Design to the power of ten

From a single UI element to world peace. What are the limits of design?

A poorly designed touchpoint can make or break a service ecosystem. Shifts in society, technology or politics can open up or close down entire industries. As designers tackle an ever broader range of problems and projects, the complexity increases by orders of magnitude. Do disciplines like UX and service design have what it takes to address these wicked problems in the future or are we destined to be stuck designing for screens? Taking the 1968 Eames’ film The Powers of Ten as a starting metaphor, this talk explores how UX and service designers might consider and grapple with the outer limits of their fields as they move between micro touchpoints and interacting with ever more complex macro layers of society.

This talk is a look into the future and ends with speculation. It does, however, build from where we are now and uses several existing cases that already show we can help tackle these complex problems. It’s intended to both give a sense of perspective and encourage UXers to break out of their bubbles.

Presentation audio



Sketchnotes by Justin Cheong
Design to the power of ten - Andy Polaine