Service as Design

Session Title

Service as Design


Shelley Evenson/Microsoft Startup Labs

Session Type: Presentation

Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot from watching.” Over the last several years, a unique set of students has been challenged to think about design for healthcare services. In my role as a professor at Carnegie Mellon I had the opportunity to observe their work and it offered many insights into design, design thinking, and just how big the healthcare service challenge is. In my new role in Microsoft’s FUSE lab I’m looking at the future of social experience. My experience with the students and healthcare exposed the underlying notion that people participating in service—whether providers, consumers, or others that are actively involved—are actually designing as they participate in the service. (service aficionados—think beyond co-production) If we accept the service as design lens, designers may need to see their role differently—from one of developing static objects and environments—to one of creating new methods for modeling experience, and skilling everyone to be active participants in design during the service experience.


With more than 25 years of experience in crafting compelling interfaces, Shelley Evenson is adept at helping organizations develop an in-depth understanding of customer needs, building experience strategies that respond to those needs, and implementing strategies across platforms and channels. She has been recognized as an industry pioneer, and helped set what became the industry standard for “design language” and interface guideline development across a range of products.

Currently a Principal User Experience Designer for Microsoft Startup Labs, an incubation team focused on social productivity and interaction, Shelley was most recently an Associate Professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Shelley taught courses in designing conceptual models, interaction, and service design, and collaborated with colleagues from the Tepper School of Business and the Human Computer Interaction Institute to integrate business, technology, and design in designing for service. At Carnegie Mellon Shelley’s projects were sponsored by GM, Intel, Microsoft, and Motorola.