Service Design Melbourne

Scaffolding Innovation through Human-Centred Design

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By Jacqueline Wechsler

10th European Academy of Design Conference – Crafting the Future


Businesses and governments globally are turning to design as a way to facilitate sustainable economic, social and environmental innovation. Strategic design consultancies are popping up all over the world to help organisations innovate through design and the popular business press is reflecting this trend with an increasing number of related publications. There is a growing demand for design professionals to fulfil an increasing number of emergent design roles such as the service designer, the design strategist and the experience designer to cater for the demand for strategic design capability. Many of these emergent design disciplines use a human-centred design approach to enable incremental innovation through the design and delivery of improved services to recipients. The creation and use of design representations or artefacts are essential within this process. Using examples from a recent design project, this paper will describe how some specific design artefacts were used to scaffold innovation within a large commercial organisation within a human-centred design project. It will discuss the rationale for the creation of the artefacts by the designer as well as how they were received by members of the organisation. It is hoped that this paper will inspire design practitioners to consider their deliverables as a mechanism to support innovation projects within the organisation.

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