Advancing Service Design Practice

A 60-page collection of illustrated essays focused on reintegrating human concerns into the design of complex socio-technical systems.

This is a magazine I developed following the 2015 Service Design Network Global Conference in New York City.

As lead editorial coordinator, I worked with each of a dozen conference attendees to plan, write, and edit pieces in response to the presentations and workshops presented at the conference.

Additionally, I developed the core theme around which the magazine revolves (returning people to the centre of service design practice), and wrote the editors’ letter and interstitial text between each section.

Following these editorial cycles, I worked with illustrators to develop art for each essay and with a designer to layout and refine the magazine as a whole.

Illustrations like this one helped to bring the book to life, visualizing key concepts and providing a sense of rhythm throughout.

While I’m deeply proud of the artifact itself, what I think is perhaps most interesting about this project is the set of challenges involved in producing my first large-scale, professional publication.

First, it was entirely ‘corner-of-the-desk’ for everyone except myself. As a result, my skills in project and people management were tested and expanded, requiring me to beg, borrow, and steal time to get it done.

Second, many of the contributors submitted prose (despite being designers, and having carte blanche to produce any kind of printed content). This provided me with a great opportunity to learn new ways of editing and providing feedback on writing.

Finally, art directing the illustrations forced me to make the leap from prose to visual communication, a growth area that I’m working on.

You can view the magazine at here.

Lessons Learned