Impulse Shaped Services, notes on a Reboot talk

On Reboot11 I did a talk with the title Impulse Shaped Services. In the presentation I introduce a vision on the development towards impulse shaped services. Services are more and more scattered via different channels and touchpoints nowadays – we also call them exploding services. Services are not static anymore, they should no longer be designed for one on more defined uses, the user of a services is part of the service features.
I put the slides on Slideshare earlier, here I will give some transcript of the talk.

Just as Tim O’Reilly stated; devices will have sensors that register our use, services should use these input to shape the service. And just as the vision of Kevin Kelly on diversity focus on the building of real personal shaped services.

A perfect engaging service is not perfect. To experience a context adapting service the element of play is important. Just like Hannah Donovan of stated; make magic by mixing the right amount of expected and non-expected experiences. For involvement you need to experience a shared interaction between user and organization. A hackable service where organization and client collaborate in creating value is the ideal situation, just like the map by Schulze & Webb for the Milano fashion show where the user completed the map with his own experiences.

What do we need to do to come to this impulsed shaped services? We need to have new forms of learning marketing where we define smaller strategies that adapts to the real use of the user. We should focus on designing and building the value that emerge out from the relation between client and organization. Not focus on designing the channels; those are just the tools. And most important: we should design for real-time changing experiences, influenced by the social impulses like the input of our peers in our network.

So what are the elements of this new services?
A playful story with different possibles paths defined by choices made via mini-games.
An exploding strategy that connects the engaging brand offer to the real touchpoints with the client
Life scripting personas that are based on clusters of motivations in stead of demographics.
A positioning cookbook where choices can be made what motivations will be addressed and where is defined what that means for the shaping of the service values.

As an example of the use of this cookbook we did a short interactive exercise where everyone defined based on his Twitter community behavior was plotted in one of the 8 quadrants of the positioning cookbook.
Twitter is an example of a impulse shaped services; it only exists with the use of the users and the services adapts continuously to new forms of use. The way different Twitter apps are build for different kind of uses is a great example of the way you could address an impulsed shaped service. Tweetdeck services different profiles than Twitterific.

So to conclude I like to focus on three elements.

  • The first is the necessity to listen and learn. Sounds logical, but designing tools that really are based on collaboration will be more and more standard.
  • The second is react and reconnect. Use the impulses not only to react and learn of the use, but do use these also for reconnecting via emerging services.
  • And in the end you should engage the clients by making them part of the value-creating process.
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    I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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