Leveraging a human-centered design methodology across varying domain stacks
How might we grow into new domain stacks to fully realize the potentiality of design?
Organizations around the world are continuously unearthing the full inherent value of a human-centered approach to problem solving. We are seeing the positive impact of design thinking processes and approaches permeate beyond the origin of product design — moving outwardly and into new design extents across organizational domains.
A Collective Methodology
Leveraging a shared human-centered design process across teams offers a common workflow between various designer domains. It is here where our ability to command the full extent of a democratized design workflow is realized — a methodology that can be utilized across varying design extents. We have seen the work of democratizing design through a problem-solving framework taking root at many areas in a companies design practices. This shared systems processing makes solving design challenges possible at different focal lengths — beginning with environmental considerations of a circular designed product, to the contextual nature of an experience as it relates to a service, through to how an organizations structure implicates its effectiveness through process and policy and extending into the confines of how a business evolves.
The Evolved Designer Stack
As the range and depth of design domains continue to proliferate, new opportunities to expand our designer stack are made relevant and valued by industry. Although we often classify design domains as separate and uniquely independent, it’s clear that there is a connected integration. As such, it is imperative that modern designers level-up their designer stack and expand into new territories, some of which may not currently exist as a dedicated role within their respective organization. The diagram below represents core domain extents and their relationship to each other.
Note: This is an abstracted view of relational domain integration — varying widely in practice and from organization to organization.
The role of a business design principally sets the foundation by which the company forges a clear and impactful vision and unique value to the world. At the core, business design begins with the DNA of an organization, (why it exists in the world) and transcends these values outwardly to various organizational functions to fulfill its commitment to the mission. The role of a business designers value-add has remained focused in the inception and early-innings of the new venture. As we look to the future, we see the role uniquely positioned to future-cast how a business remains rooted in values and ethics when scaling its operations.
Design is both a process and a mindset. So too is the organization constructs that enact teams of people to work through an enabling matrix. Organizational designers see organizations as living, breathing organisms that grow and evolve over time. Improving a teams workflow is a key driver in measuring the effectiveness and resulting impact of an organizations ultimate success. Often, Org Designers are consulted for predetermined timeframe, to reimagine an existing workflow. Org Designers of the future will be integrated within the team to consider an omnipresence for how teams evolve over time – running experiments to ensure optimal effectiveness.
The onset of the Service Design role extends experience-based design beyond the digital realm, connecting physicality with a myriad of experiential nodes along the customer journey, leading to a more holistically linked connection from the core offering and into the full contextual human environment. The role of a Service Design is set to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years as organizations further value the relational congruence of customer-side actions with operational and logistics processing. This role plays out as a magnetizer – a go-between that sits at varying locations, be it on the product team, strategically as a catalyst between teams, operationally between research and customer experience, and in a centralized position supporting systemic connections across the organization.
The modern product designer largely focuses on digital experience design, utilizing a lifecycle approach to design — why a product is conceived while constantly informing the basis for its existence through to delivery. The onset of a PM (management) skill set makes this role particularly valuable in applying systems-thinking to complex design challenges. The Product Designer is often referred to as the “unicorn” the designer that focuses on the point and periphery of a products lifecycle, thus delivering a defensible and data-backed source for the products existence. The role of a PD is a combination of designer and manager, a truly autonomous role that is propelled by influence and impact.
UX. CX. LX. Design
User Experience (UX), Customer Experience (CX), and Learning Experience (LX) design have become among the most valued design disciplines, ensuring product is designing the right thing through user research, to ultimately inform that we are designing things right. Organizations often view experience-based design as a form of risk management — constantly learning by way of the users goals, motivations and needs. Extending this methodology is the growing discipline of learning experience design – how an organization invests in upskilling its workers in their respective domains while enriching the collective knowledge-base of the organization to grow and evolve.
The next great frontier of design begins with ethical design values. To what end should a designer have a connected form with the environmental consequences of their designs? The circular nature to product design is yet again a look to the process and mindset of how we consider the full ramifications of a designs impact on the world. Looking at our future forward, the role of a circular designer will be both a mindset for all designers to embody and a dedicated role for those positioned to invent circularly sound products. Designing with a circular methodology and mindset unlocks a deeper sense of truth when considering the full systems-based implications of a products total impact on people and the planet.