Before I jump into this episode with our special guest, I want to give a shout out to a few people who have made a difference to my life this year.
First off all I’d like to give a shout out to all the sponsors who ran ads with us, became a patron, hired me to train or coach teams through This is HCD. This is part of how we keep our heads above water folks - and it’s how I can keep producing the podcast.
I’d like to personally thank a few people as it’s the season for reflection. First off all, Lisa, my EA who works with me to make everything happen work wise for me, all the editors on the podcast, Jakob Schneider, Adrienne Tan, Rachael Dietkus for being awesome friends and supporter of all that I do who encourage me to keep going and helping give me the strength to continue doing what I do. My wife Vicki, who provides me with all the love in the world.
And of course, to you, the listener. The person who none of this would be possible if you didn’t listen in and help share the word to people.
Thanks again for everything and signing off for 2022 with more so many incredible episodes lined up.
Any ideas who the special guest is?
I will give you a clue. They are truly awesome - and one of my heroes in Design. They wrote a book that is bright orange. It’s called Good Services.
Welcome, Lou Downe folks…
Let’s jump in…
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[00:00:00] Gerry Scullion: Hello and welcome to the Christmas special of this estate cd. My name is Jerry Schooling and I'm a designer, educator, and the host of this a CD based in the wonderful city of Dublin, Ireland. I've just returned from a Christmas weekend with my family and I'm now officially excited about having. Time off and before I jump into this episode with our special guest, I'm not gonna tell you who it is just yet.
[00:00:35] Gerry Scullion: I wanna give a shout out to a few people who have really helped make a difference to my life this year. First of all, I'd like to give a shout out to all the sponsors who ran ads with us, became patrons, hired me to train or coach teams through this a c D. This is part of how I keep my head above water folks, and that's how I can keep producing this podcast.
[00:00:56] Gerry Scullion: I'd like to personally thank a few people though as it is the season for [00:01:00] reflection and gratitude I fall, I find, first of all, I'd like to thank Lisa, who's my ea. Who works with me and makes everything happen work-wise absolutely would be lost with at least. At least. It's truly awesome. Let this pay a special thanks to the editors of this podcast.
[00:01:16] Gerry Scullion: They are absolutely phenomenal and they help do great turnarounds on the podcast and help me make me sound a little bit better than I actually am in reality. And some of my close friends and mentors, Jacob Schneider or Jacob Schneider, as I like to say, Adrian Tan and Rachel DKAs for being awesome friends and supporters of all that I do.
[00:01:36] Gerry Scullion: They really encourage me to keep going and helping me find the strength to continue doing what I do. And of course, Assie, uh, but not least, my wife Vicky, who provides me with all the love in the world and the support and the encouragement as well. And of course to you the listener, the person who, none of this will be possible if you didn't listen and help.
[00:01:55] Gerry Scullion: The podcasts out to people that you, you work with and people that you respect and, and [00:02:00] want to hear as well and might find some value in what we're talking about here in the podcast. None of this would be possible without you, so thank you so much for all that you've done, and thanks again for everything and, and I'm signing off now for 2022 with many more incredible episodes lined up.
[00:02:16] Gerry Scullion: Honestly, I've got a, a huge roster already locked. For the first three to four months on this podcast. And if you like what we do folks, it really goes so far. If you become a patron, it really helps us out with, uh, the hosting and the editing of the podcast. Now, this episode, any idea who it is, who the special guest might be?
[00:02:34] Gerry Scullion: I'm gonna give you a clue. They are truly awesome. Okay. That's not so much of a, of a clue. Most of the people I have on this podcast I find are awesome, but this person is one of my design heroes, okay? And they wrote a great. About two years ago. It's bright orange. The book is called Good Services. So folks, you should have guessed it by now.
[00:02:55] Gerry Scullion: It's Lou down. So let's jump in and let's hear all the, the wacky things that we [00:03:00]spoke about in this episode. I hope you enjoy it, folks, and have a great one and see you at the start of January.
[00:03:10] Gerry Scullion: It's the Christmas special. I don't have any Christmas music lined up to go alongside this, but I probably put, put some jingle to it. We've got the one and only Sarah Drummond on the show today. Oh, no, , oh, hang on a second. Lemme joking. It's Lou down.
[00:03:29] Gerry Scullion: Lou down. This is our, this marks our third, maybe fourth Christmas where we've had. Catch up time at the end of the year, and I remember not the last Christmas, the Christmas before. We caught up at about 10 in the morning and I said at about two o'clock I need to go to the bathroom. Cause we've been working for four hours, and I can't catch up on Yeah, it's it's [00:04:00] kind like as a warning to anyone just.
[00:04:02] Gerry Scullion: Listening into this conversation, this isn't going to be a standard podcast, folks. This is gonna be include warts and all Okay. Meandering conversations. But I remember at that time the conversation rapidly moved from Mick Hucknall to inclusivity, into accessibility to services, to the British government, to the Irish government, to the US government in about three minutes.
[00:04:26] Gerry Scullion: Um, and I was like, wow, this is gonna be one of those conversations. I need to lie down after . I need to lie down. Lou Dan, I need to Lou Dan .
[00:04:38] Lou Downe: Lie down. I mean, most of my conversations start with Mick Nell. So, um, I'm glad that we managed to move on from
[00:04:44] Gerry Scullion: that . I don't, I don't know how he, I think, I think I might have been, Adam Lawrence might have tweeted something about Mick Huckel once, and I was like, Don't, don't smash in.
[00:04:56] Gerry Scullion: I said, uh, I'm, I'm actually kind of a big fan and then you [00:05:00] chimed in. So, so am I No one else. This
[00:05:03] Lou Downe: might be how we ended up first talking, I dunno, our shared love of Mick Huck .
[00:05:09] Gerry Scullion: Janice, you, you actually went. To see Simply Red last year in the summertime. You and Sarah down town
[00:05:15] Lou Downe: South. Yeah. This year in Tunin we went to go and see Mick Hu Well mostly say Mick.
[00:05:19] Lou Downe: Mick Nell and Simply Red. Yeah. Uh, the experience that is in, uh, yeah, in a park in Thornton. What
[00:05:27] Gerry Scullion: he Brilliant. He can still sing.
[00:05:30] Lou Downe: He really, honestly, he can really sing and it's incredible. He's it. Quite a nice God, like, you know, you don't get the impression, I dunno, with, with anyone these days, you have to Google them, right and work out, you know, like put their name plus controversy before you say anything positive about them, , just to make sure he is not said anything weird because you never know.
[00:05:50] Lou Downe: You never know. He, he was dropping in some things about unions, you know, some, some things about, you know, cost of living crisis. I was like, [00:06:00] oh, that's it. Give nice one
[00:06:01] Gerry Scullion: voice. . He, well, he, he, um, from recollection, , and this is where if there's any simply red fans listening in who are diehard, um, they may have to correct me on this one, but from recollection, I think his mum died at a young age and he lived with his father and they had literally no money.
[00:06:21] Gerry Scullion: They were on the bread line as far, you know, money was too tight to mention. Cutbacks, um, was a thing that. You know, he wrote that time, . Um, so yeah, he, he, he's, he, he comes from, he's, he's not from wealth, so he, he's, he's, he's worked his way up. And I love those stories. Like, you
[00:06:43] Lou Downe: know, I, I also, another Simply Red Fact he wrote For Your Babies, which is like a song about great song, great fatherhood and children, uh, very emotive, yeah.
