2 min readOct 21, 2022
post it notes and a key board on a desk with text overlaid saying so, what do you do for a living?

The question we are all so used to being asked.

Service design isn't always the easiest thing to quickly explain to someone at the pub or at a party.

My favourite response when I've said I'm a service designer and researcher is “ oh so you design service stations, like petrol stations?” To be fair if that was a project I was approached with to design further inclusive service stations I would love it!

Like many people, I often quote Lou Downe and say “Service design is the design of services”

However, I often feel like my work is less about actually designing a service and more about facilitating users' voices to be heard equally, enabling co-creation and ensuring that as many people's needs as possible can be met through the decisions being made. This all leads toward services being designed in an inclusive way so the term service design obviously does encapsulate this but words like facilitator and co-creator resonate much more.

I’m also sometimes referred to and sometimes introduce myself as an inclusive service designer and researcher — really the word inclusive shouldn't really need to be there as inclusive service design is just good service design.

Let me know if any of this resonates with you and how you like to describe what you do!

Big shout out to Emma Parnell for inspiring me to write more again.


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