Mary Ann Badavi
Mary Ann is a UX designer, content expert and noodle lover based in Washington D.C.
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Slow Design to Solve Big Problems

August 2018

Service Design, Workshop Facilitation

When my mentor Sela Lewis asked me if I would like to present with her at UX Week around the concept of slow service design, I was thrilled. Too often, designers use rapid prototyping as a band-aid solution, ignoring the larger social issues at play.

Using the public transportation system as a model, we led workshop participants through an exercise in which they first quickly came up with some design solutions for a bus system. We then rode an actual public bus and took note of all of the interactions at play around them: from the visible like drivers and passengers, to the invisible like the marketers responsible for advertising on buses. After actually experiencing the system we were trying to redesign, we built out a service blueprint to understand who the actual stakeholders were in the proposed solutions we had.

The conclusion? Designing for the physical world, especially when it comes to service design, is way more complicated than we think. Our design decisions cause ripple effects through entire communities of people, and we shouldn’t be making them lightly.

Presentation

Presentation

You can check out Sela’s and my presentation here: part 1 and part 2, including a sample service blueprint for the bus system that Sela put together.

Service Blueprint

Service Blueprint

During the workshop, we had participants create a service blueprint together. The most interesting part was getting them to agree on what actions were frontstage versus backstage—a concept that many of them (including myself, before this project!) weren’t familiar with before.