Service Design & Customer Experience - An Expert Panel Discussion

Posted / 07 October, 2019

Author / Simone Abel

An Expert Panel Discussion on Service Design & Customer Experience

Expert panelists Simone Abel and Adriana Dolnyckyi, both from the agency and consulting sector come together at Ryerson University on Oct 4 to discuss the intersections of Service Design and UX as applied to careers in liberal arts, social science, and sociology.

On Friday, more than 60 graduating Sociology majors from Ryerson University gathered in class to learn from Simone Abel and Adriana Dolnyckyj on the intersections between service design and related liberal arts and social science disciplines. It was a great afternoon for an intimate and professional discussion on how service design and customer experience interact to bring innovation and value to organizations, customers, and people everywhere.

The conversation was organized and moderated by Kris Erickson (PhD), “Specializing Your Knowledge” Capstone course instructor at Ryerson University, in order to facilitate graduating students’ learning in applied service design and customer research. As fourth-year students heading into the human and social services workforce, the discussion focused on the practical and applied value of user-centric design thinking and research methods within the context of driving social innovation projects and human services research engagements.

From Left: Simone Abel, Kris Erickson, and Adriana Dolnyckyi

From Left: Simone Abel, Kris Erickson, and Adriana Dolnyckyi

Empathy is a key, non-cognitive, non-technical competency developed by sociological learning, and is a concept explored in depth by students in the course. Adriana and Simone opened the talk with a brief introduction to their career and education history, summarizing how they got to where they are today as senior professionals. With 20 years of experience each, Simone and Adriana traced their professional evolution and spoke about key moments when they pivoted later into emerging disciplines of digital and service design respectively. For both, the drive to solve problems through empathy and a desire to always learn and explore new subjects has been key in their personal and professional discoveries.

The discussion followed with examples of practical interactions between the practice of service design and customer experience and sociological research methods. Drawing from the same playbook, Simone and Adriana spoke about project successes and challenges that illustrate course teachings and concepts in a real-world context. During the break, students were asked to gather in their project groups and pose questions related to their capstone projects to the expert panel. This was a fascinating opportunity for Simone and Adriana to learn about the social innovation projects some of the students are working on, and provide some practical direction and advice on how to achieve and/or direct their research methods.

Classroom: Service Design & Customer Experience

Many thanks to Kris Erickson and the Sociology students at Ryerson University for making this an unforgettable afternoon! We look forward to seeing you again!

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