Service Design Special

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On Wednesday 3 March 2021 at 6pm, we hosted a special Service Design event to celebrate Services week (1st to the 5th March) this year.

It was our biggest audience ever with 100+! Some people from all over Scotland, the UK, but also Cairo, Akron (Ohio), Norway, Mumbai and Berlin!


On the evening we had 4 talks


An introduction to the Scottish Approach to Service Design (SAtSD)

By Serena Nüsing, service designer at the Scottish Government

Some resources you can look at:

“When we started this, we just called it The Scottish Approach to Service Design, because civil servants in Scottish government had a philosophy called the Scottish Approach to Government and I was trying to explain to them why design connected to how they thought, so I connected the two things and it stuck.” – Cat Macaulay

The quote above comes from this video of Cat Macaulay’s talk at the Accessibility Scotland conference in November 2019 – worth a watch!

Links to the slides

Collecting practitioner stories of service design in the public and third sector

Angela F. Orviz (service design freelancer), Serena Nüsing (service designer at the Scottish Government) and  Stéphanie Krus (service designer at Scottish Enterprise) presented their research and how they are trying to get the service design community in Scotland involved.

You can learn more on the website about the project.

There were 3 questions for the audience during the session:

  • What would you like to learn about service design practice in Scotland? 
  • How could our project be useful for you?
  • How can we make our project more accessible?

You can answer them on the Jam board. (The 4th question is related to Duncan’s talk)

Link to the slides

Links from the talk

Links from the chat


Glasgow’s future stories: Social Innovation & Participatory Democracy in 2030

GSA students Neal Cameron, Pauline Barbier and Stas MacLeod presented their recent project. It’s a joint project between current and graduate students from GSA and two designers from Glasgow’s Centre for Civic Innovation.

You can learn more on this website for the project.

first page of the PDF with the title and an illustration

Collaborative Futures: slides of the presentation (PDF)

Links from the slides


Service design and the Mario complex

Duncan Stephen, User Experience Manager at the University of Edinburgh, told us more about his blog post Service design and the Mario complex, exploring the similarities and differences between user experience and service design.

He had a question for the audience: “Should we be more like plumbers, or saviours”

You can answer on the Jam board

Link to the slides





Some extra resources about Service Design

What is service design?

How does it compare with other roles?

Want to become a Service Designer?

Here are some links that could help:

Some examples of service design

Keep an eye on the events organised for the Services week from 1st to 5th March, it’s free but you have to be a civil servant to attend: Digital Get involved with Services Week 2021 – Digital