There are no Service Design Superheros

In the consideration of our identity as service designers perhaps it is not surprising to assume some may take on the superhero identity. The scale of our work is holistic, and so often creates an important underlining impact on people’s lives. We rise above chairs and objects to craft the very systems people engage with. Even the image greeting you as you visited this website takes a graphic claim to our ability to raise above our mortal shells and assume greatness.But we would be wrong.
We aren’t the design superheros. we aren’t the Milton Glasers, Mies Van Der Rohes or Eames of our generation. We aren’t defined by the same question of authorship typical to our cousin design fields. In the superhero mythology we aren’t the Batmans going deep into the night ready to face the unknown. We are the Commissioner Gordon’s, the people who understood the best touch point is a giant light in the sky. A calling. We are the connectors paving the path so the superheroes can come in and create the experiences we know the services we work for deserve. The real superheroes are those who make and do, those who give a service a face. They are the designers that build the evidences people hold or their bands, the employees that define the interactions our users hold, and the support structure that ensure it all works smoothly. These actors are the true authors of experience. Even if we craft the mold, they are the ones that give it the colour and beauty that is inherent in so many service design projects.
Not being a design super hero is a rather depressing revelation until you consider our true role, as facilitators. Like commissioner Gordon as those that can delve into multiple worlds and understand how to better adjust a situation to appease all stakeholders. As those that aim to embed themselves in the fabric of our context and understand that while we might not be the final executors, we do point the way for those executors to be most effective.
So go off into the night young service designers, embrace your inner Commissioner Gordon, shine that light.
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