The what, how and who of social service design

Design Management Academy
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Conference Proceedings of the Design Management Academy, 2017, 3 pp. 753 - 766
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Services are an important type of intervention used to address complex societal problems such as chronic health problems and climate change. Social services are defined as services that have a social purpose, and are based on high-quality social interactions between service deliverer and service consumer. This paper shows through three case studies what we are designing, how we design, and who designs when designing social services. The case studies show that while some are focused on the interface between service deliverer and consumer, an important type of intervention is a ‘social infrastructure’, which is a structured way of bringing service deliverers together to incrementally redesign their own service. Practices that support the design of social services include: developing a deep understanding of the needs of both service consumers and service deliverers, using design expertise to frame complex problems, and playing an active role in prototyping and implementing the intervention.
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