Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Mar 2018

Methods and Tools of Work

Over the weekend, spent a bit of time diving into the work of service design during the Global Service Jam. There’s something pretty exciting about taking the expanse of what you know, adding a good bit of what you don’t, and mixing it with people you just met for a problem to be clearly defined in 48 hours. The activity within the Global Service Jam isn’t much different than most other work, its the intensity on figuring things out without the friction of tools, meetings, and even in-applicable research to get in the way. This isn’t different, yet it is. The methods and tools of work can and do transform greatly in the face of or in the absence of friction.

Some friction is good. We find that being the case when our automobiles don’t slide off the road. Some friction isn’t - if you’ve ever pulled a hamstring you’ll get this point also. Friction is present though. The methods of motion and emotion transpose us from one state to another, mostly unwillingly. And then we do move. And whatever the intention behind what created the movement, it quickly turns into the potential of something better, different, worse, or in need of redefinition.

The tools we use to enable our potential clients to see what life looks like outside of the box seeks to make the best use of this friction. Sometimes, this means we spend more time with a slow push towards a galvanizing revelation. Other times, this is a quiet, quick, and presumptive strike against a point not yet made, demonstrating both the ability to see forward, and end the potential of an excuse to drive away the energy to overcome friction. Our product, if you want to call it a product, is merely the recognition of the various types of friction which inhibit progress. Doesn’t mean we are right, it only means we are faster to reduce the negative impacts of friction to remain than you might be in your friction to remain.

In a response to a Medium post on the applications/services interaction designers will have to fight through during 2018 and the near future, we postulate if the tools discussion is the wrong kind of friction. Most of the issues designers seem to address are the friction of communicating process and value. The tools used should indeed be made for the specific roles of designing, prototyping, and handing off/building; yet, if we stay within the world of those roles while the work outside of it changes itself to the age, are those tools even valid? Are the roles merely behaviors which point towards different, and likely evolving outside of the box, methods and tools of work? Not in a way which can be defined now. But, perhaps in a way in which an new world will be discovered, and the voices within that new world will better describe what it is we only do now by intuition.

Our goals aren’t to replace your decision making. Avanceé merely augments your tools and practices with a view deliberaly outside of the framework that’s considered normal. Normative behaviors are meant to be what they are - we are designing a way to go beyond them to other valuable expressions of work. The methods and tools for this journey exist more as “mind” and less as “hammer.”