The aim of the service design project was to find out how different users could find information produced by UEF more easily and how the information could be made more understandable.
According to Director of Administration Tuomo Meriläinen, the university's goal is to continuously improve the common working environment so that it is more fluent and easier.
"It requires continuous dialogue and understanding of the needs of service users. Service design is a great tool for this."
The methods of service design have also been included in UEF's strategy action programmes. According to Meriläinen, this training pilot was a starting point for a wider range of offerings.
"The aim is that anyone in our university who is interested in the topic will be able to participate in service design training."
Remote training was also a success
In the first service design project, the starting point for development was the needs of users. The project focused on the theme that had been chosen as a design challenge, gathered user understanding, brainstormed solutions for improving the service, and created prototypes on the service with the help of scenarios.
The training was carried out completely remotely, which meant turning the project workshops into virtual ones. The training was led by Sanna Soppela, a digital skills coach, who says that adapting the methods used in the workshops to remote work and common virtual platforms required quite a lot of creative processing. Soppela is responsible for UEF's own service design coaching and she has been involved in increasing the university's service design expertise.
"The great advantage of face-to-face workshops is direct interaction and being able to use concrete operational methods. In the case of virtual implementation, we must pay particular attention to interaction, and when we choose methods, we must take into account the fact that we are not physically in the same space."
On the other hand, the remote implementation made it possible to learn how to use new applications and electronic collaboration platforms, which will certainly be useful in the multi-location work of the future. Time was also saved as no time was spent travelling between campuses.
"Remote implementation is therefore possible – it has now been confirmed – but hopefully, we will have the opportunity to develop, brainstorm, create prototypes and test face-to-face, as presence and interaction play a major role in cooperation between people."