This morning I woke to the end of a year-long sabbatical from Design for Service. Five years after starting this weblog, the service design landscape has barely changed here in the United States. Interest has waxed and waned among several academic institutions and Continuum is making good progress but service design is still largely an afterthought.
Looking back, I was able to hold that reality at bay until the SDN conference in Berlin two year ago. Faced with so much fantastic work it was hard not to wonder about the lack of enthusiasm on this side of the pond. The trip was inspiring but, in retrospect, a little demoralizing. The followup last fall here in San Francisco made it even more obvious that service design isn’t on the local radar. I couldn’t even be bothered to blog about it.
In the face of apparent apathy, it’s easy to retreat into what you know. For the past year I’ve been immersed in the life of an interaction designer. That head space is full of engaging problems and complex systems but interaction design is still widely assumed to be digital and that’s simply too limiting. Service design keeps calling me back.
I’m not exactly sure where to go from here, but today is the first day in reviving Design for Service.