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10 in 5. Andreas Ahlqvist, Service Designer at Humblebee

10 Questions in 5 Minutes for Andreas

Russell Clark

Russell Clark

10 Questions in 5 Minutes for Andreas

As you may have read previously we’re going around the office asking our staff to answer 10 questions. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting to get a little glimpse into life at Humblebee :)

We’ve strengthened our service and business design competences here at Humblebee in the last 18 months or so, being lucky enough to bring in some of the best service and business design talents around.

…complement our service design team with our technicians and tech architects and we see huge strides taken by our clients in ‘servitization’ that goes far beyond post-it notes, workshops and process diagrams. Most recently the launch of a suite of state of the art services for automotive pioneer Polestar, resulting in a seamless experience from order to delivery. Literally one of the few companies on the planet with a solution like this.

So we continue our tour of Humblebee staff today with our latest service design recruit, Mr Andreas Ahlqvist. Andreas is an experience / service designer back in Gothenburg after years in Oslo and Copenhagen.

  1. Hello Andreas. How the devil are you?
    Life is great. How could it be otherwise now that I’ve become your colleague here at Humblebee?
  2. What a gentleman. :) Tell us what you do here at Humblebee.
    I work as a service designer
  3. Can you tell us exactly what a Service Designer at Humblebee does?
    I believe it to be a bit different for all of us, depending on our individual experiences, competencies, and expertise. But I also believe that our diversity is our greatest strength, since it gives us as a team a broad set of skills that enable us to solve very diverse challenges.
    To be a bit more specific we, as service designers, work very closely together with our ambitious clients to create high-impact products, services, systems, and experiences — that people love. Because what matters to people, matters to business.
  4. How come you ended up working with Service Design ?
    It has definitely not been a straight journey. In short, my background is in research-focused and human-centered design. But at some point, I found myself in a position and culture where most things were developed out of assumption and an inside out perspective and not through insights and an understanding of people’s real needs. Service design gives me the opportunity to do the exact opposite, to work more systematically with research, insights, and validation.
“If you are unable to understand the cause of a problem, it is impossible to solve it.” — Naoto Kan

5. Tell us about one project you’re particularly proud of…
I’m really enjoying working on Polestar, which you mentioned above. An incredibly exciting brand in an industry under transformation. From a service design perspective at Polestar we’re innovating new customer experiences and service touchpoints to challenge the status quo.

6. Do you have one good tip for a tool you love, or perhaps a book or resource you highly recommend?
There’s plenty of books on the topic, and I’d say team development is critical. If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go further go together. What this means is that you should never underestimate the importance of working on developing your team. It’s hard work that is often forgotten but extremely important and it always pays of.

Look at any successful sports team, what makes them successful is not only their individual skills but more so their ability to collaborate, that originated from the mutual trust, respect, and loyalty they have for one another a well functioning service design team is no different.

Oh, also, When you start a new project, always assume that you don’t know anything about the challenge, industry, and organization at hand, and be comfortable with it. It will help you to find “that” unique problem.

7. What do you do to make sure you continue to grow as an expert within Service Design?
I always keep a curious mind, not only in the design community but also in science and societal development. Since I always walk to work, Podcasts are a medium that works for me and it’s a great way to start the day inspired. One of my absolute favourite podcasts is People Fixing The World on BBC where they meet people with ideas to make the world a better place and investigate whether they work.

I also find it important to end every project with a proper reflection and to really sit down and go through the whole experience of a project. What went well, what went bad and what could I have done differently. Thats where i really grow as a designer.

8. It’s a fairly new sphere (Service Design), how will Service Design evolve in the future?

I believe that we will have to, like it or not, take a bigger social and environmental responsibility. Be more critical to what we put out in the world and focus on the consequences, future forecasting you could call it. I’m a big believer in calm tech and that society needs less distractions and more efficiency to tackle the challenges ahead.

We also need to become better at following up and measuring the impact of what we put out there. What effect do our solutions have, ecologically, economically and healthily?

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

9. Do you have any advice for people starting out their career and considering Service Design?
Always go into every project with a mindset of not knowing anything and ASK about everything you want to know or do not understand.

10. If you could give a company one piece of advice (from a service design perspective)… perhaps a recurring error you have seen from your career… what would that be?
Your customers live with and see you and your services / products everyday. Listen to them, they probably know things about you that you never ever have thought of.

// Andreas… thanks for your time!

P.S. A quick note for my lovely colleague

John Hult… don’t worry chief, we’ll be interviewing the developers very soon! :)

If you suddenly feel an overwhelming desire to be in the same company as the world’s most progressive corporations within digital service acceleration and servitization call or mail me.

Russell Clark
+46 (0)734 359 741

Written by

Russell Clark

Business Director

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