I'm a Service Designer and I design for businesses, not users

As customer-centricity for businesses becomes more and more mainstream, we are seeing an increase of disciplines and functions in the design space. In an already crowded arena we have User Experience Designers, Customer Experience Designers, and Service Designers. I recently saw someone post about a CX Strategist, a title that completely boggles my mind.

Although each of these disciplines follow similar methodologies, and design-thinking approaches to the ambiguity of a problem space, and comprise of fairly similar skills and backgrounds, they also bring their own discrete craft and outcomes.

What's missing however is clear definition of the ways each work together to create meaning and impact in the most successful way.

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From the Commander to the Campaigner

Over the last three-to-four years I’ve gone through several and significant life changes that have developed my character both personally and professionally. This journey of change has been actuated by two major events:

  1. The sale of my business and subsequent detachment from my business partner, and;
  2. The end of a relationship of eight years (with a wedding only a few months away)

While I won’t go into the details for why both ended, I believe they were ultimately the result of my approach and leadership style. These events resulted in a strategy to change myself, without completely realising the consequences.

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Experience Schmerience

Across the globe, leadership teams at many companies are talking about improving the customer experience being their primary enterprise priority.

Ultimately however, most enterprises aren’t ready to commit to following through with the ideal of delivering for the customer. It’s a hard conversation to have, and few are prepared to have it.

When we talk about delivering on the ‘customer experience’ it is often filtered through the lens of ‘what customer experience are we capable of delivering?’, instead of ‘what customer experience should we evolve to deliver?’.

This disconnect often delays the inevitable, slow and painful death of a company. What is required is a radical change of both approach and delivery with the customer’s needs at heart.

Viability is now determined by market demand.

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In memory of Yvonne

Yvonne Angelina Lee Yvonne Angelina Lee, 1985—2016.

While writing this, I titled the document ‘Notes on Yvonne’ because how could I write anything other than notes about a woman so incredible? How could I summarise 30 years of someone’s life in anything other than jotting down memories, and thoughts of this most amazing individual?

It seems so unfair to write like this. How can we write such poetry and prose for a friend so young? How overwhelming, that we should need to talk in this way, and to grieve like this. I felt so sad, and so heartbroken that it was as if I was drunk, and it was horrific.

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