Put simply: methodology is not, in itself, a theory. And I mean theory in quite a social science way: a framework for understanding peoples’ behaviours and actions. When I see service design in the line of work, it is probably best described as a spectrum of research methodologies or meta-methodologies (as in, it can eat up more focused methodologies and reconstitute them as being part of a whole: ethnography and wireframing can sit in the same box, and become “service design” by dint of the order of deployment and the use of the outputs).
This summer, after a lovely 2 week holiday in Tuscany, I returned to Leeds and straight into a classroom full of government senior leaders discussing agile and user-centred design. Their challenges set me thinking once more about the relationship between technology and social relations in the world of work. One well-known story from the Italy of 400 years ago is helping me make sense of it all.
Anne Lind, the head of the national agency in Denmark that evaluates the insurance claims of injured workers and decides on their compensation, had a crisis on her hands. Oddly, it emerged from a project that had seemed to be on a path to success. The project employed design thinking in an effort to improve the services delivered by her organization.
In November we introduced Encore, Spotify’s new approach to design systems. What’s cool about Encore is that it’s not just one thing: it’s actually a family of design systems, managed by distributed teams. In this post, we’ll share what motivated us to create Encore, how it’s structured, and how it’s different from what we’ve tried before.