Lauren Currie – “find your thing!”

On Friday we had a guest-lecturer for our Change by Design module, Lauren Currie who is the co-founder of Snook, a company that helps people with various problems they face by using new and creative methods of problem-solving within the field of “service design”.

I found her talk to be quite inspirational, which is a rather cliche way of saying it seemed to put together all the thoughts that I had about blogging, internet presence, individualism and all the other inter-connecting things into a place where I could understand them and find use for them in my life.

I am a believer in the internet (and by that i don’t been i believe the internet exists) and I can see the impact it has on social, business and all other forms of connections to creates; it makes the world accessible. It makes the world seem so small and it gives everyone an equal platform and equal opportunities. I was about to say that these things haven’t quite happened fro me yet, but that is untrue –  I sold my first ever artwork thanks to my internet presence. So, for me the online world is just starting to appear as something I can connect with and is more than just a screen and some weird technology that I don’t quite understand, I am now beginning to see the people behind it.

As well as her love of the internet, Lauren also talked us through the importance of confidence within ourselves and within our designs. This is something that I really paid attention to – confidence has always been a factor that I lack and it is something that I really want to understand and to possess. Basically confidence is the most important thing ever! or so I was led to believe throughout Lauren’s talk, this was all at once disheartening and a kickstarter for me as confidence within myself, with others and within my work is something that I find really difficult to grasp onto but I have to believe that I will someday find that confidence and I have to believe that I will someday make a difference: “if you’re inspired, you’ll inspire other people.” I just need to find my thing!

Lauren came back in the afternoon to take us through a workshop into creative thinking, which was an insight into how her company works.

 Our first task was to individually fill in our most valuable skill and what we would like to be better at and then stand up in front of everybody and shout it out. This one totally tested what I’d like to be better at! It was interesting hearing that for on thing I’m not alone in some of my silly little worries, but also that what I consider myself to be good at others feel they aren’t so good at.

 We were than asked to write-out three examples of services that had gone wrong, ie. cat hair in tea or tickets not arriving on time, etc. and from that a brainstorm using the post-it method about a selected bad service experience. We chose to expand on the SAAS experience! We established the breakdown in service and we couldn’t seem to find any positives in the poor SAAS system.

 Our next task was to set out a timeline of the experience and rate the emotions felt throughout, as you can see all of our faces are unhappy :(

 We then took the bad experience and transformed it into an idea/a solution. We thought about constructing SAAS “branches” within universities so students could physically go and speak to an assigned person about any problems so that the process was then more personal and easily sorted out there and then instead of the back and forward phone and mail communication that exists already (exists purely to annoy every student who applies!).

 Our next task was to “paper-prototype” one of our connecting ideas. We produced the SAAS website comments and student reviews page that we though would enable SAAS to keep up to date with how users felt about their system. And yeah check out that amazingly drawn keyboard and mouse!!!

 We then had to create a profile of a typical person who would be using our system. This seemed to fit in quite nicely to our previous task since we had already discussed online profiles within the SAAS website for individual students. So Kitty Sheil became our typical student user (yeah we chose the name Kitty Sheil).

We were then asked to construct a future newspaper article about the success of our new implementations into the SAAS system and to imagine the benefits of our idea.

 Our last task seemed to neatly sum up the workshop as we were asked to individually write down how we could use the design skills that we had been using within the world.

“I CAN USE MY DESIGN SKILLS TO CHANGE THE WORLD!”

Chloe out.

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