A Service Jam Win

On employee wellness and motivation

What is Service Jam?

Service Jam is a design-driven hackathon also known as "jams" and a global movement on design thinking, prototyping and service design. It was a weekend of fun and creativity amongst 100 participating cities. The final design is what you make of 2017's theme "Hello? lo? o? o."

Hello, It's Me.

We kicked off the hackathon with our interpretation of "Hello".

My first thought was chat bot. I see chat bot as part engagement and part automation, the former to engage users in a world of interaction dominated by text messages and the latter for streamlining customer service tasks.

As I seeked like-minded individuals to join my team, I merged my idea with another on the automation of dining experiences. Because we thought, why not merge based on the commonality of health?

Where Eating Out Meets Nutrition

We started by framing a "How might we" problem statement. The trick is to keep the question open and not write the problem statement to fit the solution. Because, well, our user research findings eventually proved this first problem statement irrelevant.

How might we personalize our diet and nutrition needs in a dining experience?

Let's Get Talking!

Our hackathon venue sits in an interesting mix of warehouse spaces and residentials. This pre-determined our user profiles, but given a 48-hour time frame, we worked with what we had.

We hit up a soccer field close by and interviewed students and parents by the bleachers to understand their take on eating healthy when dining out.

For those who want healthy options and to diet, they just eat at home. For others, they always make a conscious effort to eat healthy at home and when they're out. The problem, however, is eating healthy at work can be difficult.

Now what?

The beauty of design thinking is we fail but iterate quickly.

Based on our user research, we identified one key behavior that inspired our winning solution: People usually skip breakfast on work days. That later became our team name #NoMoreBS, short for No More Breakfast Skippers.

Based on that, we did another round of user research and stumbled upon the concepts of employee motivation.

Team managers want to keep their staff and employees engaged. Staff and employees, on the other hand, sometimes stress eat or struggle to feel inspired at work. It was then we realized that breakfast treats could be one of the ways to motivate them.

With that, we reframed our problem statement.

Introducing Hello Box

Hello Box is a staff and employee wellness subscription program for team leads and managers to bring zombies (demotivated staff and employees) back to life and prevent them from becoming zombies.

Wellness refers to three main pillars - Health for physical health, Smarts for mental health, and Happiness for all of the above.


Food for Health

Healthy Breakfast Plans for your Staff and Employees


Food for Thoughts

Workshops to Stimulate Creativity & Innovation


Food for Happiness

The Ultimate Wellness Plan for Health and Smarts

Depending on your team and organization's needs, you can subscribe to all three tiers complete with nutritious breakfast plans and creative thinking workshops, or simply one tier's worth of Smarts.

Team #NoMoreBS from left to right: Gordon Lee, Samson Ng, Me, Herbert Lee and Leo Chak

"Quickest & Dirtiest" Winning Solution

48 hours, many iteration and mad prototyping had paid off! We won the hackathon and earned ourselves the name "Quickest & Dirtiest" prototype thanks to the Playdough and breakfast catering box.

Designing for services is more than mobile app interfaces. It's about physical interactions and the intanigble emotions. And more importantly, it's okay to fail or not know what you're building. Just get back on your feet quick and keep prototyping.

Check out the Hackathon Series: