My Review of The Service Design Academy Taster Day

On Thursday 11th January, I attended the Service Design Academy Taster Day at Dundee & Angus College. The college is really embracing service design and using it to amplify the way they deliver their course content to learners, and their partnership with Open Change is a prime example of the flourishing Service Design innovation that is currently taking place in Dundee.


A Fun Icebreaker


From the very beginning, the day was fun and very high energy—after an introduction from the course leaders Katie and Mike Press, we began with a quick 30-second icebreaker exercise. In pairs, we had to ask as many questions as possible about our partner, write the answers down on a post-it note and physically stick it on to the person. It’s something I’ve never done before but safe to say, it was an immersive and dynamic way to start off the day! I could immediately tell Mike & Katie had really thought about the touchpoints themselves and set out the room a certain way for the day’s activities, which is what service design is all about!




One of the exercises we completed was using the RIP + MIX technique, developed by course leaders Mike Press & Hazel White, an idea generation tool to encourage creativity and innovative thinking. We began by analysing a positive experience we’d had in the past about a product or service and thinking laterally about how we could apply that to a negative experience or pain point in our own businesses. The technique was a real eye-opener, allowing you to quickly generate ideas and think about how you could transform the customer experience of your own business.


Service Safari


Another exercise we did was some observational research, which taught me the importance of standing back and observing to gain key insight into the way a service is run. The location my group was given to go and observe was the bus station in Dundee city centre–I was amazed how eye-opening it was to see things from an observational perspective. I noticed things I wouldn’t have ordinarily seen before, questioned why people had done things and was able to put myself in other people’s shoes.


The Main Takeaways


Overall, the day was a real eye-opener and a truly fun experience. I’ve always been interested in design, and having studied graphic design, photography and web design as a young student, I’m now benefitting from learning all about the world of service design.


The taster day really taught me how to notice things I would never have seen before and it helped me to come up with ideas for my own business and how I can take some of these basic service design skills forward to continuously create positive human experiences.