Articles in #service design


What a surprise! Just when he was ready to pay the customer took a final glance at the bill and noticed that the prices changed: not the 21 euro for the main dish, but 32,50; not the 9,50 for the dessert, but 15,80… Upon inquiring why the difference, he got a straight answer back – „the kitchen crew needed more time than planned and that’s why the the costs have increased!“


It’s that time of the year again: the plants are just about to stick their heads out of the ground, and shop owners are already considering to move on from bikinis and sunglasses. The soil is still soaking wet and messy from winter, and the first optimists are running around in flip-flops! And the more you have experienced theses seasonal changes, the more you become aware that the seasons are way too short!


The room was slowly filling up with the employees. One after the other they took their seats and didn’t look too pleased: the speech that I was about to be holding did interrupt the longed-for transition from their dinner to a well deserved drink at the bar! So this left me with the task to ensure that those snaring away during my talk would not animate the others to follow suit.


The guys made a depressed impression, or maybe clueless, when I joined them at the bar. They seemed to have all agreed on the fact that something was changing fundamentally – and that it would involve all of them.
But as much as they were in for change, like in all those endless debates with clients and commissioners, the change happening right now was quite something different, and they didn’t had a clue how to deal with the situation: it seemed that their very existence was at stake!

design focus

It was a terrifying sight: a clutter of cables, tubes and pipes was hanging down from the ceiling and gave the scenery the impression of a torture chamber, just like you know from these old b&w horror movies – hello from Dr. Frankenstein!

Somehow it seemed that the grim atmosphere had no influence on the personnel working there: they were completely focussed on preparing patient for an intervention. As I had still to learn: with ‘the patient’ they were referring to the medical case, and not necessarily to the person himself – a subtle but crucial difference.


If you cannot see the forrest for the trees, it doesn’t mean you can’t see at all – you just lack the focus on what’s essential. It’s just that you cannot zoom-in and cut-out all those impressions, which should not be taken into account.

This happens a lot, for instance when you scan the shelves in a store, to find the appropriate offer – in most cases you walk-out without buying anything: overload leads to paralysis, too much information hampers recognition of the essential – it makes you uncertain.

pirates in suits

The coordinated interplay of the various departments within a company is a similar challenge to steering a fleet on the wide ocean: how can you directs the various vessels in such a way that they behave like a fleet, and not like a bunch of uncoordinated pirate ships aloof?