[ 3] Evenson, Shelley.
“Designing for Service: A
Presentation at CMU’s
[ 4] Rheinfrank, John.
“The Philosophy of
Presentation at CHI 2002/
AIGA Experience Design
Minn., May 2002.
September + October 2008
[ 5] Dubberly, Hugh,
and Paul Pangaro. Joint
facturing, and distribution. A mistake in design
multiplied thousands of times in manufacturing
is difficult and expensive to fix.
The realities of manufacturing led to certain
practices and in turn to a set of values or even
a way of thinking. In the “modern” era, design
practice adopted something of the point of view
or philosophy of manufacturing—a mechanical-object ethos.
Now as software and services have become
a large part of the economy, manufacturing no
longer dominates. The realities of producing software and services are very different from those
of manufacturing products.
The cost of software (and “content”) is almost
entirely in planning, preparation, and coding
(the cost of design). The cost of tooling, materials, manufacturing, and distribution is small in
comparison. Delaying a piece of software to “
perfect” it invites disaster. Customers have come to
expect updates and accept their role as an extension of developers’ QA teams, finding “bugs” that
can be fixed in the next “patch.”
Services also have a different nature from
hardware products. “Services are activities or
events that create an experience through an
interaction—a performance co-created at point-of-delivery [ 3].” Services are largely intangible,
as much about process as final product. They are
about a series of experiences across a range of
related touch points.
Just as manufacturing formed its own ethos,
software and service development is also forming its own ethos. The realties of software and
service development lead to certain practices
and to a set of values or even a way of thinking.
Emerging design practice is adopting something
of the point of view or philosophy of software
and service development—an organic-systems
resenting qualities or dimensions, which change
across each era and characterize it.
The eras are framed as stark dichotomies to
characterize the nature of changes. But experience is typically more fluid, resting along a continuum somewhere between extremes.
John Rheinfrank provided a broad summary
of the change, which may serve as an introduction and an overview [ 4]. He described a change
in worldview, similar to the change in ethos
From (escape the past)
To (invent the future)
Adapted from John Rheinfrank
We may expand Rheinfrank’s model to
describe how things come to be and the role of
designers and their clients in the process.
Models of Change
Several critics have commented on facets of the
change from mechanical-object ethos to organic-systems ethos. This article brings together a
series of models outlining the change and contrasting each ethos.
The models are presented in the form of an
“era analysis.” Two or more eras (e.g., existing-emerging eras or specified time periods) are
presented as columns in a matrix with rows rep-
Economic era Industrial age Information age
Paradigm author Newton Darwin
Metaphor Clockworks Ecologies
Values Seek simplicity Embrace complexity
Control Top-down Bottom-up
Development From outside From inside
Externally- Self-assembled organizing
Deciding Building agreement
Request for approval Conversation
Almost perfect Good enough
More deterministic Less predictable
Completed Adapting or evolving
Editions Continuous updating
Adapted from Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro [ 5]