Karoline Kwon // May 11 2018
Office Oatz: From Service Design to Service Creation
The Birth of Office Oatz
You know that saying, “eat your own dog food”? Well, this blog isn’t just about eating our dog food, but ordering, cooking, serving and feasting on it too! And by “dog food”, I’m actually referring to my healthy snack-in-a-jar service called Office Oatz.
I’ve always been a foodie and interested in health trends, and coming from a visual background, I pay attention to food presentation. So when I started to bring in my “fancy” overnight oats-in-a-jar to work, it started to raise some eyebrows. A business designer and fellow health and food enthusiast, Alex (whom I now call my top investor), started to hungrily eye my oatz while making some comments like:
“Heyyyy, that looks good!”
And “What flavour do you have today?”
I could tell others were noticing my oatz and desire was brewing over them. So what would any Service Designer do? Well, I rolled up my sleeves and started designing my Office Oatz service. I bet you’re wondering, what is so special about these oatz? Well, each jar is one part overnight oatz, one part yogurt of choice and is topped off with fresh fruits, making it a filling and yet refreshing snack. It’s a healthy snack that help you get started in the morning or get over that 4pm hump.
Creating Concepts with Customers
Now that I had some interested individuals, I created a quick poll on Slack; gathering signups for my first round of Office Oatz. Since I was going into ‘mass-production’, I had to define new flavours, portion sizes and the right oat-to-milk ratio. The initial outcome? Well, let’s just say the first batch weren’t the most ‘fancy,’ but they did allow me to gather critical feedback on the flavour and wishes for the service.
Next, I developed the service flow and thought about the best business model to adopt for this kind of service. I decided on a seasonal membership program: Oaterz aka those who subscribed to Office Oatz, committed to a 4 week period.
Here is the high-level customer lifecycle:
I created a Slack channel and invited interested participants to the first season of Office Oatz.
- Sign up
I designed a signup sheet for Oaterz to choose their subscription size (Nibble =1x, Gobble = 2x and Feast 4x a week), select their delivery dates, pick their desired flavours (which also included a ‘surprise’ flavour – Karomental!) and a section to specify any dietary restrictions or special requests. With the information gathered from these sheets, I created a spread sheet and timetable. I shared this document with Oaterz so that they had a record of when they would get their oatz and which flavours they would get.
- Service use
Each night, I referred to the spreadsheet to make the right oatz for the right Oater.
Every oat day I would bring the jar of oatz with me to the office. The jars were labelled with a small post-it note that had the Oaterz’s name and flavour.
Orders were personally delivered to the office and placed directly into the fridge. Once ready, I pinged the Oaterz on the Office Oatz Slack channel
- Enjoy and Recycle
Oaterz picked up the jars from the fridge whenever they wished and left the empty jars for me to collect; allowing me to make more for the next day! Sustainability, heck yeah!
Today, I celebrate 4 seasons of Office Oatz and the service has changed a lot since I first started. I have about 8-12 active Oaterz and have received a lot of positive feedback(fig 3). Office Oatz has brought people together and it has also allowed me to chat with individuals that I normally wouldn’t have a chance to interact with. I have 30+ satisfied Oaterz including some of our clients(fig 4) and I’ve also received requests to expand to other companies. It started off as an idea; but through the help and support of Digitalists, it grew into a community and a live service.
Why do this?
Creating a service in-house was a fun and practical way to apply my skills as a service designer. I was able to interview, iterate and implement the entire service in a very agile way as the service provider and designer. I got to share the experience of healthy living and co-creation in a personal and unique way. Oaterz and co-workers alike have said it looks like a lot of work, but I love doing this! And if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work