Service Design Thinking and the Innovation of Financial Services, Part 2

Financialservices2

In a recent blog in response to the excellent 2010 book entitled “Service Design Thinking” (Stickdorn/Schneider 2010) I noted that this was the first qualifier of design thinking, as least as I had witnessed at the time, that spoke to how design thinking might be applied to a specific design practice. I also noted that the sky was the limit as to how design practitioners could take design thinking tools and methods and apply them to their own area of practice. “Service Design Thinking” does an excellent job of just this mash-up. The key elements of an integrated service design and design thinking approach to the creation of new business service/product interactions can be outlined as follows:

  • Empathy with customers
  • Ideation / Co-creation
  • Service Journey over time and space/place
  • Service/Experience mapping
  • Prototyping
  • Concept validation / Co-creation
  • Objective requirements
  • Prioritization and road-mapping

There is a growing recognition amongst financial institutions around the world that differentiating the banking experience is a way to attract new and retain current customers. Many of these initiatives are the product of partnerships with leading design innovation agencies such as Ideo, Continuum, and others. Because of this, the new initiatives are benefitting from design thinking approaches that practice the best practices outlined above.

The following are a small collection of examples of various financial institutions across the globe engaging with design firms to help them take fresh looks at old habits. I do not have proof that all of these endeavors followed the best practices described above, but warrant that many if not all did do so!

Service Design Thinking and the Innovation of Financial Services, Part 1

Finacialservices

Recent turmoil in the financial services industry has lead many consumers to question how they manage their financial lives, both now and for the long-term.  The global recession has compounded the sense of unease consumers feel about entrusting financial services providers with managing and safeguarding the financial fruit of their labors. Trust is at an all-time low.

Trends emerging show consumers are looking for alternative ways to manage their finances, whether through new tools or completely new institutions. In addition, consumers are practicing a frugality that is inspired by a fear of loss of long-term hard-earned assets, leading to a more risk-averse society than has existed for the last decade or so. A recent article in the Boston Globe (10/16/2011 “Gen Y asks: ‘Why should I have faith in the stock market’”) reveals that Generation Y, those born between 1981 and 1995, are displaying a conservative investment profile more akin to someone in their late 50’s considering retirement than someone in their youth with more than 30 years of investing to level out their buy and hold approach.