Coach Essentials | Service Design Coach Essentials Clara Llamas

There is so much information and resources out there, that it gets overwhelming and challenging to find the good stuff. Therefore, we asked our coaches on 'what are their essentials?' - tools, books, ideas - anything that keeps them being amazing at their work. This week we share Service Design coach, Clara Llamas's curated essentials list.

Coach Essentials | Service Design Coach Essentials Clara Llamas

Who are you?

I’m Clara Llamas, a business and service designer with experience in industries ranging from banking to social innovation, government, retail, and health, among others. I’ve lived and worked in 8 countries which has made me humble and resilient. I enjoy enabling people to do meaningful and thoughtful work. I love coaching in service design tools and methods and designing frugally.

Essential research method

Contextual Interviews

I love contextual interviews. You get to speak and have meaningful conversations, practice active listening, dig into root causes and views and all of it with the extra layer of information and richness provided by being in their context and environment.

Useful sources:
1. Interaction Design org on 'What are contextual interviews and how to handle them?'
Step-by-step guide from This is Service Design Doing.

Essential icebreaker


Anything that makes people be a little bit vulnerable and reveal something about themselves that is unexpected or surprising. An amazing website to use for great icebreaker questions is Other great icebreakers that help you get to know people better and learn unexpected things about one another: Two Thruths and a Lie, End the Sentence or Birth Map.

Essential stakeholder engagement model


I am a huge fan of co-creation in real life, by just using simple visuals and objects. In a real life setting you can take low-fi prototypes and concepts out and validate them directly with your stakeholders.

Essential wireframing tool

Figma (& Miro)

Lately I've been using a lot of Figma & Miro and in real life, I still tend to stick with some good old paper, cardboard or simple everyday objects. I also love making diegetic objects as probes for wireframing future or speculative scenarios.

My latest piece of learning

That there is no such a thing as a stupid question and that wanting to be surprised is the greatest way to keep learning.

My industry rolemodel

All those service design practitioners who are humble about their craft and open to expand and refine the practice and share knowledge in accessible ways.

The biggest misconception in the industry

That anyone can quickly learn to be a service designer or that it is easy or lacks rigour, structure, and attention to detail.

My piece of advice

Don't try to give advice. Stay open to wonder and surprise and keep asking questions.

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