People can find purpose doing meaningful work, especially when that work is shared with others.
But importantly, you are not your work.
I think many people, designers especially, struggle with the connection between their work and how they feel about themselves.
If you come to a point where your work doesn’t feel valued, appreciated, listened to, or doesn’t have the impact you hoped it would, then that’s on the work.
This isn’t shifting responsibility. If you did your best, if you put your best ideas forward, if you cared about making change happen, and if you were fully open to…
When designing services, one of the biggest challenge teams face is finding the right perspective to work from.
As I shared recently, something I’m talking about a lot right now is the idea of working from ‘mezzanine levels’. This is the idea that sometimes the most useful perspective for teams is somewhere in-between ‘as-is’ and future ‘to-be’ states.
As a more in depth introduction, and as context for this post, I’ve just finished writing about as-is for service design . I’ve asserted here that user research and learning time is better invested in going deeper into understanding user needs, context…
Something I’ve been reconsidering recently is the idea of ‘as-is’ work in service design, especially how this is part of discovery work.
Teams have to decide how much time to spend on understanding what happens now, and how much detail they then usefully capture in discovery artefacts. I’ve seen teams in government, often with an imbalance of Business Analysts compared to Service Designers and User Researchers, going to extreme levels of operational and process mapping in discovery. These teams can then struggle with getting unstuck from how they’ve prioritised working within the detailed constraints of existing business processes.
The description of ‘could-be-anywhere-ness’ caught my attention recently in this article about the plans to redevelop the centre of Coventry.
The point being made here is that a lot of place redevelopment, especially towns and cities, is generic. The vision and plans put in place could belong to anywhere, and if you visited you might feel that you could be anywhere.
Design can lose any sense of of the places and communities it represents.
Thinking beyond planning, it’s easy for organisations and teams to fall into could-be-anywhere-ness. A generic vision for the future based on digital technology, efficiency, and even…
Don’t forget how fast things change, how quickly people change what they do as they conform and shape themselves from all that’s around them. — Tony Benn
The biggest challenge an organisation faces is what it doesn’t know.
Back in 2019, I first wrote about the idea of what it means to move to a design mindset. This is the foundation of my thinking on how organisations can change how they work, and how they can design and deliver better services.
More recently I’ve been helping with some thinking for FutureGov projects around what design maturity looks like in different…
I was thinking about the importance of prototyping again this week:
There’s often still a hang up with the idea of prototyping as part of any kind of discovery work. Think of it more as a learning tool e.g. “how can we make something real enough to learn more about it?”.
I went on to say that: Discovery sometimes has to be about understanding user needs within the context of new concepts, scenarios or services that aren’t yet real e.g. as a response to new policies, ideas or opportunities. It comes back to understanding…
The phrase ‘service model’ is something I’ve found myself using more and more in recent years. I’ve seen it used elsewhere in different contexts as well.
So what are service models? Here’s my definition:
“Service models are a way for organisations to create, test, and scale the design of whole services.”
If a business model is how an organisation operates, then a service model is how we shape and align design decisions to ensure consistency and quality as we build, pilot, and scale whole services.
This is also different from how I think about operating models, or more detailed blueprints…
“Digital working shouldn’t mean 8 hours of video calls a day …teams are massively overlooking instant (written) messaging, and the power of writing things down clearly, understanding tasks, responsibilities to get on with work independently.”
It’s an interesting insight into how people are feeling when an incidental tweet like this starts to go viral.
My Twitter network is mostly a mixture of digital and design people, including many people that work in the public sector. …
Back in September, we joined thousands of young people, businesses and local authorities in declaring a climate and ecological emergency, calling for a collective response to addressing the climate crisis.
While we face an immediate crisis of responding to a health pandemic, supporting the organisations we work with across government and the health and third sectors, we’re also continuing to keep the longer-term in focus. The changes we’re all experiencing are starting to point to how we will need to think about the impact of future changes to our lives and work in response to the climate era.
This post was co-written with Lily Dart, Experience Director at FutureGov
Yesterday, we shared how we’ve made the shift to remote working. As our team continues to respond rapidly to the daily changes to UK government guidance, we’re all starting to adjust to new patterns in our daily lives, as well as quickly learning and adapting so we can continue to deliver work in the coming months.
For many organisations, the challenges of how to deliver front line services and how to best meet the needs of local communities, including the most vulnerable, are being fully realised. …