ALA Article on Service Design Beyond the Screen

As usual I’m behind the curve, but this time I’m behind myself, which is weird. I don’t think I’ll psychoanalyse that too much more. I am really pleased that my article Designing for Services Beyond the Screen was published this week on A List Apart. I’ve been away and blissfully offline all week, so I missed all the Twitter flurry about it, but I’m glad it resonated with the audience it was aimed at, which isn’t particularly service designers, but those working on Web and other digital projects.

I’m really, really pleased that I got a great illustration of connecting silos from Kevin Cornell. I interviewed Kevin for my column at Desktop Magazine a few years back and I love his work. While writing for ALA is enough of a drawcard in itself, I have to admit that getting an illustration from Kevin was secretly the real sweetener. Anyway, he owed me one, right?

Lastly, I say my article, but I owe a great debt to the most excellent editing by Sara Wachter-Boettcher and my book co-authors, Ben and Lavrans. Following up on my previous post about storytelling for designers and storytelling being an iterative design process, the ALA piece was a good example of that in action.

Sara and I used the private beta of Editorially to work on the piece together and it went through several revisions, including cutting out all the material and title that I originally planned for the article. I’ll not go too much into what got cut out, because maybe it will become another article, but I think it’s worth sharing that sometimes this happens. The writing often just goes in its own direction and, like working with the grain of a piece of wood, if you fight it, it will end up a mess. Sara’s strong editing really kept me facing in the right direction and sanded it into a decent piece.