The latest Service Design Workout (part of an ongoing series of events organised by the Dutch Chapter of SDN) took place on the evening of 22 June at the headquarters of Rabobank in Utrecht. The theme of the evening was two-fold: Service design in financial organizations, as well a look at the issue of in-house vs. agency-led service design.
The evening started with a presentation by Julia Alberga, a member of the service design team at Rabobank. She discussed how the nine-strong service design team was founded, and how it is positioned within the bank. She also discussed its role and relationship to both the larger UX department, and the business as a whole.
Her slides were followed by a two-part presentation by Leonie Hurkx (also from the Rabobank service design team), and Robbert-Jan Oeveren (from service design agency Buro Koos). In turns, they looked at trend of in-house service design. It was recognized that more and more service design work is being carried out by in-house service design practices, but what is clear is that there are pros and cons to this approach. Several advantages to the in-house setup were cited, such as having a deeper understanding of organizational structures and politics, and the ability to have an overarching view of related service design and UX design projects which are being (or have been) carried out elsewhere in the organization. On the other hand, service designers on the agency side offer a fresh, independent perspective, enjoy more attention for their work and deliverables, and bring with them the latest tools and techniques.
Following the talks and several questions and answers, the SDWO participants were invited to have a tour of Rabobank’s UX Center, with its state-of-the-art user research facility.
The final part of the evening saw participants identifying and tackling service design challenges that were identified as critical to the financial services sector. Examples included how significant financial transactions could be designed to make them “foolproof”, how banks should respond to disruptive innovations brought about by smaller players in their sector, and how to restore trust in banks as a whole. Working in several groups, the participants enjoyed some creative discussions, and presented their ideas to one another at the end.
At the end of the workshop portion of the evening, many participants continued on to a nearby cafe for further drinks, discussions and socializing.
Thank you to the UX department at Rabobank, and their hosts that evening – Julia Alberga, Jesse Grimes and Leonie Hurkx – and to co-host Robbert-Jan van Oeveren.