[00:06:54] Lou Downe: When he was 21 and didn't have children. Which is really like, yeah, mind blowing [00:07:00] to me. Like that someone 21 would write this like basically love song to their children. Like be before
[00:07:06] Gerry Scullion: they, he wrote a lot of the hits for young. That was the thing, like when, when I think I watched something on YouTube and really he, um, he found his voice really young, like, you know, he really hit that kind of, that sort of rich patch.
[00:07:21] Gerry Scullion: I dunno when I was, must be in the mid eighties. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, when, when he was floating around cuz my older brothers were into him. And then, uh, you know, he was huge in Ireland. Like, absolutely massive. Um, But anyway, let's move on from Nick. People are probably gonna tune,
[00:07:38] Lou Downe: tune to, uh, simply Red
[00:07:40] Gerry Scullion: Chat, the Human-Centered Design Network.
[00:07:43] Gerry Scullion: And we are talking about, you know, our love for Mick Huckel and Simply Red . But Lou, let's, let's, maybe I will remain and retain host, uh, privileges on this, on this podcast, even though people may question my ability. What's, what's this year been like for, um, for yourself? [00:08:00]
[00:08:00] Lou Downe: Oh. That is a good question. Um, yeah.
[00:08:04] Lou Downe: What's this year been like? Uh, busy. I think, I don't know. I think I, I, I probably feel very similar to a lot of other people in the, this year is the first year that things have felt, Not back to normal Hmm. But at a similar pace to what they were before. And I started school with good services, like literally in the middle of a pandemic.
[00:08:29] Lou Downe: Yeah. Um, so I dunno what normal looks like. Uh, normal to me is basically delivering eight hours of training on Zoom every day. Uh, that's, that's, that's my new normal. But this year, um, yeah, it's been interesting. Lot, lots more people sort of finding out about good services, lots more people wanting help with it, which is brilliant.
[00:08:52] Lou Downe: Um, yeah, life stuff has been big as well, Sarah and I've. Move to Devin . Yeah. [00:09:00]Which I'm still not quite come to terms with . I'm proud of. I'm a very, very old, old house that comes with free bats. Uh, and, uh, free. Free also free death watch beat bat's. What the
[00:09:09] Gerry Scullion: wings by the way? Not bats like you hit people with or hit baseballs with.
[00:09:13] Lou Downe: Yeah. I mean, no. And you definitely can't use one type of bat against another type of bat. That's absolutely illegal.
[00:09:20] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. , there's whole, no restrictions on moving bats. You can't. Yeah. People kind of go, ah, you just smoke 'em out, or, oh my
[00:09:27] Lou Downe: God, Jerry, seriously, this is absolutely triggering for me, for anyone who's read the book, knows that there is a, a diagram, there's well, one diagram in the book, right.
[00:09:35] Lou Downe: I allowed myself one diagram because hell is other people's diagrams. Yeah. But there is one diagram that shows like how to name a service and. The example is how do you move bats? So it starts with like, I wanna convert a barn as this big task that you wanna do on the left hand side. And then like the wildlife mitigation license on the other side, which is what you need to do.
[00:09:57] Lou Downe: Yeah. Move bats. And in the middle is the [00:10:00] thing that your user thinks exists as a service, which is moving bats and. I am not, but use it now. Like I am the person who's having to move bats
[00:10:07] Gerry Scullion: and I life has followed our,
[00:10:09] Lou Downe: like I, yeah. Or did I create it? Who knows? Did I manifest this for myself? ,
[00:10:15] Gerry Scullion: why didn't you, why didn't you put something in there?
[00:10:16] Gerry Scullion: Like, you know, Lou has a million pounds and, uh, that's the service that we're trying to name. Why didn't you put that in the book, ? Yeah. I, I do remember you actually telling me this, like, you know, um, anyone in the newsletter would've seen a photo of myself and Lou and trust. , that was the best photo of a bad bunch.
[00:10:36] Gerry Scullion: um, .
[00:10:37] Lou Downe: There was some interesting facial expressions pulled on that walk. I
[00:10:40] Gerry Scullion: didn't take any photographs. Took one, us having a coffee and I was like, oh, actually, you know what, that's probably a step too far. Like, you know, , there was a lot of tones, uh, coming out of heads, uh, and we were like, no, we couldn't show that.
[00:10:53] Gerry Scullion: But. I did
[00:10:55] Lou Downe: speak about that. You sound really dubious Jerry. What? ?
[00:10:57] Gerry Scullion: No, but it was just like stick tongue back, [00:11:00] that kinda jobby. But I, I, I do remember you telling me that story and I was like, wow, that is really crazy. To be so specific in a book. And then two years later is probably, is it a two years book's?
[00:11:12] Gerry Scullion: Probably a bit two years old now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 2020. God, that, that actually seems, in some ways it seems, Do you know what I mean? it does seem, because like I have no concept of time anymore, um, over the last two or three years, obviously, like, so Stephanie flown, but for me it's five years. Like since we've five years this April, we're back from Australia.
[00:11:33] Gerry Scullion: Mm-hmm. Um, so I've zero concept. I just look at little milestones before that and then I'm like, okay. When, when did you write the blog post or the, the, the Twitter thing happened because I remember that, yeah. I was in Australia when the Twitter thing happened, and then
[00:11:49] Lou Downe: I think that was 20, that was 2019.
[00:11:53] Lou Downe: No, maybe it was home or 2020. I think it was 18, sorry. 20, 20 18, I think. Yeah. I don't know. The book was pretty fast to write, to be [00:12:00] honest. I wrote it in about six months. Well,
[00:12:02] Gerry Scullion: it's font 24, so there's a font, , there's only about 500 words in it.
[00:12:11] Lou Downe: Oh, yeah, no, I'm sure. No, I, I mean, like, it was a, it was a funny one, I think. Well, like, you know, it's, it's a, it's a cliche, but like, , once you sort of start writing something that you've been thinking about for such a long time, you don't realize that you've been thinking about it for such a long time, and all of this stuff just sort of comes out.
[00:12:29] Lou Downe: Um, but then having said that, there were, I think, about 5,000 typos in the book with this first published. So thank you to to everyone who's listening who contributed typos to my publisher, uh, and afterwards. Yeah. Yeah. The first, the first edition and the second edition.
[00:12:48] Gerry Scullion: Both the first edition here, I, I have threet typos.
[00:12:51] Gerry Scullion: You released this as a video? I might do, I might just release the video. Real Star Wars Christmas Time.
[00:12:59] Gerry Scullion: You're telling there's [00:13:00] 5,000 typos in this book? There is definitely some I've spotted, but. Can't just, uh, you, you're exaggerating obviously. 5,000 type
[00:13:11] Lou Downe: of there. Well, there were a lot, and then there were a lot that ended up in the book. And, uh, Claire, who is a really good friend and brilliant sub editor, did her absolute level best.
[00:13:23] Lou Downe: But I remember her saying, well, I also like, how, how bad is it, like, compared to a normal thing, other books that you would Yeah, like, like your normal work with, you know, normal people. Uh, and she said, Probably about four or five times as many typos as there would normally be. Really Focus size. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:13:41] Lou Downe: Yeah. I was quite proud of that. .
