J. PAUL NEELEY      SPECULATIVE DESIGN      SERVICE DESIGN      PROCESS     ABOUT  

SERVICE DESIGN

Service design is the design of services. It is the choreography of multiple interactions over time to create an experience. As a service designer I design systems, processes, organizations, and experiences. Very often organizations design individual elements of their business activities incredibly well, but the interactions between these elements, as well as their interactions over time, are left unconsidered. The larger system is typically not designed, but has evolved, and often in problematic ways. As a service designer I spend a lot of time listening and working to understand user and organizational current states. A great deal of time is then spent to synthesize this information into meaningful representations and abstractions of the current system. I then work across multiple touchpoints from architecture to digital interactions to human conversations to visual communication and product to design a new future state, in which all of these elements work together to create a meaningful experience for the users. I work on strategy with senior leadership to consider overarching goals and needs and how service design can help address these, and I also work with design teams at the individual touchpoint level to make sure these elements are working within the larger system. Service design is ultimately about understanding and unpacking complexity, and then thoughtfully aligning the many moving parts and elements to create a desired outcome.
One of the issues that design and business face today is that our methods typically simplify and isolate problems to a scale and scope that we are comfortable with and can understand. We then we design solutions that address this view of the world, and celebrate these solutions, but in reality we have no idea what we've done. In focusing on any particular problem, we've really just ignored everything else.

This idea is of critical importance, and I'm continuing to explore its implications with New Kind of Design. What I have found is that in our abstractions of the current state and future state we should include and will only benefit from radical expansions of our purview, always taking as much of a holistic systems approach as possible. Its one of the reasons I've drifted towards service design in my practice.