EPISODE 12: Esben Groendal on Service Design in Japan and much more

Esben Groendal is a Danish Service Designer working in Japan. He is a former Service Design master student at Aalborg University and the initiator of the Service Design Tour


Most surprising insight 

Esben explained that Japan has a culture of customer centricity. Throughout history customers were put central and were always treated in an excellent way. There is always a large emphasis on being friendly and helping customers. But this ‘value’ doesn't always seem to translate into their digital services. It looks like there is still some work in making digital products more customer friendly and also putting the customer central in developing them. 


What we learned

Esben is the initiator of the Service Design tour, this is an initiative were Service Design students visit different Service Design agencies on a 3 day trip. This means he has seen a lot of different agencies. Therefor we asked him what the biggest differences are among them. Even though the design processes are very comparable and similar tools are used at Service Design agencies around the globe, there is always a difference in mindset. For example in Japan people want to do the best job they can and deliver something which is 100 percent right. Whereas in Europe we have a mindset of testing earlier in the proces. They both have their advantages and we can only learn from each other! 

Service Design Tour

Service Design Tour


A behind the scene story 

 We asked you who you would like to hear on the podcast. That’s how we met Esben! Thanks @ndreasjonsson!