Embracing Design in Organization

Design is a new black for organization to be more customer centric. Organization start seeing value in UX and Service Design. Companies start hiring designers and design agencies to practice design within the organization.

They Don’t Get It!

Do we embrace design in the organization by hiring designers? Check the box and done? Probably not.

  1. Agile developers want other people in the organization to understand agile. They believe embracing agile is good for the organization as a whole. But it is very difficult. This is a big debate topic I hear very often in Agile community.
  2. Marketing department wants to work with Sales department. They want sales people to covert marketing leads to sales pipelines. They already have system to help them work together. Then why I hear “They don’t get it” a lot from both end?
  3. UX designers and Service Designers want other people in the organization to understand experience design approach. They believe embracing design is good for the organization. But it is very difficult. This is another big debate topic I hear very often in UX community.

Do you see a pattern here? You already have system and methodology like UX, Agile and CRM. You may even have trainings to understand the system and methodology. But it requires adaptation by different group of people to maximize the full potential. BUT THEY DON’T GET IT.

Intrinsic Motivation and Power of Empathy

The flip side of the statement “They don’t get it” is “Do you really get them?”

Understanding “them” is simply not easy. It requires empathy. Sometimes even designers forget empathy toward others when working within an organization. The closer you are to people, the more difficult to observe the people without bias. Having “them” understand “you” is even more difficult.

My motivation to start service experience design for Windows 95 came from empathy. Empathy lead to intrinsic motivation. Call center was, and still is, brutal workplace. I heard my colleagues crying in bathroom quite often. Angry customers might start conversation with four letter words and that was their norm. I wanted to stop that. I needed to understand why some customers are so angry to the point where they harass someone over the phone.

As a business analyst, my goal was to reduce the number of calls and improve customer satisfaction. That was my extrinsic motivation. But it was empathy and intrinsic motivation that guided me to take the design path. To make customers happy and make my colleagues happy. When one of my colleagues told me “I am really happy that you localized TechNet CD. Now I and customers are using the same tool to solve problems”, I felt rewarded and cried in joy.

Co-Creation: Beyond “Being on the Same Page” in Meetings

Two groups have the same understanding of state. We describe the state in organization as “the two groups are on the same page”. OK. Let’s get together and talk about the issues. Schedule a meeting. Meetings help us share knowledge and “be on the same page”. The knowledge acquired may fade away in a few day. Words do not stick. Worse, words can be misinterpreted.

We may be on the same page but do we really see the same picture? Do we really understand each other with empathy?

Designers use powerful design tools to understand users. Co-creation. Designers and users use the same tools to illustrate the current state and uncover challenges. Create solution together with the users. How can we do the same and replace meetings with co-creation?

Service Diorama

My motivation to create Service Diorama, design tool for non-designers, is to solve this problem. Service Diorama is just a deck of cards. It only has three card types. Free to download and print. But it is a powerful co-creation tool to replace traditional meetings for deeper mutual understanding. Let’s go back to the first three points in this article. Developers, businesses and designers want to be understood.

  1. Developers have cool methodology and process like Agile. It’s difficult to understand with words. Non-developers might not be interested as well. Developers can ask business to describe what they do to release the product/service the developers are developing. Developers can bring in Agile concept to the Service Diorama mapping and co-create the new business ecosystem with businesses.
  2. Marketing department wants to improve conversion rate from marketing leads to sales pipeline. Marketing department ask Sales department walk them through customer journey using Service Diorama. Marketing and Sales department can also use Service Diorama to map themselves and co-create solutions to improve customer journey together.
  3. Experience design is hard to explain with words. Designer can ask Product Manager to describe the product release cycle using Service Diorama. Designers can bring in experience design concept to the Service Diorama mapping and co-create the new ecosystem with Product Manager.

If you want to be understood, understand someone first. Service Diorama helps you visualize process and ecosystem by co-creation. You can use the same visual language to understand current status and uncover issues. You can also co-create solutions using Service Diorama as a prototyping tool.

Join Service Diorama Community and Start Embracing Design in Organization

Service Diorama is a set of cards. Free to download and print. Free to use under Creative Commons license. Service Diorama is also a community. Join Service Diorama community in Slack and start embracing design in your organization.