Presented at Impact: 2018 Canadian Service Design Conference, November 29 & 30, 2018 (Montreal, Quebec)
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What are outcomes made of? This talk will explore the dark matter of the outcomes of service design work.
As an industrial designer or even digital product designer, outcomes are clear and concrete - a new piece of furniture is in market, or an update to the app or website has been shipped. For service designers, we grapple with the non-’thing’-ness of the work we are doing. What is a service made of, and how can we tell when we really made an impact on it? How might we expand our thinking to consider a range of outcomes, from implemented, in-market, physical and material changes, to shifts in mindsets, perspectives, and the creation of new conversations and capabilities?
Service design is having a crisis of confidence regarding the impact of our work. Let’s delve into a taxonomy of outcomes, and think in a broader and more nuanced way about impact.