[00:13:43] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, that's, that's definitely one that's, uh, you know, one period to take to the grave, I guess. But like, I can't believe, I just assume that everything is perfect when it goes to print. Like, you know, um, if you're telling me there's four or five times more, that means that in most books there's [00:14:00] one or two.
[00:14:01] Lou Downe: Oh, of course there, I mean like, yeah, there's loads of books that have got type, they've got massive. Yeah. You'll rely basically on, um, On, on, on the Subed and on your publisher for picking up. But my, I, you know, yeah. There's a so much hunger though. Much people can Oh, what, we'll
[00:14:21] Gerry Scullion: just talk Aboutt the chat gbt.
[00:14:24] Gerry Scullion: Um, is that the name of the, the, the new AI that we're all, um, chat GBT as the Google and Real team? I think that's chat, uh, cbp. It's not that gbt, uh, no. What's it called? Chat c pt. I
[00:14:40] Lou Downe: mean, they didn't. I didn't give it a vibe, did they? Pt?
[00:14:44] Gerry Scullion: Um, as you can see, I'm, I'm not really into the whole kind of AI thing too much.
[00:14:50] Gerry Scullion: Like every now and then, I just kind of go, wow. And then I continue up my life, . That's, that's kind of where my extent goes. I think that's why [00:15:00] most
[00:15:00] Lou Downe: people's extent of interest in
[00:15:02] Gerry Scullion: that. Oh, Sarah Drummond. Sarah Drummond ends up on US TV talking about ai. Do you
[00:15:06] Lou Downe: know what my brother-in-law was? Was, uh, watching c n n?
[00:15:10] Lou Downe: He was like, is Sarah on the tele? What's she doing on the. Because they're in San Francisco and, uh, she didn't know it was gonna be on the cv. She thought it was gonna be just a podcast. So, uh, really? Yeah. But what I love about it's that she just developed this amazing cockney accent for the entire time.
[00:15:25] Lou Downe: I think she ends up like her, her sort of mic drop moment at the end is like, yeah, yeah, ai. You gotta be careful, boo. Like, well, sick .
[00:15:34] Gerry Scullion: I haven't seen, I've seen screen grabs
[00:15:36] Lou Downe: give it a watch. We used to Sarah Drummond's, Scottish DT tones. You'll be, uh, surprised that she sounds a bit like a sort of a, but yeah.
[00:15:45] Lou Downe: Mary Poppins, who's been living in Deford for a while, ,
[00:15:50] Gerry Scullion: I can't imagine Sarah adopting, uh, a Devon accent in the future, though. I don't think it's gonna happen. , give us the future. It might be. [00:16:00] What, what is a, a true Devin accent actually. Oh. Gosh, come
[00:16:04] Lou Downe: on, hit me. Um, Lord, lord, um, I mean your classic Devin phrases, right?
[00:16:13] Lou Downe: If I say, uh, well I'm pardon that, that's from Somerset Mate's a wrong bit . So, so if you said right, I'm like, if you wanna buy a birthday card, go down to this shop on the high street, and I'd say, , where's that? To basically like, that would be like a classic sort of, where's that? Where Well, where's that to?
[00:16:41] Lou Downe: Um, or, um, gosh,
[00:16:45] Gerry Scullion: pretty old English.
[00:16:46] Lou Downe: It's almost, it's, it's, it's proper, it's proper old English, or like, there is one word that I basically still have. There's a. Like accent. And it, every, every part of my accent is completely gone otherwise, [00:17:00] but it's the word won't. So rather than saying won't Yeah. Rather than saying won't, which I think most people would expect me to say.
[00:17:07] Lou Downe: Yeah. do accent basically say, won't . Walt won't, like, like with a really rounded o, like I. Won't .
[00:17:21] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, you heard it here folks.
[00:17:23] Lou Downe: good here first. Yeah. We've also got a special word for, uh, when it's getting dark. Uh, dimp. It's getting dimp. Really?
[00:17:31] Gerry Scullion: Like twilight. Good enough.
[00:17:33] Lou Downe: Twilight. Yeah. Yeah. Dust and, uh, dust.
[00:17:36] Lou Downe: No, no. Dimp. It's getting dimp. Dimp. And if dimp, if, yeah, if there is rain and also mist at the same time. Uh, it's a.
[00:17:48] Gerry Scullion: Mm. ,
[00:17:50] Lou Downe: which there's
[00:17:51] Gerry Scullion: a lot of, I've been down, um, down . I've been without any knee . Yeah. Without a knee. I've been [00:18:00] down in, um, Exeter before, at a wedding, maybe 20 something years ago, and. To my surprise, I remember at that time I was going out with somebody who, whose parents were really Catholic.
[00:18:15] Gerry Scullion: I mean, how Catholic, you might ask if instead Catholic, it was if it was a sport, if, if Catholic Catholicism was a sport. They were the world champions, . Okay. And um, remember us saying, oh, we need to go to mass on the Sunday. And I was like, oh, come on, I'm hungover. There's no way I'm going to mass. And they.
[00:18:37] Gerry Scullion: It's at book Fast, Abby, and I'm like, I am getting dressed right now. And we had, I went to Mars and the entire time I was like, do they serve book Fast in book fast? A that's all I wanted. I I, I stopped the priest. Yes, they do. And they go, yeah, do we do? And I was like, could not get out of, I was like, booky.
[00:18:58] Gerry Scullion: Has made a presence [00:19:00] at Mass . . That's amazing. 14 year old Jerry would've been so proud. .
[00:19:07] Lou Downe: Oh my God, that's so funny. Do you know what I've got? I I, I've got my own Buckfast story. Come on. I took, I took Sarah to, uh, Buckfast Abby as like a trip ,
[00:19:17] Gerry Scullion: which is probably like a, a pilgrimage for basically
[00:19:20] Lou Downe: that's, Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
[00:19:23] Lou Downe: You've got like, you know, someone from Scotland who you know is in a relationship with someone from, from Devin. Careful, like, you know, we are united, like coming in here. Yeah. But you know, I, my, my, my country is the producer of the, the national drink. Of
[00:19:38] Gerry Scullion: Scotland. Iron Brew, I think is the, is the national drink.
[00:19:41] Gerry Scullion: Alright.
[00:19:41] Lou Downe: The daytime national drink is Iron Brew. The evening national drink is Buckfast. .
[00:19:48] Gerry Scullion: I'm not asking, I'm laughing. Ask that joke. I'm not with it. I'm at it.
[00:19:53] Lou Downe: Okay. Jerry Jerry's separated himself from, I'm the expressions of Buckfast drinking. But [00:20:00] you know what? In, in Devon Buckfast is just a tonic wine.
[00:20:02] Lou Downe: Like it's something that old people drink. So we went to Buckfast. And, uh, like we're trying to like wander our way around, like see what's going on, and we see this monk like disappearing
[00:20:15] Gerry Scullion: into bushes.
[00:20:17] Lou Downe: Ba yeah, legit into a bush. Really? And so we followed him. Yeah. Well, no, well turned out it was not quite as interesting.
[00:20:26] Lou Downe: But at the back of Buckfast Abbey is where they produce all of the buckfast. Hmm. And if you look at, make. I, I dunno, the nuns used to make it. That's awfully patriarchal. The No, but I think, I think the monks run the abbey. The nuns make. Yeah. I think
[00:20:42] Gerry Scullion: it was like, there you go, sister in there at the grape of mine.
