Great piece overall.
Marty Dunlop

What you’re saying is true.

My most salient point about UX and service design is that it’s a question of altitude and breadth of choreography. While I know many in design and UX (myself included up until a few years ago) would consider ourselves holistic, but it’s at the 100 foot view. If you take a step back, and up, service design is looking at it from 1000 feet, and can see whole groups of design operating at 100 feet.

There’s not a better or worse — it’s the difference between the captain of a plane, an air traffic control tower, and long range radar. The captain choreographs the “experience” of the plane; the ATC operator choreographs dozens of planes; the radar operator choreographs hundreds of planes. Each of these roles could be at the same level in the corporate pyramid, they just are looking at different altitudes. And to take the best captain of an airplane in the world and sit them in a radar chair and have him now choreograph the experiences of the hundreds of plans in the region, it’s not even a question–the hard skills don’t transfer, in either direction.

That’s the point I wanted to illustrate. They are all about landing planes safely. They all work together. There is no implication of seniority or one being more important than the other. On the surface, they all appear to be so interrelated they may as well just be musical chairs. But there’s no question–you’ll need to know more about the hard skills of how modern flight control works to sit in any of the chairs.

UX flies a plane, service design is operating the 500 mile radar.

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