Supporting change with design artefacts

Design necessitates change. Whether it is slightly improving the way that things are done around here (incremental innovation), or coming up and implementing something completely new (radical innovation), design requires people to do things differently. Design is often focused on the what of the new and does not always consider the how. When external consultants and design teams are engaged to work on the discovery and design phases of programs, they are often divorced from implementation processes and must pass the ball back to the organisation and hope they kick a goal.

Design implementation can require changes to business processes, business models, organisational structures, marketing, branding and messaging. It requires change that rests upon the collective efforts of lots of different people, such as those that design products and services, to those that market them, to operations and finance, HR, distribution, and legal teams. Design implementation relies on social processes that take time, particularly within large organisations. After working hard to generate sound customer insights and design solutions, a gap between design and implementation processes can prevent organisations from delivering customer-centric services.

Like scaffolding, research informed design artefacts can support workers to do their work and contribute to collective outcomes. Using examples from private and public sector projects, Jax explains how design research can support organisational members implementing design and creating change within organisations. Lets turn the human-centred design lens back on ourselves and think about how we can provide organisations with design artefacts that are useful, usable and enabling.

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