[00:20:46] Lou Downe: Got work stamp on that. .
[00:20:48] Gerry Scullion: Got to work. Get those shoes off. Got those shoes off. Off your feet and start chomping up and down and those . .
[00:20:56] Lou Downe: Yeah. So yeah, if you look on Google Earth, you can see basically [00:21:00] the massive great big green aircraft hanger that's been hidden around the back. And this monk was basically going in with a straw, the factory basically, I assume he's got some sort of food safe covering for his habit.
[00:21:13] Lou Downe: Yeah. But we tried to ask in the shop like, do you make it on site? And legit, as soon as Sarah like opened her mouth with her Scottish accent, I almost felt like the alarm bells had gone off. Because of course they are constantly denying that they are in any way responsible for, you know, alcohol. The huge amount.
[00:21:31] Lou Downe: Yeah. Well, yeah. Producing a sugary, caffeinated, highly addictive . Yeah. Uh, very, very strong. A very cheap alcohol that's consumed not by, you know, little old ladies, uh, who need a, a tonic, but by, uh, , by vast majorities of
[00:21:47] Gerry Scullion: people. Well, I'll tell you what, it, it might, might only, the stigma might only last around or limit itself to Ireland and the UK for people in Australia and.
[00:21:57] Gerry Scullion: basically Buckfast. In Australia, it's [00:22:00] goon. Okay. It's similar to Goon, which is wine in a bag. You don't know if you know you've been to Australia. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You can get wine in a bag and all my friends in Australia used to say to me, it's great. It doubles as a really strong, uh, alcohol drink.
[00:22:13] Gerry Scullion: And then you blow it up and you have a little cushion for when you fall asleep in the park. Yeah. And I'm like, wow. That's, that's proper design. Like, that's, yeah. That's all.
[00:22:22] Lou Downe: You can strap it to yourself in a festival and get through the gates and no one study. Now that you've got it now, , it's just say, just a tip.
[00:22:29] Lou Downe: I've never done it. .
[00:22:30] Gerry Scullion: We don't wanna be promoting, um, this kinda level of alcohol abuse, but basically, um, I don't know what the equivalent is in America. I'm sure they, the Americans s definitely have something similar like maybe might be wine in a caran or something, but book fast. I'm sorry. There's anyone from that area of the UK other than Lou here, but Buckfast is Rancid.
[00:22:50] Gerry Scullion: I can, it's, I remember when I first year of my industrial design degree was in Limerick, and I remember the Christmas party. I went to [00:23:00] River Island and Oh yes. I know pointy shoes. No shirt. Nice shirt, . Nice. This is my going out shirt. And little did I know that that bag later on was going to have a double, uh, a double job to do in catching my vomit because the, oh, the book fast was, it was just so slow, strong.
[00:23:22] Gerry Scullion: I took anyone knows it's one. It just catches up with you. It's like, and I remember being so ill and after that I was like, remember I had the bottle still in my room? And I was like, you're evil. It's like it was having, having a go at me, but it's something that I, um, can't say that I'm a fond of, but I think Sarah messaged me and said that they were a book for as ABI or something, or I'd seen that.
[00:23:49] Gerry Scullion: And they were so excited about it. .
[00:23:51] Lou Downe: She loved it. She loved it. We also found a, uh, and I, I, I will caveat the story. Fully abandoned, uh, buck. [00:24:00] Firstly Abbey, uh, hi. Viz jacket, uh, in the car park. Like sort of did you in it like in a puddle. Clearly someone had abandoned it. I was gonna just put that out there.
[00:24:10] Lou Downe: We did not steal it. We, well in Devon, we, we scrum. Uh,
[00:24:15] Gerry Scullion: here we go again. It's, suppose we say , it's like two, two. It's not quite fine. .
[00:24:22] Lou Downe: It's a gray area. . Anyway, we still have it. Hi. His jacket with B with basically the Buckfast logo on the back and it's, I think one of her proudest positions. Yeah,
[00:24:32] Gerry Scullion: you go. It's uh, it's hanging up in the wardrobe, so yeah, let's go.
[00:24:37] Gerry Scullion: Let's talk about Christmas. Do you celebrate Christmas?
[00:24:41] Lou Downe: Yeah. Yeah, we do. Try to, um,
[00:24:46] Gerry Scullion: in big style dj DJ drumming style. Yeah. What, what does, uh, Christmas mean to you?
[00:24:54] Lou Downe: What does Christmas mean to me? Um, that is a, that's a really good question, Joe. What does [00:25:00] Christmas mean to me? Um, I mean, I'm not really from a religious family.
[00:25:05] Lou Downe: But I suppose being, being a bit of a fundamentalist about meaning in general, having gone to art college for four years, uh, I suppose to me Christian, uh, Christmas is a c
[00:25:18] Gerry Scullion: Christmas thing. Christian, it's a C like it's a celebration of.
[00:25:23] Lou Downe: Christ the birth of a Yeah. . Yeah. Um, but I dunno, for me, the last couple of years actually, I've, I've senten celebrated Winter solstice, uh, instead Christmas, which is a couple of days beforehand.
[00:25:36] Lou Downe: Uh, and I don't know, I, I love nature and I love gardening and uh, for me it feels like a really. I'm actually like a really meaningful time. It's, it's, it's the end of one growing season and the beginning of the next and it signals the sort of the darkest part of the year and yeah, I dunno. Christmas.
[00:25:58] Lou Downe: Christmas and year is [00:26:00] always kind of when I end up doing a lot of reflection and thinking. Uh,
[00:26:05] Gerry Scullion: yeah. I mean, it's not that long ago really. We like going too deep into it, like, but Paganism and Sham. Uh, shamanic symbols in, in our culture in Ireland lived and it was like around us and it wasn't seen as a, oh my God, what's he talking about here?
[00:26:23] Gerry Scullion: Now he's talking about paganism and, you know, shamanism and, um, shamanic, you know, rituals. What would, when you look into those, um, kind of belief systems, They're aligned to what you just said. You know, really respecting the earth and, you know, not taking too much from the earth and really considering what we're talking about here.
[00:26:44] Gerry Scullion: And, um, I've got, I, I'm pretty agnostic to, to religion these days, folks. Um, so like yourself, it's, it's really about connecting and reflecting and, you know, there is a, a time of the year where you sit back and just. [00:27:00] Reflect, I think is probably how I would see Christmas, um, Christmas to be for, for me, like, you know, what was it like as, as growing up in Exeter?
[00:27:10] Gerry Scullion: Um, what was Christmas like? Was it a, a big snowy thing or was it a kind of big family? Tell us what it was like. Yeah,
[00:27:21] Lou Downe: well it wasn't snowy cuz uh, west Country . Yeah. Snow occasionally. Yeah. Yeah. Like I can probably count on one hand the amount of times we had snow at Christmas, but, um, our Christmases are always a bit weird in the, um, so I've got one sister.
[00:27:38] Lou Downe: And, uh, she lives in San Francisco. Yeah. So she lives in San Francisco now. Yep. Um, which is very exciting. She's coming back for the first time in three years, since the pandemic, uh, this year, so. Right. I'm super excited that she's
[00:27:50] Gerry Scullion: coming, driving home for Christmas,
[00:27:51] Lou Downe: driving home on a massive airplane. Yeah.
