Looking back at the Service Design Global Conference 2016, I saw how service designers are transforming the way businesses operate when it comes to innovation. We’re not only designing services, but we are helping organisations develop and deliver these services. Delivering innovative services requires organisational change, digital transformation. We are doing what business consultants were traditionally doing. But service designers are doing it in a totally different way: the designer’s way.
More and more people are recognising that designers have skills that are very useful in addressing the issues that businesses face when creating innovative and user-centred services. Service designers all over the world are translating the basic skills of designers – such as creating beauty, clarity and structure – into business project needs such as engagement, direction and project performance.
There are many ways to translate the designer’s skills into the competences that businesses need. Oliver King showed us a couple, demonstrating how design can be the engine that drives innovation. Linnea Vizard showed us how designers can help to navigate the complexity of modernday innovation projects: by making maps. These are visualisations that come before shaping solutions, exploring the hidden connections and structure of the problem and building on the structuring and visualisation talents of the designer.
In an innovation project, everything has to be designed. This also goes for the experiments that you do to test, validate and gather insights. Gordon Hui and Jamie Nicholson pointed out that designing and executing an experiment is a creative process.