Designing for Social Infrastructures in Complex Service Systems: A Human-Centered and Social Systems Perspective on Service Design

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
She Ji, 2017, 3 (3), pp. 183 - 197
Issue Date:
2017-09-01
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© 2017 Tongji University and Tongji University Press Service design is one of the keys to improving how we target today's complex societal problems. The predominant view of service systems is mechanistic and linear. A service infrastructure—which includes solutions like service blueprints, scripts, and protocols—is, in some ways, designed to control the behavior of service professionals at the service interface. This view undermines the intrinsic motivation, expertise, and creativity of service professionals. This article presents a different perspective on service design. Using theories of social systems and complex responsive processes, I define service organizations as ongoing iterated patterns of relationships between people, and identify them as complex social service systems. I go on to show how the human-centeredness of design practices contributes to designing for such service systems. In particular, I show how a deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of service professionals through phenomenological themes contributes to designing for social infrastructures that support continuous improvement and adaptation of the practices executed by service professionals at the service interface.
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