Public Sector Design + Outcome Chains + Prototyping for Impact with Boris Divjak — DT101 E26

Welcome to the Design Thinking 101 podcast! I’m Dawan Stanford, your host. Today I’m interviewing Boris Divjak. He is a service designer and strategist based in the U.K., with 13 years of experience in creating digital services. He leads and advises teams on digital innovation projects in complex environments, such as local authorities and healthcare organizations, as well as commercial enterprises. Boris collaborates closely with clients in all stages of the innovation process, from initial customer research and co-design workshops through to developing a live service. He works best in an agile environment, where iterative improvements and open communication help guide the team towards a shared goal. Boris has been working in the public sector for the last few years. His current focus is on creating better public services outcomes and using service design and design thinking to deliver solutions to social problems.

Today we explore Boris’s path from his career start in visual design, which led him into web design and from there, finding his way to service design. Boris explains his perspective on service design, and what types of models and prototypes he uses when he is designing. He also talks about how companies can take a look at a series of changes to understand how their products have an impact on the public sector, and how companies can connect their work to specific outcomes to be more confident in their product output.

From his beginnings in a small startup in technology to his current position as a service designer, Boris talks about his experiences with service design, from client engagement to the characteristics he believes the ideal project advocate should have.

We’ll also dig into his project, Prototyping for Impact, which offers a toolkit that anyone involved in innovation – in both the public and private sectors – can use to guide their innovation process. Boris tells us more about the project’s purpose and what he hopes the project will accomplish.

Learn More About Our Guest

Prototyping for Impact
NESTA Levels of Evidence Report
Prototyping for Impact in Healthcare appeared in Touchpoint Volume 10 No. 3 October 2018, The Journal of Service Design

Show Highlights

[01:32] How Boris got started and how his career trajectory played out.
[03:23] Challenges in moving from visual design to a service design career.
[06:20] Boris’s unique perspective of service design, and his design process.
[09:30] The relationship between work and outcomes
[11:03] How outcomes chain together to make change.
[14:45] The need for having evidence to support your outcomes, and what assumptions can be made from outcomes.
[20:02] How Boris encourages client interest and client participation in service design.
[24:38] The characteristics of the ideal project advocate.
[26:45] How to work with clients who have deep institutional knowledge, and thus have the ability to shift the energy of the group.
[27:14] Boris gives details on his Prototyping for Impact project.
[31:49] Boris talks about experiences, books, and information that assisted him in service design.
[34:40] How you can contact Boris and get more information about his current work and projects.


Design Thinking at Work
The Reflective Practitioner by Donald Schon
Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare

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