The what not the how of Service Design
Sarah Drummond

Great post.

Product designers had similar problems with clients pre-empting solutions before problems were actually understood. (You reminded me of the problems with the ‘design methods movement’ in 1970’s, where there was a loss of confidence in design and an attempt to make design formulaic). Product designers took ownership of their discipline, but it is an insular world and closed to thinking on the nature of design. Everyone I know with the mentality of a ‘everyone is a designs’ (even if not everyone is a ‘designer’) seemed to have moved into Service Design. It has helped us get to the heart of problems and opportunities, be open to learning from other disciplinary fields and helped us to embed design in client orgs, which is needed if solutions are to stick. This I love. However the diversity I think means that we naturally have a wider variety of interpretations of design, how to go about it and ultimately outputs. It seems to me that people are looking for something consistent they can understand to hang onto as they learn. To make sure we are working towards a ‘what’ I think the solution is to put more emphasis setting clear goals and from the start of the process an intent to measure the outcomes at the end. The challenge will be making sure soft measures are present.