Archive for April, 2008

One Line of Service Design, part 2

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Just a short update… I asked my mentor from this summer, Susan Spraragen (who is currently in Paris presenting our work on service blueprinting) what her service design one-liner would be. Here’s what she contributed:

Service design is about creating and taking decisive and deliberate actions that will promote, support, and sustain positive service experiences in order to strengthen provider-customer relationships.

I like the decisive and deliberate part. And especially the part about sustaining positive service experiences. Too often designers are asked to provide quick, band-aid solutions that may help in the short run; not provide solutions that will work in the long run.

The issue of sustainability is an interesting one. We’ve been discussing it a lot in my Designing for Management and Organizational Change class, in terms of how one would go about teaching/changing/designing an organization so that they can grow and succeed on their own without clinging on to a consultant.

This lead me to think about the issue of sustainability in service design. Especially in regards to my thesis project: how can I design a solution that will allow Children’s Hospital to continue thinking about sustaining the values (family-centered care, control, support) that I’m trying to enforce? Is a well-designed service or system enough to have a service provider convinced to keep practicing good service design? Or is there something more to getting someone clinched to always bettering their service offerings?