[00:27:55] Lou Downe: Um, yeah, so, so that's exciting this year, but, um, For pretty much my [00:28:00] entire life, we've acquired lots of weird Christmas traditions. So every Christmas we almost seem to have this kind of like, uh, Darwinian moment of like the survival of the fittest. Like yeah. Uh, tradition that gets to survive to the next year.
[00:28:16] Lou Downe: Um, so there's the, there's Carol singing, um, usually. My dad is with your family. Yeah, with my family.
[00:28:23] Gerry Scullion: You, let's give a big shout out to your family. Like cuz Cause tr Steve, I've never met you, Trisha and Steve, but um, I think I've, I think I've actually messaged Tri saying, I love you
[00:28:33] Lou Downe: think you might done, she appreciates it.
[00:28:36] Lou Downe: She
[00:28:37] Gerry Scullion: on Instagram, but your parents. They seem really cool. Like they're actually like, you know, without having met them, like on the face of it. Um, tell us like if you're doing Carol singing and stuff, they're are, are they, are they traditional in that sense? No. Uh,
[00:28:55] Lou Downe: yeah. Well they are apart from, uh, the, the sort of slightly [00:29:00] weird songs that.
[00:29:01] Lou Downe: Get added to it. So, uh, the 12 dayss of Christmas usually involves basically like escalating pitch to the point where no one can actually sing it anymore. . Hey Richard, and by the way, thi this is all done outside as well. Like, we do a tour of the village, um, to the neighbors and they don't get a choice about this.
[00:29:19] Lou Downe: Like this is something knock
[00:29:21] Gerry Scullion: on the door. Like, yeah, like, oh, it's the lounge. It's
[00:29:24] Lou Downe: the dances again. .
[00:29:26] Gerry Scullion: Oh look, Lou is back. They've got their book as well. Copy of my good services book.
[00:29:37] Lou Downe: Mince Pie Verbs. Maybe
[00:29:43] Gerry Scullion: a hard bargain. I do. Freak one. .
[00:29:47] Lou Downe: But there's also outfits that go along with this, Carol singing, uh, of which my dad's is the best. He has a, so he used to be a health and safety inspector at a school. So health and safety is his thing. He's, we're [00:30:00] going back to hi vis jackets again here. But yeah, he's got his own padded hi vis jacket and a white hard hat.
[00:30:06] Lou Downe: And on top of the white hard hat, he's attached a white deer, like a little, like a deer with antlers, that has got a little fleshing nose . So he, he does his carol singing in his i, his jacket and hard hat with the deer attached to the song . I usually take the wings, uh, and some sort of David Bowie makeup.
[00:30:28] Lou Downe: Uh, Sarah, Sarah normally just, you know, finds a bit of tinsel and tries to hide at the back. That's
[00:30:33] Gerry Scullion: bag . Yeah, sorry, Sarah. Sounds like a, like a modern version of, uh, love. Actually, it's, uh, walking around the village, like there's this, like a subplot within love actually, where you're walking around knocking on the doors.
[00:30:52] Gerry Scullion: Is, is it, it sounds really quintessential, uh, down there. Is it like very traditional in what we'd [00:31:00] imagine Old England to be? You're still there, ? I'm still here.
[00:31:07] Lou Downe: Technical problem. Sorry, you
[00:31:08] Gerry Scullion: were saying it's a sub there, there's two lus on the screen and um, I'm not sure why this is, but then there's only one loo, two for one, one.
[00:31:19] Gerry Scullion: It's the internet on. So let's talk about. The School of Good Services. Okay. So you've been, you've been doing this for a while. Like it's like, cuz we, we collaborated a bit. Um, but School of Good Services now is no longer just doing good services training. You're doing other services training. Tell us, tell us what the plans are at the moment.
[00:31:43] Gerry Scullion: Give us a point there. Yeah.
[00:31:45] Lou Downe: Uh, well, I mean, go. Going back to our previous conversation about Christmas. Uh, there'll be a lots of reflection on it over, over Christmas and thinking about what we do next. But, um, yeah, I mean, it's been, it's been a big year for us this year. Um, [00:32:00] the, the School of Good Services has become a school, so it's gone from being, uh, Lou delivers some training about a book that they wrote, um, to actually a, an organization, um, Sarah's joined as a director, so she started delivering training as well, which is super exciting.
[00:32:19] Lou Downe: And yeah, the, the, the training that we we're started to deliver has sort of expanded into, I guess, kind of two different directions. There's the, the sort of training and support for user-centered design professionals to help them to work in big complex environments and on difficult services with difficult stakeholders.
[00:32:39] Lou Downe: So things like, uh, how do you write business cases for service design and how do you negotiate with stakeholders and all of that really important stuff. . And then the other side of it, uh, which is equally as important, is the bit where we train organizations in how to work with user-centered designers.
[00:32:57] Lou Downe: Uh, and what does that look like and how [00:33:00] do we work in an agile way and how do we understand what we do as services in the first place. Uh, so we do a lot of training with people in HR and finance, in executive teams, um, all sorts of different organizations and backgrounds, just helping them to understand that, which is super exciting.
[00:33:18] Gerry Scullion: I know what, just curious. Saying user-centric design.
[00:33:21] Lou Downe: Yeah. As opposed to. Humancentric Design Human Center. Oh. Oh, I was not on brand. I'm sorry. . No, no, no.
[00:33:30] Gerry Scullion: In terms of like user, uh, I, I have a small hangup on that one. Yeah, yeah. Okay. It's not small. It's probably medium size at this stage. Yeah. I feel like
[00:33:39] Lou Downe: it's large
[00:33:40] Gerry Scullion: It's quite okay. It's bigger than I said. Uh, I'm, I'm embarrassed. The ashamed of it. I'm gonna take it outta the closet and just look at it. , um, just user for me, when I was growing up, it always had like, he's a user. and it, it sort of dehumanizes the, uh, experience. Yeah. Is that, is that a conscious thing?
[00:33:58] Gerry Scullion: calling it user center design, or [00:34:00] is that just coming from the, the sort of the customer base saying, we want to learn about user center design?
[00:34:06] Lou Downe: Yeah. Uh, it's a good question. I mean, it's one that Yeah, I've, I've spent a lot of time thinking about, because this is a topic that came up a lot.
[00:34:13] Gerry Scullion: Um, the language is so important as we know, like it's, yeah, absolutely.
[00:34:18] Gerry Scullion: Judy,
[00:34:18] Lou Downe: on that, I totally get why, why people have problems with the word user because it is assu. Well, a, assuming that that person. is a user of your service or the thing in the first place, or which they may not be. And actually thinking about the people who don't use the thing that we're doing is de design as important.
[00:34:37] Lou Downe: Yeah. You know, which, not not, and not just people who, who are actively either avoiding or don't use the, the service who should be, but also people who are affected by it as well. You know, why ecosystem people, society, the planet, et cetera. Um, but the reason why I use it is because, It is probably the best of a bad [00:35:00]selection , and it's the one that most, most organizations understand and most organizations will use.
[00:35:07] Lou Downe: And um, it's certainly better than customer . Uh, it's certainly better than citizen, um, uh, or any of the other highly subjective kind of words that industry specific. So in, in. Uh, in museums. Uh, when I was working at the Tate, we used to use viewers, um, uh, or patrons, patrons. Be careful. Uh, which is very odd.
