Patricia Stark writing on a sticky note on the wall.

Co-creating our future: an interview with Patricia Stark

December 15, 2022

Professionals working in the field of experience innovation represent an array of skills and knowledge: designers and managers, researchers and engineers, data-driven and creative folks, CX, UX, EX… the profession has many faces. We are thrilled to have a truly inspiring CX expert share some of her background, her learnings, and a few insights into her work: please meet Patricia Stark!

My job / my role / how I call myself

I facilitate co-creative work sessions and enable teams to create solutions for the future. 

I have worked as a product manager in the field of banking automation for nearly a decade. Since 2016, I've been working on different projects, in various industries, always with the main focus of encouraging people to change perspectives and experiment with new ways to innovate.

Most recently, I’ve been coordinating a great cooperation in the research field, with the goal of opening research to society and building the future we want together.

Black and white headshot of Patricia Stark smiling friendly into the camera.

My service design background in one sentence

An MBA in Creative Process Leadership was my gateway into service design and innovation. 

In addition, I try to grasp every opportunity to learn from other fields. Most recently, I have joined the Kaospilots in Aarhus on a “designing and facilitating learning spaces” course .

How I got into service design

I got inspired by a service design training by Birgit Mager during my MBA studies. Back then, I was working as a product manager in the industry. I tried to implement service design in my projects but missed exchanges with others who did so as well. 

So, together with some colleagues, we founded a platform for Service Design, with the aim of bringing like-minded people and experts together. We organized events like the Service Design Jams, the Service Design Drinks, and more.

During that time, I met Marc Stickdorn, Adam Lawrence, and Markus Hormeß and had the unique chance to work with, and learn from the best.

I think as a service designer you need to have relevant experience with…

Most importantly, I believe you don’t have to call yourself a service designer to work with service design tools and methods.

I believe practical experience in different projects, settings etc. is key to understanding the value of various methods and tools. 

There are no “one-size-fits all” methods or processes, so over time and through successive projects you gain this practical experience, and the quality of your work steadily improves. 

Enabling teams to speak a common language is also quite essential. 

The secret way of working that helps me be successful

I believe the key lies not solely in my own success, but rather in my capacity to facilitate the teamwork of others, thus leading to their success.

To provide them with guidance when needed, but also to step back and give them the stage. 

From my point of view, if a team takes over real ownership of a project, it has the potential to become a great one. So, giving a team room to explore and learn together is crucial. 

In most cases, you work with amazing people, so trust them and don’t take yourself too seriously. 

A great moment of success in my career

Once, I was walking in the city and a former bachelor student of mine, who attended a class on service design for one semester, passed by. Shortly after, she turned around, came up to me and thanked me for inspiring her to enroll for a master’s degree in the field of service design in Germany. I blushed.

When I think back, I still feel that having the chance to inspire someone, no matter how young or old, and be passionate about what you do, is something magical about service design. 

Some people I like to follow / listen to / learn from 

As already mentioned, if you ever have the chance to meet or even attend a workshop with Marc Stickdorn, Adam Lawrence, and Markus Hormeß, don’t miss it. 

I also really like Lou Downe’s recent book “Good Services”. It is a must-read for anyone interested in this field and comes with a great toolbox to put into practice right away. 

In addition, for years, I have enjoyed following Daniele Catalanotto, as he has a true gift for clarifying complicated concepts.

My tip for newbies who want to start working in the service design field

Get your hands dirty! Be part of projects, grasp every opportunity to practice, and stay curious. 

Apply your knowledge and get out of your own comfort zone. 

And, connect with others at Global Service Jams or one of the great conferences in the field. There are so many amazing people and still so many chances to improve CX / service design. The more service designers, the merrier!

You can meet me on these channels