Human-Computer Interaction Institute

  • Newell-Simon Hall
  • Mauldin Auditorium 1305
  • Associate Professors, Human-Computer Interaction Institute and School of Design
  • Carnegie Mellon University

"Promoting Service Design as a Core Practice in HCI"

In the past three decades, we have seen topics of research within HCI migrate from the desktop to complex, societal problems that Horst Rittel called “wicked problems” and Russell Ackoff dubbed “messes.” We also see in our research and practice that HCI designers are increasingly being asked to design points in a product service systems, such as mobile apps.

In this talk, we argue that current HCI approaches, inspired by UX and UCD, are insufficient to appropriately take on these new challenges. We propose, instead, that our community considers a service design framing to complement what is already being done in HCI. We introduce the benefits and limitations of service design, and provide a few examples of how of service design framings have benefited HCI projects and products in the research and commercial domain. We show that a service framing offers a systemic approach, yields outcomes in the form of product service systems, and addresses economics as a core element of the design.


John Zimmerman is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment at the HCI Institute and the School of Design. He conducts research in three main areas. First, he investigates how to operationalize product attachment theory in the design of new interactive products and services. His work in this area has primarily focused on systems that help parents feel they are becoming the parents they desire to be through their interactions with a system. Second, he investigates service design for online and mobile-based services. His work in this area focuses on how the use of emerging technologies, such as crowdsourcing and machine learning, as well as the disruptive nature of smart phones creates new opportunities for innovation. Third, he investigates research through design, a type of research that involves making new things as a way to explore possible futures.

Jodi Forlizzi is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment at the HCI Institute and the School of Design. She conducts research on the user experience of technology, service design, and the design of social systems such as computer-based agents and robots. She has designed technology and services for companies including BodyMedia (recently purchased by Jawbone) and Disney. Many of these systems actively track the actions of individuals, and use the resulting data to create adaptive, personalized services that better meet customers’ needs.

Faculty Host: Brad Myers

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