The future is what you think it is

TL:DR and a warning of sorts: Let’s not get carried away

These are my open explorations of some early trials and explorations of where and how this tool might be used. I’ve lots more ideas and some improved prompting to do.

  1. We still need designers (and researchers!)

Use case 1: Storyboarding

A grey background with black and white illustrations showing a woman choosing options, paying for something at a kiosk and upgrading a model over the counter
Using AI generated images for storyboarding
A woman choosing a product to buy and A woman paying for a product over the counter generated usingDALL-E
A woman taking a train and A woman being given a ticket for the train on generated using DALL-E
An orange background with four images showing a woman being given a train ticket on the street
A woman being advertised an upgraded train ticket on the street

Context and channels

The thing I like about this format of generating images using your imagination and language is forcing you to consider the context in which people are using a service and how they are using it.

A woman choosing which train ticket to buy on a phone whilst holding a baby in her kitchen and A woman holding up an envelope in a hallway with a train ticket sticking out of it generated by DALL-E

Focus on the touchpoint

Touchpoints, the bits that make up a service (think interfaces, staff interactions, phone calls, physical locations etc) can be helpful to put into the frame.

A yellow background with images of tracking train routes on a screen to a paper map
A website selling train tickets, showing multiple train journeys on a map with an button to buy the chosen ticket generated by DALL-E

Continuity of style

With AI image generators, you can be specific about style. There are lots of ways to do it, let’s take a few prompts to consider continuity and then change the styles up.

A woman paying for a product over the counter in thin black line style, A woman being given a ticket for the train by a conductor at a gate in thin black line style, A woman with long hair and a shirt paying for a product over the counter in thin black line, A woman with long hair and a shirt being given a ticket for the train by a conductor at a gate in thin black line style generated by DALL-E
A woman being given a ticket for the train by a conductor at a gate in wikihow style and A woman choosing which train route to take on a laptop in wikihow style generated in DALL-E
A woman with long hair paying for a product over the counter in a shop with wood panelling in the style of Jean Michel Basquiat and A woman with long hair and a shirt being given a ticket for the train by a conductor at a gate in the style of Jean Michel Basquiat and A woman with long hair paying for a product over the counter in a shop with wood panelling in photorealistic style duotone generated by DALL-E

Continuity of character

Now let’s stylise this further. You want to be able to show a continuous character in your journey. Try using someone famous (some AI tools won’t let you use people who are famous) or a non-entity ‘human’ shape for your main character

Kermit the frog being given a ticket for the train by a conductor at a gate in thin black line style and Kermit the frog paying for a product over the counter in thin black line style by DALL-E
This is Kim Kardashian being given a ticket for the train by a conductor at a gate in wikihow style and Kim Kardashian handing money over to a cashier over the counter for a ticket inside a shop, wikihow style on Midjourney

Piecing it together

Using Stable Diffuser by Fermat was fun as the boxes are movable and for super quick work you can screen grab a story.

User Case 2: Design Concepts and Visioning

Silent Runnings (1972), still borrowed from https://lozierinstitute.org/
Futuristic hospital ward generated by DALL-E
Futuristic hospital ward with plants, large windows, people are walking around in brown long gowns, some patients are sleeping in beds, photo realistic and variations created of the same prompt in DALL-E
4 visions of a futuristic hospital that includes plants, long corridors and light shining on the floor
A future hospital vision gone Cyberpunk
A hospital ward with large windows, plants line the beds, patients are in beds wearing brown gowns, there are families cooking next to the beds, photorealistic, 4k, photography, uplifting and Futuristic hospital ward with plants, large windows, people are walking around in brown long gowns, some patients are sleeping in beds, photo realistic generated on Midjourney

User Case 3: Co-design

A picture of book that is golden in colour with illustration on it of two people cycling on bikes. The title says Co-Design
Co-Design, A process of design participation. My fumbled copy from the Glasgow School of Art
A nurse meeting a patient with a walking stick at the front door of a doctor surgery, carrying their bags. The outside walks of the building are painted white. There are green ferns are growing in the garden generated by DALL-E
A car rental service with people swiping a card to access their car while concierge staff stand beside the cars packing their bags into the boots, the background is a desert with the sun setting, pastel illustration style generated by DALL-E
A yellow background with 4 images of an app being used in a queue outside Westminster abbey
A photo of an app being used by people to queue up in the right order to see the queen in her coffin in Westminster Abbey generated by DALL-E

Let’s not get carried away

These are my open explorations of some early trials and explorations of where and how this tool might be used. I’ve lots more ideas and some improved prompting to do.

  1. We still need designers (and researchers!)
A 3D model of a banking app to transfer money on a mobile phone
An orange background with a sketch on top of a woman paying for a ticket and a police man / conductor holding his hands up
A conductor standing next to a train welcoming a passenger carrying suitcases with a ticket to board in black and white sketch style additional frame developed by DALL-E

School of Good Services

I’m a director at School of Good Services and I train people on service design, getting buy-in from stakeholders and building business cases for design.

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Sarah Drummond

Sarah Drummond

1.92K Followers

Founder @wearesnook @dearestscotland @cycle_hack @mypolice | Service Designer + Boss | GOOD Magazine’s Top 100 influencers 2016|Google Democracy Fellowship 2011