[00:35:33] Lou Downe: Yeah. Yeah. Patrons is, is is a strange one. But, but I think the thing is, we, we all have. Those special words to describe the people that we interact with who are not ourselves. Yeah, and it's not really necessarily the word that matters, it's how you treat those people. If you're gonna other them, if you're gonna make them into a different category of human to that's different to you, then that that's a more endemic problem that goes beyond just the use of a word.
[00:35:56] Lou Downe: It's, it's your connection with those people and how much you're actually [00:36:00] empathizing with them, how much you see them as other humans. The whole,
[00:36:03] Gerry Scullion: yeah. I. Language is so important. Um, and it's, I try to understand the intent behind it, hence why I was asking that question, like where's it coming from and if it can be justified and rationalized.
[00:36:16] Gerry Scullion: in an empathetic way, then I, I'm disarmed. I'm, I'm okay. Fair enough. It's, it's been given some thought. It's not just we're walking like zombies around saying these words without any intent behind it. That's where I kind of saying, okay, well that's, that's, that's fine. You're off the hook, Lou. So, um, but thanks.
[00:36:34] Gerry Scullion: Generally, I find organizations that I've worked with, they interchange it and they don't really think about it too much. Especially when it comes to customers says, I'm, I'm, I'm looking at the customer journey and it includes all these variances of different types of people. I'm like, okay, well, if you can't be that focused on your language, I am starting to question how focused this really is from your service perspective.
[00:36:57] Lou Downe: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It also, I think the [00:37:00] thing is that the word user actually forces some quite interesting questions. Well, like course we're like, we're having now. Yeah, yeah. And about like, who the user actually is. Because if you, I think sometimes if you make something too generic, you say it's a human-centered design, they go, well, well, who are these humans?
[00:37:15] Lou Downe: Yeah. Um, and whereas, and, and, and you can pick any, you can replace any word words. They're only central called
[00:37:22] Gerry Scullion: center Design Design. Yeah. Well, life center design is different. Yeah. I mean, like people do, I, I, I get emails like people, I'm not gonna name anyone, but people get emails and say, why have you called a human center Design, not life Center Design.
[00:37:37] Gerry Scullion: I'm like, listen, like I know about this. It's. . It's very, it's very rare. I'm gonna get an email kind of send mm-hmm. I've thought about it, but at the time it was, this came about, uh, as a sort of a response to where the industry was going at that stage where it was just all about user experience, service design.
[00:37:57] Gerry Scullion: And I'm like, okay, well what underpins this is the, the [00:38:00] ethical side of things and the human-centered design aspect. It's a, is sort of a, it, it's like a blanket that covers a lot of that stuff that I found, and that's why I called it. This is human-centered design. I create these conversations around these topics.
[00:38:15] Gerry Scullion: Having these conversations, it's not about defining and saying, Hey Lou, um, you're wrong on that. Uh, that's for Twitter. I leave that stuff for Twitter where people go on and just , I'm right and you're wrong. And that's just the way it is. Okay. This is not gonna happen. And this is AD folks. It's just about having conversations and talking about these things.
[00:38:36] Gerry Scullion: Getting different perspectives Yeah. And having a continuum.
[00:38:38] Lou Downe: And if you disagree, yeah. Email. Jerry, you rich .
[00:38:42] Gerry Scullion: Never disagree with me and don't send me any emails. I love getting emails, but I'm just saying like, you know, there's, there's lots of different ways to, to
[00:38:50] Lou Downe: slice this one up. Yeah. Yeah. And. . I get it.
[00:38:53] Lou Downe: And, and then, and the word user. I think, you know, particularly depending on your background in the context, like I get it, you know, to me [00:39:00] the word user is, is someone who is extractive Yeah. In, in various different ways. Like, it it in a relationship, uh, in, in their interaction with other people. They, they are, like you say, they're, they're ausable.
[00:39:14] Lou Downe: Yeah. . Um, it's not, you know, if you, if you detach that word from user-centered design, it becomes, uh, yeah. It's not, it's, it doesn't have particularly co positive connotations, so I, I totally get it, but I am quite pragmatic about words. I will use the words that make sense to people and then try and help them understand Yeah.
[00:39:32] Lou Downe: What, what they need.
[00:39:33] Gerry Scullion: Here's, here's a question for you, and I don't think you've been asked this one before. Um, was there 15 principles from recollection in your. . Mm-hmm. , you must have had ideas for 16, 17, 18, and 19. must have cuz I, mark, I remember years ago, uh, I interviewed Mark for the first time on, on this [00:40:00] mark stick.
[00:40:00] Gerry Scullion: Okay. And mark at five killer principles for something. And then the next time you. , I think we did workshop and he was like, I'm up to six . And then we, we were doing a workshop together and I said, well, I actually have got seven. And you know, we just morphed it. So it's not like the 10 Commandments where can only stay at 10.
[00:40:22] Gerry Scullion: Like I think Deran has ten's a de Ram book here by, you can double check that should know this, but you must have had ideas for 16, 17, 18 90 20 at this stage. Do you wanna, do you wanna talk about. I,
[00:40:37] Lou Downe: it's an, it's an interesting proposition that I must have had thoughts about the other ones. Um, I actually haven't, no,
[00:40:43] Gerry Scullion: I genuinely have No think it's finished.
[00:40:45] Gerry Scullion: No, no, no. The 15, you know?
[00:40:48] Lou Downe: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I like that's an awfully arrogant thing to say, isn't it? And I'm sure there are, I mean, I absolutely have had conversations with people where they've. We need to think about this other [00:41:00] thing. And that's not included in, in, um, the 15 principles. But the point, the point of the 15 principles is isn't that they're exhaustive?
[00:41:07] Lou Downe: Yeah. It's that they are, they're the common ground between pretty much every service regardless of the sector or public or private sector. So they apply to every service. And I think if you start to some of the ones that have kind of crossed my path before, Uh, they, they're they're specific to healthcare, or they're specific to Oh, true.
[00:41:27] Lou Downe: Yeah. Internal service or they're specific to Yeah, Amazon, but they're, they wouldn't apply to everything, so, yeah. And, and actually they, I mean, the 15 principles, not a lot of people know the history of them that theys. Didn't start with just me. Yeah. . Um, they actually started as a series, uh, I think of about 20 workshops that we did, uh, back when I was at government digital service.
[00:41:49] Lou Downe: Uh Okay. Across government with people. And it was actually part of a, a, a training exercise for senior civil servants. And it was one of the exercises trying to define when you're running workshops. [00:42:00] Yeah. You know, you sort of b in a, you know, a workshop exercise for people to. Bond. Yeah. . And this was one of those bonding exercises that we, we sort of put in there and we, we didn't necessarily give it to super amount of thought, but it was after kind of two or three of these that patterns started to emerge actually between what people were saying about their services.
[00:42:20] Lou Downe: That it got really, really interesting. And I, I sort of wrote them up and just was like, well, it's, it's about, I think at that stage it was about 12 . Um, and then, Uh, sort of, you know, tweeted about the what about the Google Doc? Uh, anyway, as I was saying, yeah, that Google Doc, uh, acquired like thousands of comments from people around the world and some, some of which, uh, were hugely valuable and amazing.
