Our latest edition of the Industry Experts Interview Series features one of our city’s most interesting professionals in this space – service designer Linn Vizard. A leader who speaks often on the world stage, Linn raised great points on emerging ways to conduct service design.

We interviewed Linn at the Service Design Global Conference, where she shared best practices gleaned from working with public, private, and non-profit-sector clients.

We encourage professionals in Toronto to seek out the organization Linn founded, Service Design Toronto, to continue these timely conversations and up our collective design games.

Check out Linn’s favourite new ways to conduct service design and digital transformation:


Linn Vizard:

I’m Linn. I’m an independent service designer based in Toronto and I work with clients across a variety of sectors including private sector, public and nonprofit. My path into service design started in university. I was doing an undergrad in industrial design, and I discovered service design because I did this project around improving the prison visit experience and was trying to find tools and methods that would support that project and kind of came across the idea of service design and mapping journeys and so on.

Yeah, and after graduating, I worked in kind of UX and digital but was a bit frustrated by being limited to one channel, one touchpoint, and kept pushing this sort of service design agenda and can we look more holistically. Fast forward to today. That’s really what I’ve been doing for the last five or so years of my career, is focusing much more on that kind of holistic omni-channel service design experience in the work that I do.

A couple of things that I’m exploring and curious about, so I talked a bit about organizational design. I think that’s huge. I’m also really curious about learning more in terms of the accessibility and inclusion space. And I think there’s a lot of really great work, particularly around digital accessibility, and trying to find ways to kind of, how do you pull that through or translate it into a service design context? So definitely, I think that is sort of a next frontier for us as service learners. How can we actually be more inclusive? We’re not always the most diverse bunch either. Then I think the other thing I would call out is I’ve been really sort of seeking, what does implementation look like within a service design context? How can we actually bridge the gap between all of the upfront fuzzy front end and concepts to actually having stuff live in the real world? And I think that’s happening to varying degrees within the service design practice.

Something else that I’ve experimented with is this idea of sort of a co-creative dialogue. So this is an approach that I learned at a service experience conference that Adaptive Path was running. So Leah James, who runs the next lab, and she has this approach where she has co-creative dialogues with people. So it’s a little bit different to stakeholder interviews. It’s really about connecting that person to their backstory, their motivation, why they ended up where they are, and starting to uncover what are their hopes and dreams, what’s possible if things shift. So that was a technique that I learned from her and have applied in sort of that relationship building.

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