This post is on Riyadh Junior Service Jam a closed home-hosted activity that took place few days before the Riyadh Service Jam (the spearhead of Global Service Jam 2012). It was all spontaneously planned. I was supposed to visit a friend at home and he has asked me to be ready to share something with his kids or to teach them anything. I called him a day before and I said "Why don't we do some service design?" he agreed and I SMSed him the list of requirements (2 glue sticks, 3 thick markers of different colors, post-it notes, A1/A0 or flip chart sheets, tape, A4 sheets, some old magazines.
OutlineWe had 2 hours for the activity. I was so over-optimistic and decided to do the following activities:
- Persona development
- Customer journey Map of the new concept
- Business Model Canvas
AudienceI was honored to work with Ahmed (10 y.o.) Yahia (6 y.o.) and Muhammad (They call him moody for short and he's 7 y.o.). Imad the host (Ahmed & Yahia's father) who's a project management consultant was actively involved. Also Ihab (Moody's father) an events management executive was participating.
We had 2 additional later participants Dr. Ussama and Mr. Ahmad who were guests and they were very interested and got deeply involved in coaching kids in presentation skills and techniques.
Here are the challengers.
|Ahmed (10 y.o.) is ready for the challenge|
|Yahia (6 y. o.) is on stage vs. bad experiences|
|Moody (7 y.o.) on service design quest|
|Jammers showing how passionate they are ....|
ActivitiesIn the beginning none of the kids or the parents knew what's going to exactly happen, I seem to always have a problem with that. We told the kids we'll play a nice game about making business and they liked they idea. But they all the time had this perception we're not serious :).
We asked them what business they'd like to launch or what's it that they would like to change and gave them examples. Yahia chose one from the examples being restaurant. Moody chose something we didn't mention which is a cafe. Ahmed chose the school/classroom. Then we started persona development.
Persona DevelopmentI asked them to imagine who's the person who would go to this business. Try to imagine a fictional character, give him a name and tell us some details about him. Parents coached kids into further developing the persona. Name, age, likes, dislikes, wants, contexts, issues with the current service .. etc.
Yahia asked if he can draw instead of writing and I said "Sure". It was clear that each of them was talking about himself as the customer. Only moody decided to give his persona another name which was the name of his younger brother. Following are some photos of the persona development actions.
|Ahmed charting his own persona|
|Moody is being interviewed by Ihab (his father) on what his persona could like or dislike|
|Imad (Yahia & Ahmed's Father) is guiding Yahia in persona development activity)|
|The action is on in persona development|
|This is Ahmed's initial persona|
|Yahia's pictorial persona|
|Yahia is presenting his persona to us (bad traditional classroom influence)|
|Moody presenting his persona with full-confidence|
|Ahmed giving his persona speech ...Sorry, . I mean brief ...|
|He decided to show it to us ..|
Customer Journey MapWe then asked the kids to design a totally new experience where the problems of their personas are addressed and a more engaging service concept is offered. We can't really say the output was a customer journey map with the scientific definition. It was more of everything in one sheet. They simply brainstormed with support from their parents what's it that they'd like to have there and drew it on that sheet. They were very engaged, at least the photos say so :).
|Customer Journeys please ?|
|Service design is that engaging ....|
|Yahia is charting his newly-designed burger restaurant.|
|Ahmed is so engaged with his service design project ...|
|Moody is ready with his New "Cafe Babies" concept and Ahmed is finalizing his|
|Yeah, here it is.|
|Yahia's burger restaurant.|
Yahia designed a kids-oriented burger restaurant where there's also a play area, TV with cartoons and WWE and juice.
Ahmed designed a new custom classroom experience with adjustable seating and furniture that doesn't break (his colleagues destroyed some). His design was more about telling more details about his daily suffering rather than offering a solution except for the seating part.
VisualizationI gave them the option to either act a TVC to present their concept or to design a poster. They decided to act a TVC. We folded an A1 sheet and got it stuck to the door to look like the TV of Yahia's restarurant. He took 2 empty boxes of juice and put them along with a roll of tape to serve as the juice and burger he offers. He did his first version and we all encouraged him. Participants started to give him more tips on killer presentation. He did it 4 times and we saw his skills developing dramatically. At one point Dr. Ussama (one of the guests) actually did a live example for him to follow.
Moody also did 2 trials with that. He had his customer journey poster as a background. He always mastered the closing for his TVC with a nice promise.
Ahmed's was more of a presentation or talk. It was long and also emphasized what he doesn't like more than what he offers. Mr. Ahmed (one of the guests) had comments on his body language and facial expressions. He gave him some coaching on "Non-verbal communication". With valuable interventions, this part took longer than planned and this is where we stopped.
Following are some photos of the acting and action.
|Yahia doing his first acting of the TVC|
|Yahia doing his second acting and we see Dr. Ussama is coaching him|
|Dr. Ussama decided to give Yahia an example, it's his turn now to act|
|Moody's all compelling concept & presentation|
|Ahmed presenting his custom seating experience|
|Mr. Ahmed commenting on Ahmed's non-verbal communication|
Thoughts to Share
- Some clear examples of what should be done at each task could help make it clearer and would enhance the results.
- Children are equipped with many skills that qualify them to be great service designers. They're less realistic and less limited by the constraints we take into consideration. They're very visualy oriented.
- This experience of service design learning provided a great context for interactions and experience exchange and sharing between adults and kids in other areas.
- Involvement and participation of parents is crucial and needed.
- We still need to see the cases of team work and collaboration between kids.
- I believe the fact that service design is new to the parents themselves helped increase their engagement. They felt they're also learning something new.
- Similar activities could be used for co-designing and for receiving children insights on services or products they use.
- The experience was direct and straightforward. Probably redesigning the activity into a game or more children-oriented activity is an option.
- It may be better to put children of similar or closer age groups together.
- The over-emphasis on discipline in the traditional education does have its drawbacks on limiting the creativity, openness and ability to deal with vague and new challenges.
- The activity definitely needed more time. Time control was also needed.
- The more we do these activities the more we'll have examples to use to help setting expectations for parents and children on what's going to happen.
- Customer research is an area that needed to be worked on in more details.
- Ideation and concept generation could have been strengthened with many other activities.
- Bigger groups will surely make this more fun and enriching.