Following this consideration, if value is associated with use and context, the focus necessarily shifts from the units of output to the interactions. A service, therefore, represents “the process of doing something beneficial for and in conjunction with some entity, rather than units of outputs – immaterial goods- as implied by the plural ‘services’” (Vargo & Lush 2008, p.
The value of the intangible over the tangible. It is interesting to think of how there is a shift from the value of the goods to the value of the interactions mediated through goods and channels. It encourages a more human lens for which businesses can evaluate what exactly they are providing to their customers and how.
Yesterday I started reading Rotman on Design, including the chapter “Strategy as Design.” In it, the author applies the design metaphor to the process of strategic planning and explains why strategy needs to act like design.
Yes. That is definitely interesting, but not what I thought was the most interesting. There are two processes that are at play here. Some think of strategic planning as a scientific process, thus it is a process in search of a “discovered truth” that is then taken as some sort of widely accepted objective fact (at least within the organization). Design process moves towards “invented choice,” the supposed best option for that specific context. Design moves towards finer detail while science and strategy at times, moves towards increasing generalization.
And here comes the question of rightness. How do you know you came up with the right solution or strategy? Both processes promise to end on some form of correctness or that they solved the problem. They came up with the right answer, but did they?
Can you ever really say you came up with the RIGHT solution? No. Design is more comfortable with that (arguably) and strategy is not. There is the “right” solution, but maybe it should just be this is the “best, maybe” strategy.
Strategy is a creative process. You are looking at possibilities and potential futures and trying to figure out how you can get there within a certain set of constraints. Pretty much what designers do. Both require creativity, imagination and critical thinking.
Just like a design is never really done and can always be improved, so can any strategy. There is no real right solution. There are solutions that are better than others, that could work. But there are no guarantees. Even in science, there isn’t necessarily infallible truth. There is a truth for that moment that can always be changed tomorrow.
Are you selling the design or the thought behind it?
This is the question I ask myself everyday. As the Marketing Manager of a digital design shop, the answer is ultimately what could potentially set us apart and what is going to actually tell the story of who we are.
What are clients buying when they buy design? They are not exactly buying the thing. Yes, that is what is the project brief and that is what their immediate need is. That is the outcome they need to achieve, but that is not the only thing that they want. They want your thoughts. That sounds sort of evil alien-mind-snatcher, but it is true.
Design and designers are in the position of teachers. It is the responsibility of designers now to share their knowledge and approach with the business world. Everyone might not be able to do it, but everyone should be able to learn why the process and the rationale behind each design decision is made. It is the basis for design thinking, after all. How are these people making these decisions that ultimately affect the ‘ergonomics’ of a business.
There seems to be a loss or deficit in analysis these days. Not enough people are stopping to ask why before they continue on with making or doing whatever it is they are doing.
In making meaningful change and progress, there needs to be analytical thought. There needs to be someone there to question and critique. It is interesting to think about why design thinking has caught on so much in the last year or so. Design thinking pretty much brings to the business setting the ‘design critique.’ The step in the process where you question the design and why it works or doesn’t work.
Design thinking’s value is that it brings that sort of perspective to the process. Businesses know their business or at least they think they do. They have missed the critical step in questioning what they are doing.
Ellen Di Resta sets up an interesting balance: the business of intuitive thinking and the value of analytical thinking as being balanced in what is called Design Thinking.
That type of analytical mindset is something that has been happening outside of design for decades. Think about the human social sciences like Anthropology and Sociology. They are both built on the foundation of constant analysis and study. Theories emerge and evolve as the cultural context changes and their tools for observation get better.
Intuition and confidence need to be tempered with analytical critique and skepticism to generate meaningful understanding.
About 15 days ago, I started a challenge to write something every day.
I love writing, but when you spend a lot of your day critiquing other people’s writing, the love can slowly fade. I wanted to get back to that love, so this is where I have gotten so far.
I have noticed that ideas come more easily now. It feels good to get them out of my head and on ‘paper’ somewhere. Writing more has brought some of my confidence back and let me revisit my voice again. I am hoping that it is a good thing.
Here’s what I have shared so far:
Products need to be able to speak and marketing can’t be all talk anymore. It just doesn’t work.
They are not and cannot be separate. Perhaps this will be the end of the advertising era. Let’s hope so.