On Monday of this past week I started work at the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC is responsible for registering people who work in social services and regulating their education and training) as Communication and Engagement Designer. Good title, eh?!
In practice it means that I will have a hand in a variety of communications using design based methodology, commonly categorised by the term Service Design (although you may also come across terms such as, Social Design, Social Innovation, Human Centred Design, Improvement Science, Collaboratives, etc., which share the same or very similar approaches).
I use the term ‘Service Design‘ for the lack of a better alternative. The designer doesn’t produce ‘new services’ on his/her own but instead relies upon the expert knowledge of whoever he collaborates with. The designer’s role is to introduce and facilitate the design process to the project. Methods and tools can vary from designer to designer but the essentially it is the collaboration, or co-design process, that can lead to a measure of success.
SSSC is an organisation that I have been working with now for many months.
Back in September 2012 I volunteered as a visualiser for two days at their Workforce of the Future Challenge. Shortly after I was employed in a freelance capacity to co-ordinate workshops designed to ‘polish’ the final ideas (with support from a team of very able DJCAD designers who had also attended the the Workforce challenge). You can read more about it here.
So now I’m actually through the door, working 3 days a week. (so ‘Playful Communications’ remains active for at least two days a week).
Challenges are always appealing and this role is charged with possibilities! The chance to work with an organisation as open as SSSC is to adopt these (relatively) new practices as part of their operations and strategy, is rare. It’s very exciting!