I don’t know if they agree with me or not! Only after they read this article I will know.

They are the five people (myself included) who entered in GSJ11 Lisbon as an “expert” and all left it as “T” shaped persons.

The “T” represents a person with skills developed in a given (specific) area (vertical part) to what they add acquired skills in the development of work (horizontal part).

The big difference between an expert and a person shaped “T” is the ability to touch the fringes of the knowledge of another interlocutor. A specialist usually only develops cooperation with someone who speaks his language while a particular “T” has easily contact points in other areas than their specialty.

If we, in our work during the 48 hours that we were together, did not look, in a empathetic way, for understanding the intentions and desires of each one we would come to an end with a summation of opinions. Instead we contact all horizontal competencies and develop when necessary our vertical profile.

This way we conclude that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

If I want to deliver a service with meaning for the user I have to set very well the theme that’ll work and opportunities to do so.

That, I can make defining the journey which he will have to do and what need will satisfy and the emotional experiences that I try to print without ever losing sight of the whole experience, this is the service.

I’ll deliver the tangible and the intangible results of concepts that I created jointly with other people from other disciplines.

And for all this happened, it was necessary to create engagement with the co-creators, create prototypes and storytelling to finally be able to validate.

The importance of storytelling and the prototype as part of our work was manifest in the presentation of the service, which took place yesterday in SDD Lisbon.

And why I think behind all this was Design Thinking?

–      Because we were able to embrace constraints.

Designers work with constraints (time, budget, location, materials). Identify their limitations and do not create the perfect solution, but the best solution, given the constraints.

–      Because we take a risk.

Designers are comfortable with the notion that could be wrong, but experience and try new approaches.


–      Because we do not care to ask questions.

Designers make numerous questions that can lead to the question of law – which will lead to the correct answer.


–      Because we believe that it is not a question of tools, it is about ideas.

Designers from diverse areas spend much time away from tools like “new technology”, using paper and pencil to sketch their ideas.


And therefore we were able, and I believe, to do something that not only has meaning as it is desirable, feasible and economically viable!


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3 Responses to Behind a Service Design is always Design Thinking

  1. dennis says:

    As a psychologist I use joint problem solving to facilitate change and solve “problems” the more I read about design thinking the more I see a strong relationship with a awesome fun approach! Love it

  2. Jennifer C says:

    Great post! It is always nice to find fellow GSJ’ers and to see how others are find the intersection of design thinking + (fill in the blanks). Really liked the way you broke what it is that designers do and how that can be applied to other areas.

    • Jose Baldaia says:

      Hello Jennifer
      Thank for your comments!
      I think we learn a lot with GSJ’ers because Global Jam are one of the best environments to put ideas on the wall and combine them.

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