[00:42:45] Lou Downe: Uh, some of which, uh, were basically people writing their shopping lists and. Uh, yeah, I mean, it's an open Google doc, isn't it? You know, it's basically like a, a, a sort of a cul-de-sac of thoughts that people will just dump [00:43:00] on
[00:43:00] Gerry Scullion: the internet, just dumping in and saying, yeah, sort, sort out it yourself when you're ready.
[00:43:03] Lou Downe: Then the collector in a washing machine, you know, it's just collecting all this stuff on the internet. Um, yeah, so, so it, it hasn't really evolved very much since then and, and, uh, two years of delivering training. And I, I think it is actually, you know, it's never. Um, we've, we've talked about lots of things that are service specific in, in training over the last couple of years and, and had some really great discussions about it.
[00:43:26] Lou Downe: But, but no, there's never been a, there's never been a real lasting contender for a 16th unless, I mean, that's a challenge. Uh, a Christmas challenge. . Yeah. Is there a 16th?
[00:43:36] Gerry Scullion: Well, we're looking at, there you go folks. You heard it first here. Challenge accepted. Um, yeah. Chat chi, uh, C p t, um, we were looking at that and talking about it, um, last night.
[00:43:51] Gerry Scullion: I dunno, uh, I was messaging about some stuff and I dunno if, you know, Brennan does. Brennan does, has been on the [00:44:00] podcast before. Um, and Brennan does incredible work. Like he's, he's, he's an artist Okay. As well. Like in, in his own words. And someone tweeted, do you. Chat, c p t is gonna be able to, um, replace screenwriter, um, for Netflix and brand them Australia at 100%.
[00:44:23] Gerry Scullion: Yes. He said like it's, it's gonna get to that point where they'll be able to create like the equivalent of a squid game. Script and produce it. How do you see all of this playing out and is that the 16th or do you feel like it's been included already in the 15 that might have covered that? Because there's an unknown how all of these things are gonna come together.
[00:44:47] Lou Downe: Yeah, yeah, I think you're right. I mean, what, what I think is missing from those 15 principles is um, is an explicit kind of, Requirement [00:45:00] or, or thought process or something around, uh, the ethics of what you're doing. Um, you know that it's a, it's covered a little bit in the principle about decision making and about transparency of decision making, and that actually has come up quite a lot in a lot of recent conversations with organizations that do have a lot of alternative decision making is how do they make that ethical, transparent work in a way?
[00:45:24] Lou Downe: Gives people more power and control and agency over their lives rather than less . Um, but, but AI goes beyond decision making, doesn't it? Cuz it's, it's a creative process and, um, Yeah, could have a, a massive impact on our lives, but ultimately it has a massive impact on our lives because it's a version of ourselves.
[00:45:46] Lou Downe: Um, and, you know, we are not perfect. You know, we, we have biases, , uh, and, and thoughts that, you know, are not, , uh, beneficial to everyone in society. So that's what we [00:46:00] end up making. And I think what what's really troubling actually about, about it is more just, um, I suppose the fact that it, it will, it will just fall into the same processes that everything else falls into, right?
[00:46:13] Lou Downe: Like, and we're not, we're not gonna deconstruct, you know, capitalism, uh, so that AI can be more ethical. But for, for, I know, I think a lot of the critiques about ai. are actually critiques about the way that the world works or about the way that money works and along the way the capitalism works. And I think it's, it's our, the structure.
[00:46:35] Lou Downe: Yeah. It's reinforcing those questions, I think. But a point where we've probably all a bit tired , we're not a quick time. Yeah. We're not equipped and, and yeah. You know, we've got a society. gone through a lot recently. Global pandemics and war, you know, lot of
[00:46:53] Gerry Scullion: groups of people. Yeah. I'll give you, I'll give you a small scenario how ill-equipped we are.
[00:46:57] Gerry Scullion: I had a, had a really interesting, um, [00:47:00] encounter with an em, an embassy yesterday where I was in, in the city. Most people will know. I'm Jules citizen, I'm Australian and Irish. I'm not gonna name this embassy. But I'll say it's not the Irish Embassy , but
[00:47:16] Lou Downe: it could be any embassy folks that cherry just wander into ,
[00:47:20] Gerry Scullion: just, it could be any of them in around Stephen's green
[00:47:24] Gerry Scullion: And, um, I was like, okay, I need, I need to get renew, renew my passport, and uh, got an email six months out and I'm like, oh. You stylish people. I love the fact that you've reminded me. This is fantastic. I clicked in the link and I said, you know, complete the form here. And I was like, oh yeah, I know what you're gonna do.
[00:47:45] Gerry Scullion: Come on and press me. You're gonna say, just put the credit card in with a photo. Come on, you can do it. And they're like, after 20 minutes of completing this, they kinda go, thank you very much. Here's your downloadable pdf. Please bring it to your nearest embassy. And I'm like, [00:48:00] you're joking. And I'm like, well have to go print it out, have to do all this kind stuff.
[00:48:06] Gerry Scullion: And I'm like, okay, well it's sat on my desk for six months of course. And I'm like, you look, you've got a printer
[00:48:12] Lou Downe: Like most people have fullen it the first.
[00:48:17] Gerry Scullion: So I was like, okay. And I went in, uh, you know, I said, okay, parked Christmas, you know, I've, of course, this is when I get a bit of a breather this time of year.
[00:48:27] Gerry Scullion: Um, and walked over and I was looking forward to, you know, seeing some Ozzies like, you know, I was like, okay, here we, oh, I said who it was? Oh no. Anyway, , Struth might. Anyway, I, um, I rock into the, uh, the, the lobby and I'm like, Hey, floor three, is it for the embassy? And they go, oh, you're not. , and I'm like, what?
[00:48:48] Gerry Scullion: I said, I'm, I'm, I'm a citizen. Like I'm, I, I need to see the, you know, need to go to the embassy and like, do you have an appointment? And I go, no one told me I needed to make an appointment. . [00:49:00]And they're like, um, you know, and we all know that service designers are the worst critiques when this stuff happens.
[00:49:06] Gerry Scullion: We like deep breath .
[00:49:08] Lou Downe: Let me explain to you. Yeah. .
[00:49:11] Gerry Scullion: You've moved me channels. Okay? You've moved me from the digital realm and I'm here now , and you're telling me I shall not pause. And um, they're like, okay, well, I said, well, what am I gonna do? And they go, well just, just leave your form here. I said, I'm not leaving on my personal date on this, on this desk.
[00:49:29] Gerry Scullion: Like, you know, And they said, okay, well you can call them. I said, oh, another channel. Great. Okay. Give me, do you have the number? And they go, yeah. And they get, they've, they put their hand into the drawer and took out a little slip of paper, which they'd obviously been producing and cutting up cuz they, this is a repeated task,
[00:49:47] Gerry Scullion: And they go, there's your little slip of paper with the number. And I'm like, all right. What do you want me to do? And they go, just call the number. So ring up the number and they go, welcome to the Australian Embassy of Ireland. Like, um, you know, [00:50:00] please all one, if you are, if, if you're related to Visa, please.
[00:50:03] Gerry Scullion: Two if it's related to passport. And I'm like, go beep two. And they go, ding, ding, ding. Music comes on. And they're like, hello? And I go, hi, I'm downstairs. I said, uh, I've got a passport application that, um, I need. Need to get through, like, you know, how do I do it? And they go, oh, I'll just give it to the people downstairs.
