Obama needs service designers

“That’s why Obama needs Design. And not just clever posters, or better technology, or slick promotions. Obama’s web efforts have been solid, but encouraging donations isn’t the same class of problems as dealing with Baby Boomers pressuring  Social Security and the healthcare system. To be successful, these new programs will need to look across channels at the whole experience. That’s where Design can make a real difference, particularly the emerging practice of Service Design.

Service Design applies design methods and thinking to service delivery, and uses principles of observation, prototyping, iteration, and human-centered evaluation to minimize risk for new service delivery.
Example of design principles:
  • Use better methods for deep citizen insight. Methods like participatory codesign research, ethnography, and conversation analytics provide far better insights than traditional focus groups, surveys, and polls beloved of market research and politicians alike.
  • Create meaningful, measurable human-centered outcomes by looking at people’s goals; their hopes, needs, dreams and desires need to guide the measures in place instead of creating false incentives (like No Child Left Behind, which encourages teaching to the test). Insight needs to drive metrics that matter.