Despite the growth of service design firms in Europe, the success of the Service Design Network, and the globally self-organized service design drinks, including one in San Francisco, service design still really hasn’t made its move on the United States. And while many designers I talk to are very interested in service design, businesses are not demanding it.
Does this mean service design cannot take off in the United States? No. I think it’s got a shot if we can show businesses the value of such an approach.
During the Interaction10 conference, I had the opportunity to meet with Birgit Mager and Shelley Evenson, both founders of the Service Design Network, to talk about plans for a US conference to promote the value of service design to the business sector. One possible location we discussed is Boston, given Shelley’s current ties to Microsoft there. There have already been rumors that Microsoft will sponsor the event. Though these rumors, I have been told, are premature.
But if all goes as discussed, the one-day conference will take place in October around the same time as the Berlin conference. The plan is then for a full US service design conference in 2011, similar to the Berlin conference with content for practitioners, academics, and students. I hope to have a hand in both events, and am excited about bringing the conversation about service design back to the US after the dearth that resulted after the Emergence conference ceased.
While bringing conferences to the US will certainly help raise the profile of service design here, some designers I have talked to either dismiss service design or don’t think it will take hold. What do you think?