[00:50:23] Gerry Scullion: I'm, I'm actually nervous telling this story because I actually want my password and if they ever, the is a d they're market i'll into Sydney in a few years and they'll be like, special conditions. You've listened to your podcast, assume the position, rubber glove the lane, please. Yeah. I'm like, no, at least warm your hands, but ba basically, uh, I said to him, how am I gonna pay you for the passport?
[00:50:49] Gerry Scullion: And they said, oh, I'll just write your credit card details on the, the piece of paper and leave it there. I'm like, honestly, I said, I don't think that's a good idea. I said, that's, that's really sensitive information. And I [00:51:00] said, so they're like, oh yeah. Um, just write your. and your MO mobile home and we, we'll, we'll call you.
[00:51:08] Gerry Scullion: And I'm like, can you not just come down and take it from me like I said, and have a conversation? No, can't do that. I went over and I said to the, the person behind the desk, can you just gimme an envelope and put this in? And they said, do you want a piece of paper? Tried to cover letter. And I'm like, I don't believe this is happening.
[00:51:25] Gerry Scullion: I'm like, I said, really? I said, so I was like, Dear, dear people, , dear Australia, here's my path, , here's my passport with my sensitive information. And, uh, call me so I can pay question mark. Lots of love, Jerry. PS I'm gonna talk about it on the podcast, . Oh my God. So when you hear those stories right, We like to think that that's, oh, that's, that's a crazy story.
[00:51:58] Gerry Scullion: I am, I don't think that is a [00:52:00] crazy story. I still think that's, that's most services. This is,
[00:52:02] Lou Downe: this is where we're actual, but this is, you know, and a small, small plug for the book here. But this, this is why I wrote a book because I was furious service. Okay. . Yeah. Good services by the way. Can't miss it. It's bright orange.
[00:52:15] Lou Downe: Um, yeah. Be because basically both services are still struggling with those really, really basic. Of how do you, how, how do people actually get to the outcome they're trying to get to in the first place? And we can spend all of this time talking about, you know, whatever new technology that's kind of coming across our desks or.
[00:52:35] Lou Downe: you know, all of these other exciting things about it. But if we can't issue bills and if we can't let people know when they need an appointment or we can't give people a proper price , then do you know
[00:52:47] Gerry Scullion: what really annoys it was like that, that someone obviously had a conversation. and was like, do you know what, it would be really good if we notified them six months out and um, allowed them to do this.
[00:52:57] Gerry Scullion: It's, it's kind of like, well, I'm gonna start working [00:53:00] on that on Thursday, and they finished the job at 11 o'clock in the morning and they kind of go, I'll come back to it . And that's where it feels like, it was like, it was like, okay, there was an intent. And that's almost more annoying for me because I. I liked the reminder bit, but now you've just annoyed me and it just got worse and worse and worse.
[00:53:20] Gerry Scullion: And obviously, if anyone is listening from the Australian embassy in Ireland, I love you. Please, can I have my passport? Don't , please. Can I have my passport? I do love Australia. I have, I have equal love for Australian Ireland. Um, I, I even shouted for Australia in, in the world. Okay, so
[00:53:38] Lou Downe: really just let me really dig in there for that passport
[00:53:41] Lou Downe: And also, you know, if you need to need a hand with your service design, uh, you know, Jerry Jerry's here, .
[00:53:47] Gerry Scullion: I don't though, this is the thing like Australia has, you know, I, I often speak about this. Australia has a very mature. Um, industry over in Australia compared to several countries I can [00:54:00] name and that's not me kind of coming back and saying in Australia, but the, the Australians don't realize, I feel just how good they are.
[00:54:10] Gerry Scullion: Okay. That's, they, they have a lot of really strong leadership there, like, you know, um, and there's some really positive stuff happening in government over there. Like they, they really, yeah, absolutely. They really brought conversations. I, I was working all the way up to the top in New South Wales and, um, I was really surprised at how often conversations were happening around service design and obviously now around co-design.
[00:54:35] Gerry Scullion: Um, it's at the Victorian and the New Set Wales, um, legislation there, and there's, it's, it's, it's one of the, the byproducts of some of the royal commissions out there. I wish it could happen more, but unfortunately there's a, I do have a fail button on my, on my soundboard here. I'm not gonna do it, but that's, uh, that's my Australian embassy story from, from yesterday.
[00:54:57] Gerry Scullion: So it's, uh, it's not, [00:55:00] not sore . It's not No, no, it's not sore. You, you, you forgive easily. I didn't stay awake. All my thinking about it, and I didn't do a journey map on it either that I, I thought might be good to share with them next time you. On their Twitter . Yeah. Could you imagine a rocking to get my password?
[00:55:16] Gerry Scullion: And they go, what's that big tube? I'm like, I'm glad you've asked. It's AO and I'm gonna put it up. It's the customer journey of my experience. . I've often felt like doing that. Have you ever felt like aggressively offering your services?
[00:55:32] Lou Downe: Do you know what? I, I haven't, but I know of quite a lot of people because obviously I'm, I'm monitoring the School of Good Services Twitter feed, uh, and my own, uh, and I do see it with reference to the fact that basically they should read the book.
[00:55:46] Lou Downe: Uh, so I, I, I am aware that it gets used in anger quite a lot, and I am, I am here for that . That is fine. look.
[00:55:57] Gerry Scullion: Look, I'm, I'm gonna, we'll, we'll wrap [00:56:00] this one up. Um, Lou, if people wanna reach out, um, and buy the book, what's the best place for them to, to buy good services and also to follow up on what you're gonna be doing and stay, stay across all the updates for the, the school.
[00:56:16] Gerry Scullion: What's the place you wanna direct them to? Yeah, so
[00:56:18] Lou Downe: if you want to find out more about School of Good Services courses, uh, we've got loads of new, exciting ones coming up in the new year. Uh, particularly one around sustainable service design. So keep an eye up for that. Um, and lots of other courses, uh, that.
[00:56:33] Lou Downe: Besides that, but go to, um, good services, um, that is the role, services. Um, so you can find us there. You can also find us at the School of Good on Twitter and find me at at lou down. Um, and you can sign up for our mailing list on services.
[00:56:51] Gerry Scullion: I'll put a link to all of those and show notes. Folks. Uh, this is the last episode, uh, before Christmas.
[00:56:57] Gerry Scullion: So thank you, Lou, for [00:57:00] being so open and so honest about. Everything about your Christmas experience and what it was like, um, from the catch up with the New York. Been good this year.
[00:57:09] Lou Downe: Yes. See you in the new year, Jerry. Make
[00:57:11] Gerry Scullion: your listen. Check it twice. I'll leave you a note right here. Underneath the Christmas legs and bells, none of them held.
[00:57:31] Gerry Scullion: I just. This
[00:57:35] Lou Downe: Christmas,
[00:57:44] Gerry Scullion: I don't need a fancy watch. You can give the elves a break now. You can't make it in the shop. You can't put it on your thing. [00:58:00] Know me so well. Nobody. Can
[00:58:08] Gerry Scullion: wanna love this Christmas.
[00:58:18] Gerry Scullion: Wanna
[00:58:27] Gerry Scullion: save the ribbon? I don't need that extra stuff.
[00:58:38] Gerry Scullion: Holy love Santa is here.
[00:58:44] Lou Downe: Make your listen. Check it twice.
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