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Author's profile photo Ann-Sofie Ruf

Experiencing Service Design – A recap of the Service Experience Camp Berlin

In mid November, 250 people gathered right in the center of Berlin for the Service Experience Camp,  Europe’s largest service design conference this year, to listen to international thought leaders, connect to other professionals, and to enjoy a festival-like atmosphere.

This year’s theme was “struggling for change”, targeting participants from different disciplines including designers and consultants, entrepreneurs and start ups, researchers, public officers, and policymakers.

SAP has supported and sponsored the Service Experience Camp, which represented the third sponsoring activity from SAP in the field of service design following SAP’s sponsorship of the global service conference in Stockholm 2014 and Cardiff 2013. This continuity shows the value of dedicating resources to activities in this area.

The two days of the Service Experience Camp were devoted to the experiences of services featured key talks from experts of various disciplines and industries on what it takes create successful service experiences, which gave the participants inspiration to rethink what they do on a daily basis. Workshop-style bar camp sessions enabled the participants to learn by doing in several 60-minutes interactive sessions. They were pitched at the beginning of each day and were open to 20-30 participants each. The open experience format offered participants the freedom to set up their own agenda and presented them with the opportunity to meet and discuss with international experts to share insights and perspectives on service experiences.


At the Service Experience Camp, SAP was represented by four members of the SAP Design & Co-Innovation Center (DCC), a global team of designers, strategists and product managers with the mission to change the game of user experience.

In the bar camp about “The designer’s role in the enterprise world”, Marion Fröhlich, Senior Strategic Design Consultant, and Heike van Geel, Customer Engagement Manager, shared their learnings of designing services for corporate IT to ensure functionality and efficiency while humanizing their systems. The talk encouraged open discussions both with and among the participants on how to successfully design experiences in the corporate world. Marion and Heike outlined challenges they have met in their professional life and presented approaches on how to overcome them. “Today more design leaders emerge behind the doors of enterprise IT”, explains Marion. “It was great to discuss and exchange best practices with other experts in this field.”


In the workshop-like bar camp on “Scenes” held by Heike van Geel and Karen Detken, Strategic Design Consultant, participants could experience the power of three-dimensional storyboards to clearly communicate user requirements and to validate ideas before they are fully designed or implemented. “Scenes” is a method and a tool that empowers people with any background to build physical or digital three-dimensional storyboards without having to worry at all about their drawing skills. The participants could learn how “Scenes” can be used to create visually appealing stories for user experience in a collaborative, tangible and iterative way. “Design is not only about the products or services we create, but about the lasting changes that the appropriate methodologies can produce in people and their organizations”, explains Karen. As “Scenes” brings people from different disciplines together, all participants had fun creating their stories, which sparkled ideas about how to use “Scenes” in the future. As it is free to download, get ready to create stories that can be read, seen, and touched!

The Service Experience Camp takes its own name literally and has created unique service experiences for each participant.

Also for the DCC team, the Service Experience Camp in Berlin was particularly special as Mauro Rego, a former colleague of the DCC, has organized the event together with his colleagues from Service Design Berlin. This shows that the relationship of colleagues goes far beyond the purely economic, but also values personal contact and support.



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