In March 2018, I participated in the Global Service Jam, an international
3-day event, where a theme presented on Friday night sparks ideas and designs for services which are presented globally by Sunday afternoon, complete with business ideas, prototypes and other design elements. 



  • Form teams with strangers from various backgrounds
  • Brainstorm ideas based on a 20sec pitch of the theme
  • Work with teammates to come up with service ideas 
  • Empathize with potential users, on the street, to see if they connect with the service ideas
  • Play-act designs to fine-tune interpretations and user flows
  • Build personas and business plans for the service
  • Iterate through several prototypes and receive  critiques from other teams
  • Upload the design process and final prototypes to a global site

Project Details: Service design

Responsible for: Idea generation, storyboarding, documenting, design, prototyping

Tools: InvisionApp, paper, Post-it notes, Photoshop, camera, video


The Process

This 3-day event began with a brief introduction of the "theme" (centre below). This was followed by brainstorming, both within our designated groups and across groups. Using the service ideas generated from the affinity mapping we went out onto the street on Saturday to interview people to see if they connected with our ideas. Using that research we iterated our ideas further to finally converge on a service by Saturday evening. Sunday morning was spent creating scenarios and set designs to act out our service, prototyping and iterating several times, and building personas and business plan ideas. Finally, by 2pm we presented our process to the Vancouver group and then posted the whole project to the Global Jam site.




The first phase of the service jam was the presentation of the theme (above, centre) which we then brainstormed on using card sorting and affinity mapping, both within our groups and across the groups. Then we generated "How might we" ideas for services. Examples from our board were: calm the noise? be more present? create a better voting system? create better signage? make better decisions? navigate uncertainty? encourage random moments? gain more control over technology? Then we sorted these ideas across two axes: feasibility and originality.




The next step in the ideation process was storyboarding how our service ideas might play out by depicting scenarios and imagining different use cases. We also developed questions to ask potential users their views about our service ideas.


Usability Research

Keeping our questions broad with room for discussion, we went out and interviewed four potential users of our service ideas. Using the information gathered from them, we used the Value Proposition Canvas to iterate our designs further to better align with their needs, pain points, and interests. Our service thus evolved to focus on educating and safeguarding against online behaviour and presence.  


Presentation and Critique Sessions

Throughout the iterative process of ideation, design, prototyping and delivery, we had to present to the large group our developing ideas and act out the service several times to fine tune it, make it understandable to others, taking into consideration their feedback and critiques. This quick-fail lean iterative approach helped us create a more cohesive picture of our service design.


Final stages

The next step in the process involved creating low-fidelity wireframes of our service website which we then brought into InVision to create a simple prototype of our end product. We also produced a video of someone using our service. Finally we began work on the business plan for potential financial backing of our service. 





The Service Jam was an incredibly useful experience for me. I enjoyed the process of "doing" instead of just "talking or thinking" about a design. We were constantly pushed to iterate, prototype, and gather information and feedback to fine tune our ideas, and make sure they were understandable and intuitive. I believe this process challenged us to create better design. The value of working with others from various backgrounds, exposure to new techniques and methods, the emphasis on empathizing with a user's needs and pains, all of these factors together made for a successful weekend.