Category: thoughts

Public transit for packages

  Every now and then I’m confronted with a choice. Should I order something on Amazon.com or drive 20 minutes to a local store and purchase the item there. I’ve been a card-carrying member of Amazon Prime since the year it was launched. Most items are delivered to me “free of charge” (i.e. no additional […]

Timeframe, timeline, and tempo

A contract can be executed within minutes, or over days, months and years. It depends on the type of service and often on the level of commitment involved. Some service contracts are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, stretching over many years. Many contracts are customized, negotiated and specified between two or parties, as is […]

Empathizing with agents

Indeed, many services are poorly designed because, in their eagerness or anxiety to reduce costs, the service provider pushes some of that effort and pain to the customer and user who are often unaware of this shift in burden and are often unwilling or unprepared to take it on. That’s why many services require the […]

This is like that

In their book, The Knowledge Creating Company, Ikujiro Nonaka, and Hirotaka Takeuchi give a really good example of the power of analogy. It’s about how a product team at Canon achieved a breakthrough in the design of the Mini-Copier by figuring out how to make the copier drum inexpensive enough to be disposable. Doing that […]

Compensation

In services, things are for the welfare and well-being of other things. Through performances and affordances they they fix shortcomings and shortfalls, leading to the the enhancement and enrichment of those paying for the service. However, things have a finite capacity. During performances and affordances, they spend their superpowers and surpluses. The electricity charging the […]

Services as a set of promises

Every service is a set of promises for a job to be done. Each promise covers motivations, expectations, arrangements and agreements. The motivations and expectations are from people and things. The agreements are between people and the arrangements between things. Together the promises set up the performances and affordances that fulfill needs as and when […]

Why thing-centered design matters

To improve the design of services it is important for us to better understand why services fail. To understand failure, we need to be able to ‘see’ the systemic structures and behaviors that make any service a whole that is other than the sum of its parts. In doing so we’re able to better grasp […]