Without exception, everyone I meet in the public sector wants to help make their service better. Most of them are in some way frustrated. The domain is massive and the activities disjointed. People engaged in any given service - from users and frontline workers down to managers and policymakers - can go for months on end … Continue reading Most of government is mostly service design most of the time. Discuss.
Which part of “the customer is always a co-producer” don’t these people understand?
For the third time in the past few months I'm assailed by a survey so shockingly poor that I wonder why the service provider in question has bothered at all. First it was East Coast trains with a lengthy paper questionnaire about my journey, conducted entirely in mind-boggling forced-choice price/quality trade-offs. Then came a letter … Continue reading Which part of “the customer is always a co-producer” don’t these people understand?
In praise of the good enough
... what the designers and engineers see as “pain points” aren’t necessarily that painful for people. The term satisficing, coined by Herbert Simon in 1956 (combining satisfy and suffice), refers to people’s tolerance — if not overall embracing — of “good enough” solutions... Frankly, I discover satisficing in every research project: the unfiled MP3s sitting … Continue reading In praise of the good enough
If the dust doesn’t settle: Gin, Jetplanes and Transitive Surplus
More than 150 years ago John Ruskin imagined the experience of flight. Now, thanks to Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, we can begin to imagine the possibilities without it. Robert Paterson provocatively suggests in Volcano & Air Travel - A Black Swan? What might happen: At the moment we are all treating this event as a temporary inconvenience. But … Continue reading If the dust doesn’t settle: Gin, Jetplanes and Transitive Surplus
Ten years on, can we stop worrying now?
Ten years ago this month the Sunday Times published an article by Douglas Adams called "How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet". You can read it here. Some starting observations: It's a tragedy that Adams died, aged 49, in 2001, depriving us of more great literature in the vein of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, … Continue reading Ten years on, can we stop worrying now?
Help, our industrial heritage is falling down!
Temple Works is a one-off. Its construction as a flax mill in 1840 must have made a powerful statement about Leeds' status as global pioneer of industry. At the time it was said to be the "largest single room in the world," with innovative air conditioning under the floor and sheep grazing on a grass-covered … Continue reading Help, our industrial heritage is falling down!
So this is ubiquitous computing
The payphone has bluescreened... ... the departure board has 404ed... ... the giant TV screen is somebody's Windows desktop... Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!
Help me, Usability Man!
Is this door with the sign that says other door the other door or is the other door that doesn't say other door the other door? Originally uploaded by mattedgar.
Gee Any Arghh
News that GNER, my financially-challenged intercity train operator, has just achieved a Charter Mark for excellence in customer service, has prompted me to reflect on a peculiar scene that's played out nearly every time I travel with them. There are many things I love about travelling GNER compared to other UK rail operators [if anyone … Continue reading Gee Any Arghh
Whoops there goes another piece of the old Holbeck :( There must be an anagram in there, though. Collect enough old signs and you'd have a giant cast iron version of magnetic poetry...