Quick prototype sketches of support being provided around key life moments

Design for people at the worst and best moments of their lives

charley.pothecary

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We interact with so many different services from delivery updates to subscription renewals to various purchasing interactions every day. Services are there throughout everything, when we are feeling great and when we are feeling awful. No matter what, we still have to interact with them.

Our lives are messy, do our services acknowledge this or do they expect us to be a customer just ready and waiting to interact with a service? How often are services designed for people who might just be having one of the best — or worst — moments of their lives? As designers, we tend to create journeys that cater for either happy or unhappy users, but are we doing enough to think about how they really feel?

Design to support key life events

There are critical life events that many of us go through — starting a new job, getting a pet, having children, becoming ill, or losing a loved one. Services don’t often have interactions to support or recognise that you might be experiencing one of these often emotional events. Yet they have an enormous impact on how we can interact with a service, the information we are able to take in, and the decisions we make.

Death is one of those pivotal events that aren’t often factored into service design, despite its inevitability. Too often, there are situations where people cannot close down their deceased loved ones accounts, as they don’t have all of the proof of identity that they need. Too often, a customer service representative doesn’t know what to do when faced with a customer’s death.

Building a better service for everyone

When you design for someone in the worst moments of their lives, you are also designing for someone in the happiest moment of their lives. Suppose you strive to make the service experience as easy and seamless as possible for those navigating a crisis, creating a clear journey so they understand what they need to do, and give them a sense of control. In that case, you will have made a better service for everyone.

The past year has unfortunately taught us all so much more about how difficult life can be. However, we can harness this experience to ensure our services are better equipped to help users deal with some of the key difficult or brilliant moments in their lives.

Does your service support people through these pivotal life moments?

If you would like to improve your service experience no matter what someone is going through, please get in touch with Inclusively.

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charley.pothecary

Making and improving things to enhance lives. Inclusive Service Designer and founder at @Inclusively_, also a @ServiceLabLDN organiser.