Since the birth of OP Lab, service design has been an integral part of the company. There isn’t a better person to discuss this matter than Head of Design Jussi Juntunen who joined the company in 2012 and was the first employee to concentrate on service design.

“Service Design Is Creative Work At Its Best”

“All of us at OP Lab enjoy working in a very flat organization where our work, views, and opinions get constantly discussed, argued and judged”, describes Juntunen the company culture. In his senior role, Juntunen has interviewed all the service designers employed by the company so he understands the remarkable talent in the house. “OP Lab started out with three people and now we are a 150-employee-strong company. The impact we have, the speed of growth and the size we have reached as a company have been positively surprising”, he adds.

Juntunen started his career at OP Lab with designing solutions for mobile payment which enables financial transactions between various partners. “In the course of this project, we did extensive customer research along with interviews to truly find what are customers’ needs, wants and views regarding this particular service,” he clarifies.

Juntunen doesn´t have a team of his own so he is called upon where new projects are about to start. This means his work varies a lot from one project to another. “The scale is definitely broad here,” he admits, “but from a service designer’s point of view, this means the work is very, very varied and challenging. To Juntunen, service design is creative work at its best and truly a form of self-actualization: “It combines interaction with people, listening and learning with business objectives in a unique way that is intriguing to me.”

Service Design Is A Buzzword For A Reason

Service Design has truly gained momentum in recent years. It is difficult not to find a business-related publication where the term isn’t mentioned. According to Juntunen, the boom only shows there truly is a need for the customer-oriented approach: “I hope putting a customer in a focal point when designing products and services is something that will remain even if we might see another kind of business trend taking place.” He notes, in spite of the hype, service design is still very much a daily grind that includes using research information and understanding and combining phenomena, people, and their behavior. “The starting point of service design will always be empathy; to truly be willing and able to step into customers’ shoes and understand his situation”, Juntunen sums up.

Service Design In The Future

OP Lab will continue to concentrate on the customer, not technology or competitors. The world will change at an ever-accelerating speed and plans cannot be made for weeks; the emphasis is on small steps, validating thoughts, ideas, and concepts. “The learning curve here is very steep; we are used to delivering fast. This is service and user interface design on steroids”, says Juntunen jokingly.

In the future, we will see more and more services that are customized. “The biggest reason for this change is, of course, data-driven qualitative research which enables the better understanding of the interaction between a customer and a service they use. User experience is something that will play an even bigger part as customers will be even more used to having services honed to the core”, says Juntunen.