and speaks frequently on service design, and has taught on the topic around the world. In today’s conversation, we’ll talk about creating customer journey maps (and other maps), implementation challenges with service design, and accessibility in service design.

Linn shares her journey today, including mentioning that she found herself more interested in people than things as she was studying design. When she started bringing together the service design community in Toronto, she encountered some confusion, and she’s enjoyed the process of illuminating the topic for people and creating connections with those interested in service design.

Maps, Linn points out, have become a ubiquitous tool and have become a compelling entry point for people. They’re also a powerful tool for getting people excited, and to visually create a shared understanding of the space you’re working in and where the opportunities might be. Linn will also share some powerful words of wisdom about why you should go ahead and create a map as a tool to reveal what we don’t know.

In our conversation, we’ll talk about diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the realm of design. In Linn’s previous work in UX, more time and attention was paid to accessibility, she explains. This exposed her to ways of thinking about how people might be using assistive technology, for example, which has influenced her more recent work. As she transitioned into doing more service and customer experience work, Linn noticed that the conversation about accessibility was almost completely absent.

Tune in to hear all about these topics, as well as the idea of double delivery, how designers can position themselves as part of a bigger team in delivering services, how to think about paying attention to soft metrics or less-tangible changes, what it means to be a leader or facilitator of a design process, which references and resources have particularly impacted Linn, and more!

Learn More About Today’s Guest

Linn Vizard

Linn Vizard on LinkedIn

@wittster on Twitter

@servicedesignTO on Twitter

Linn Vizard on Medium

Linn Vizard on Adobe Blog

In This Episode

[01:18] — Linn talks about her journey as a design practitioner, and how she arrived where she is today. She also discusses how she has continued to develop and expand as a practitioner.

[04:04] — What has it been like to bring together the service design community in Toronto?

[05:22] — We hear about some of the common threads that Linn has seen in the Toronto service design community.

[07:40] — What Linn has mentioned is one of the threads that flows into Dawan’s work at a very practical level, he points out.

[09:04] — Linn talks about how maps relate to the opportunities in the service design space.

[12:39] — Does Linn have any other stories of when mapping has worked particularly well in her practice?

[16:33] — We learn how Linn has helped people she’s working with to make the best use of the artefacts.

[21:37] — Linn talks about the question of how you’re enabling and inviting people to contribute. She and Dawan then talk about double delivery.

[24:21] — We hear about a huge challenge that the design practice is facing now, and the ways it’s showing up.

[27:40] — Linn discusses Paul Adams’ talk “The End of Navel Gazing.”

[29:13] — We hear more about taking measurement beyond the usual suspects as part of the role of a service designer.

[34:43] — This conversation goes back to what it means to be a leader or facilitator of a design process, Linn points out.

[38:25] — Dawan talks about the use of silence in workshops.

[40:43] — We hear about the questions and terrain that Linn is playing with in her work when it comes to the topics of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

[45:37] — Linn talks about going to a workshop run by Rebecca Benson, and she and Dawan talk about the daily decision about which piece of the learning mountain to attempt to climb.

[46:40] — What are some resources or references that have been particularly meaningful or useful for Linn?

[49:29] — Where can people learn more about Linn’s work or connect with her and support what she’s doing?

Links and Resources

yes@designthinking101.com (Dawan Stanford)

Linn Vizard

Linn Vizard on LinkedIn

@wittster on Twitter

@servicedesignTO on Twitter

Linn Vizard on Medium

Linn Vizard on Adobe Blog

We Are Here: Designer as Mapmaker by Linnea Vizard in Touchpoint (Vol. 8 No. 3 — February 2017)

Shifting Gears: Organisational Barriers to Integrated Service Design and UX by Linnea Vizard and Shannah Segal in Touchpoint (Vol. 6 No. 3 — December 2014)

The Relationship Model Canvas: Designing Relationships With Intention by Elina Lawrie and Linnea Vizard in Touchpoint (Vol. 9 No. 1 — July 2017)

”There’s a Map For That! The Designer’s Cartography of Complexity” video presentation by Linn Vizard from the Service Experience Conference 2016

Visual Thinking and NeuroLeadership by Dave Gray

“The End of Navel Gazing” talk by Paul Adams at UX London 2018

#a11yTOConf (accessibility conference in Toronto)

On Women and “Good” Places to Work by Nora Jenkins Townson

Rebecca Benson on Twitter

Just Enough Research by Erika Hall

Interviewing Users by Steve Portigal

Rosenfeld Media books

Service Design by Andy Polaine, Ben Reason, and Lavrans Løvlie

The Service Experience Conference

UX Week

“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Give Service Design Away” talk by Jamin Hegeman

Service Design Paths