Service Design 2011

Service design for corporates vs NGOs – is there a difference?

Dr Melis Senova

NGOs and companies have a lot in common, but they think they are very different. In some cases they absolutely are and in some cases they are not. We have worked with several NGOs and several corporations and realised that each service design projects needed differing approaches and ways of thinking.

We found similarities in the cultures of corporations, regardless of sector or industry, and similarities in the cultures of NGOs, also regardless of sector or industry. But they were very different from each other. These cultural differences made certain approaches more appealing than others and of course, they differed between the two groups. The language that was spoken was also different: NGOs don’t have customers and corporations don’t have supporters. NGOs deal with supporter journeys that are personal and part of something greater than themselves and corporations have customer journeys that are focussed externally on the acquisition of goods and services.

We will be discussing these projects in some detail focussing mainly on the areas that were different and those that were the same. We will also share with you some of our blooper reels and examples of what not to do.

Dr Melis Senova is the co-founder and director of Huddle design, an agency based in Melbourne whose purpose is to positively affect humanity through service design.


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Dr Melis Senova