Service Designer Contributing to the Business of Clients

写真:Servive Designer Ikegaya Yuko
Yuko Ikegaya
From Fukui, she joined Panasonic in 2014. She is a supervisor in the Service Design Department.She is in charge of service design contributing to business growth for various companies and government agencies. In her free time, she likes riding on her road bike.

What made you want to become a designer?

  • When I was in high school, I read a magazine article about a certain industrial designer of musical instruments.I was very impressed by what I read, and it really struck me as very sophisticated.

    The article listed the university that the designer graduated from, so without a second thought, I applied to the same university. Of course, I chose industrial design as my major.

  • 写真:The reason for aiming at a designer

  • The article listed the university that the designer graduated from, so without a second thought, I applied to the same university. Of course, I chose industrial design as my major.

Tell us about your experiences at university and how you found employment.

  • 写真:Making a mock-up
  • When I was a student, I would spend all day making sketches or building models. Industrial design was my life, so to speak.

    I went to study overseas for a year, so it was in the UK where I first learned about service design. It had a big impact on me. I saw a new way of contributing to society that wasn't in industrial design, involving planning how things combine together and their relations with people.


  • I went to study overseas for a year, so it was in the UK where I first learned about service design. It had a big impact on me. I saw a new way of contributing to society that wasn't in industrial design, involving planning how things combine together and their relations with people.

I still felt very attracted by industrial design, so I had a hard time choosing which career to follow. At that time, I heard that Panasonic was launching out into design in new areas, for services and solutions. That appealed to me a lot, so I decided to apply for an internship.

What sort of jobs have you been in charge of since joining the company?

  • Immediately after joining the company, I worked on B2B universal interface (UI) designs, like broadcasting systems and office telephones.

    B2B design was very difficult work, because it involved very precise rules and tacit knowledge for industrial equipment for professionals.

    I experienced new approaches like holding design reviews

  • 写真:Good Design Winning UI design


B2B design was very difficult work, because it involved very precise rules and tacit knowledge for industrial equipment for professionals.

I experienced new approaches like holding design reviews meetings with clients, and with the unyielding support of my senior colleagues, I was able to establish a good reputation among our clients.

Winning a Good Design Award during that year (FY2014) made me immensely happy.

meetings with clients, and with the unyielding support of my senior colleagues, I was able to establish a good reputation among our clients.

Winning a Good Design Award during that year (FY2014) made me immensely happy.

What work are you involved in now?

  • Now I work with many different clients, suggesting solutions incorporating Panasonic's technology and design.

    Specific examples cover so many different fields, like logistics for a distributor, the public sector with government agencies, or entertainment for theme parks and sports facilities.

    For the projects, we work in teams covering planning, technology, sales, and intellectual property. I'm involved in the

  • 写真:Service Presentation

  • project in several ways as a service designer. My aim is to come up with ideas that will impress our clients and the end users.

    Specific examples cover so many different fields, like logistics for a distributor, the public sector with government agencies, or entertainment for theme parks and sports facilities.

For the projects, we work in teams covering planning, technology, sales, and intellectual property. I'm involved in the project in several ways as a service designer. My aim is to come up with ideas that will impress our clients and the end users.

写真:Design workshop

To give an example, I design how the meetings are run in order to help stimulate ideas, and participate in them as a facilitator to keep them on track. I build prototypes of products and UI so that the clients can see the excellence of our solutions. Midway through the project, I make mock-ups so that we can get a hands-on feel, to facilitate creative discussions leading to new insights and concepts.

What do you do to take a break from work?

  • I totally love riding my road bike!
    It's so much fun to plan a trip when a long break is coming up.

    Last year (in 2017), I joined in a 210-kilometer road event on Sado Island, with some of my senior colleagues. Recently I'm enjoying going on cycling trips with my husband to Shikoku and Hiroshima.

  • 写真:Road bike as a hobby

  • Last year (in 2017), I joined in a 210-kilometer road event on Sado Island, with some of my senior colleagues. Recently I'm enjoying going on cycling trips with my husband to Shikoku and Hiroshima.

What are your future goals?

Someday I'd like to take the skills I've built up by coming up with suggestions for clients here in Japan, to go and work in service design in Europe. I'd also like to look more deeply at roles design can serve to contribute to society, and someday I'd like to be involved in forming a new business.


写真:Future goals as a service designer

Please give a word of advice or encouragement to someone hoping to become a designer for Panasonic.

It's the perfect place to work if you're really curious about things and enjoy change. For service design in particular, there is such a variety of clients and the pace of change is really rapid. I'm looking forward to working with people who enjoy that sense of diversity and constant change!