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Blended spaces, cross-channel ecosystems, and the myth that is service

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Slide deck from paper presented at ServDes 2016, Copenhagen.
Full paper available in conference proceedings: http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/article.asp?issue=125&article=050

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Blended spaces, cross-channel ecosystems, and the myth that is service

  1. 1. Blended spaces, cross-channel ecosystems, and the myth that is service Bertil Lindenfalk & Andrea Resmini ServDes 2016, Copenhagen
  2. 2. W. J. Mitchell, Me++, 2004 “once there was a time and a place for everything; today, things are increasingly smeared across multiple sites and moments in complex and often indeterminate ways”
  3. 3. today, affordable, mobile, consumer-grade computing is mainstream: smartphones, tablets, sensors, ambient appliances, and wearables allow human-information interaction everywhere, all the time
  4. 4. digitization and constant read/write access to information have blurred the distinction between products and services
  5. 5. people freely connect often competing products and services in emergent choreographies
  6. 6. D. Norman, Systems Thinking: A Product Is More Than the Product, 2009 “the point of a product is to offer great experiences to its owner, which means that it offers a service”
  7. 7. services are usually described either in terms of what they do or by reflecting on the different elements they consist of Grönroos, 2007; Vargo & Lusch, 2008; Blomkvist, 2014.
  8. 8. we argue that this is a reductionist approach whose usefulness is greatly diminished when it comes to capturing experiences
  9. 9. the myth that the service designer can design a perfectly bounded artifact and simply drop it in place within a dynamic environment still holds fast and unquestioned at least in the practice
  10. 10. N.Fein, Cocktail bar and restaurant at Hunts Point Market, the Bronx, NYC Black & White (http://www.nycbw.com/page/5/)
  11. 11. to properly counter the risks of simplification and reductionism, we argue for a shift from a holistic perspective to a systemic approach
  12. 12. R. Armson, Growing Wings on the Way, 2011
  13. 13. it also implies a shift from the idea of service to that of experience taking place in cross-channel ecosystems in blended space
  14. 14. a cross-channel ecosystem results from actor-driven choice, use, and coupling of channels, either belonging to the same or to different systems, within the context of the goals and desired future state actors intend to achieve, explicitly or implicitly
  15. 15. cross-channel ecosystems are semantic constructs that straddle digital and physical spaces, locations, devices, and contexts
  16. 16. cross-channel experiences identify a blended space of opportunity for the designer to intervene in, more than a finite artifact that can be fully managed
  17. 17. WHATSAPP SKATES BOX OFFICE IMDB MOVIE NETFLIX BUS YELP RESTAURANT SMSWEBSITE FRIEND’S HOME BUS DINNER PS4 BOARD GAMES PHONE PIZZA PLACE
  18. 18. WHATSAPP SKATES BOX OFFICE IMDB MOVIE NETFLIX BUS YELP RESTAURANT SMSWEBSITE FRIEND’S HOME BUS DINNER PS4 BOARD GAMES PHONE PIZZA PLACE
  19. 19. WHATSAPP SKATES BOX OFFICE IMDB MOVIE NETFLIX BUS YELP RESTAURANT SMSWEBSITE FRIEND’S HOME BUS DINNER PS4 BOARD GAMES PHONE PIZZA PLACE
  20. 20. WHATSAPP SKATES BOX OFFICE IMDB MOVIE NETFLIX BUS YELP RESTAURANT SMSWEBSITE FRIEND’S HOME BUS DINNER PS4 BOARD GAMES PHONE PIZZA PLACE WHATSAPP SKATES BOX OFFICE IMDB MOVIE YELP WHATSAPP BOX OFFICE IMDB MOVIE BUS SMSWEBSITE
  21. 21. design is a pragmatic intervention to maximize social or business opportunities and minimize individual or organizational pain through a recast of one or more specific channels or touchpoints
  22. 22. interventions within an ecosystem broker between the different instances presented by the ecosystem itself, the actors, and the designers’ own vision
  23. 23. this creates an emergent structure and introduces a loss of control that goes way beyond user-centered perspectives
  24. 24. the emergent structure resulting from the actors’ joining individual channels is also a blended, physical / digital, space
  25. 25. “a blended space is as a space where a physical space is deliberately integrated in a close-knit way with a digital space” D. Benyon, Spaces of Interaction, Places for Experience, 2014
  26. 26. as a multitude of actors freely joins independent channels, a blended space of services, contexts, and locations is articulated as a digital/physical ecosystem
  27. 27. cross-channel ecosystems are service supersets, unbound, actor-constructed, unfinished, and transient
  28. 28. they transcend the traditional limits encountered by service design practices focusing primarily on organization-bound and organization-controlled systems
  29. 29. they are a digimodernist construct, fully acknowledging its computer-derived textuality of haphazardness, evanescence, and anonymous, social authorship
  30. 30. design focuses on the interdependencies of significant existing, available, or unused elements in the actor-driven ecosystems, regardless of ownership
  31. 31. their complexity and emergent nature, their unfinished, evanescent onwardness requires a systemic framing built around the idea of actor-driven experiences
  32. 32. designing services as a collection of related and relatively static touchpoints is eminently postmodern and unavoidably reductionist in nature
  33. 33. it’s a way of framing services which is generally neglecting the real-world usage patterns employed by actors to reach a desired state, inward-focused, artificially organization-bound, and falling short of accounting for the resulting complexity
  34. 34. this is the myth that is service, one of change and distance: under an illusion of completeness, services are designed within the same constraints and under the same assumptions that products are
  35. 35. we propose that a way to move forward is through a systems thinking approach and the conceptualization of cross-channel experience ecosystems as formalized in IA
  36. 36. reframing the problem space through the idea of experience rather than service
  37. 37. and going for a larger strategic impact as a way to set up the ecosystem for value creation for both actors and organizations
  38. 38. thank you bertil.lindenfalk@ju.se - @BerraMakeIt andrea.resmini@ju.se - @resmini

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