IDEA Service Design Competition
Earlier this week I received an e-mail about the 2010 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Apparently they’ve added a service design category to the mix this year.
Service design comprises three distinct interactions: person to person; person to machine; and machine to machine. There are three categories of revenue-generating services, non-profit services, and government services.
I’m not wild about focusing on person to machine interactions for a service design competition — and machine to machine interactions make me despair.
But looking through the entry process I’m struck by the obvious disconnect between product design and service design. The entry form asks for dimensions, weight, materials, software and technical specifications. It goes on to request a “glamour shot” that is “attention-grabbing, visually compelling or sexy.” Not the best strategy for dealing with the intangible.
They also ask for a short document or video to explain the project, but it’s pretty clear that they’re framing service design as a second-order discipline. That’s disappointing.
Based on the submission guidelines I can’t imagine how the judges could possibly evaluate a service. A quick scan through the archives uncovers a few projects that are in the ballpark and demonstrate the shortcomings of the form. Projects for Umpqua Bank, American Red Cross and the Transportation Security Administration. Is a glamour shot and a 900 character overview enough to capture a service?
To be honest it doesn’t even seem adequate for graphic design and industrial design. What’s the baseline for a legitimate service design competition?