Businessifying Design (Whating the what?)
Recently Mel saw ‘Design the New Business’ We’d heard about the movie for many months now and finally had the opportunity thanks to Damien Kernahan from Proto Partners and the Canberra Service Design Drinks to see it.
Quick movie review – if you’ve seen ABC’s Deep Dive about IDEO and it inspired you to believe design really was a vocational pursuit in a business context beyond graphic design, Design the New Business will show you how design has evolved to help business solve new problems and deliver on opportunities by providing a perspective that traditional change or program methodologies can’t. Not that these methodologies are ineffective, but design’s point of difference is utilising:
- customer experience as the driver of change activity
- the back and forth we call prototyping and iteration to progress towards better business outcomes.
It got us thinking about how we define what we do, because when we talk amongst ourselves, talk with clients, or talk with people not in the ‘biz,’ we find ourselves adapting our language, but always keeping on message with key elements. And sometimes, when we hear designers or clients speak the oft heard mantra about ‘customer first’ it just doesn’t stack up if they’re actually thinking ‘customer only’.
Back in January we wrote about our definitions in the strategic space so the movie was a timely prompt for us to capture some of our definitions in the service design space, as much for ourselves, as to engage in the ongoing dialogue. NB: These aren’t meant as ‘lift speeches’.
- Service (for other designers)
The seeking and receipt of a specific outcome of a customer/user across a range of interactions and touchpoints over time. The value of the service is as much about the quality of the experience for all the people involved (customer, service provider) as it is about the resolution.
- Service design (for other designers)
The conscious & creative process of crafting meaningful connections (be they tangible touchpoints and interactions, or more intangible experiences) between customer, business/provider/government goals and outcomes (be they effective and efficient operations, social good/improvement, or positive profile).
- Service design (for clients)
It’s an approach that helps you understand if your services are working how you want them to; and how your potential/current customers want or need them to work or evolve. The approach, which is collaborative, iterative and focuses on what people actually think, do and use, means you can make decisions on opportunities for improvement, consider how your strategy and set-up drives your efforts, and consider the impacts of any decisions you make to change will have on services, staff and customer experience, and to the way your business works.
- Service design (for our mums, friends and strangers at parties….prefaced by asking them to name a service experience they’ve recently had)
We work out how all the bits you see (so all the online and paper stuff, and the lady at the counter) and bits you don’t see (so the processes that help that lady do her job, and systems that help everyone else do theirs) fit together so that when you use that service the experience is good for you (which may mean you don’t even notice it), and that it’s also good for the people and systems that need to work to deliver what you need (which means everything is doing what it’s supposed to).
- Design management
Understanding the world of the client from the client perspective in order to guide the design process to ensure the right people work together to get the best results applying the appropriate design approaches integrated with business practice.
- Design thinking
Puts people as sources of experience (as thinkers, doers, users) at the centre of the problem solving process, and then collaboratively visualises, iterates, prototypes and facilitates the conversation and action in order to identify the best possible solution for the system in focus.
Much like the themes in the movie, we believe in ‘businessesifying’ design, and we use these definitions everyday to govern our activity and keep us on track with what we believe matters. As always, we’re interested in any thoughts you may have.