About Us

We're Erik and Megan, and together we are the founders of Practical by Design... but wait! It wasn't always this way.

Origins

Hanging out in the early days...

This all started back in 2014 when we were two lonely practitioners, looking for answers about service design. A few meetings and whiteboards later, we decided that the world needed more practical ways to do some of these seemingly complex methods. And not only did we need to reinvent the methods, but we also needed to build a new community of practice world wide.

So in 2015 we launched Practical Service Design and the global community of practice in Slack in order to help educate, motivate, and integrate service design into practical work context. We wanted to advance the industry and help us support the next generation of service design.

Getting practical...

When we were first learning and applying service design, we both were frustrated with applying these methods and mindsets to our real work contexts . The concepts were difficult to translate, the methods were too abstract. We wanted something more practical that would be easier for people to understand, and truly generate actionable insights that turn into real work for the organization.

Service Experience Conference 2015

So we applied this practical mindset to service blueprinting, and released the first edition of The Guide to Practical Service Blueprinting, and our inaugural course on the same method in 2017. Since then, over 40,000 people world wide have benefited from The Practical Way and unlocked blueprinting in their organizations.

Fast forward to Practical by Design

Almost five years later, we're ready to take The Practical Way to the next level. We want to make design—and many other topics!—more accessible, more practical, and more teachable to others. We want to unlock the utility of so many seemingly complicated methods and tools and supercharge a revolution in how we work.

A vision for the future

But more than just making work more practical, we've seen the power of skills development as a stepping stone for career transformation. Over that past several years, we've connected with so many of you who have been on personal journeys in your careers—trying to unlock your own potential and level up your practice, changing the game.

We envision Practical by Design to be the home for career transformation through practical skills development. As we add more topics and courses, we want to help unlock seemingly challenging career path transformations, creating stepping stones that build on your personal skillsets to enable you to grow and transform your careers.

Our current courses are just the beginning, and we can't wait to realize this full vision for PBD.

Let's connect

We want to hear your story and connect. How are you using The Practical Way to transform your career? to change your organization? to do your best work? Feel free to reach out—we'd love to talk.

PRESENTATIONS

Blueprinting at Intuit
Google's "Sprints" Conference
Erik Flowers – November 28, 2017
San Francisco, CA

  • Slides (TBA)

Service Design Superpowers
STLX Conference
Erik Flowers – September 25, 2017
St. Louis, MO

Going Beyond the Product: Designing for Service
Design Week SF
Megan Erin Miller, Erik Flowers – June 20, 2017
San Francisco, CA

The Mysterious Craft of Qualitative Design Research
Design Week SF
Megan Erin Miller – June 15, 2017
San Francisco, CA

Getting Started in Service Design
Service Experience Chicago
Megan Erin Miller – August 25, 2016
Chicago, IL

Alone and Unafraid: Life in the Service Design Jungle
Service Experience Chicago
Erik Flowers – August 25, 2016
Chicago, IL

Speaker Panel
Service Experience Chicago 2016
Megan Miller – August 25th, 2016
Chicago, IL
Megan Miller, Adam Conner, Carolina Garzon

Making the leap: Building service design capability in yourself and your organization
Evolve UX
Megan Erin Miller – June 15, 2016
San Francisco, CA

A Journey through the Fifth Dimension: Turning customer pain points into service design opportunities
Evolve UX
Erik Flowers – June 15, 2016
San Francisco, CA

A Journey to Service Design
Adaptive Path Service Experience Conference 2015
Megan Erin Miller – November 16th, 2015
San Francisco, CA

Speaker Panel
Service Experience Chicago 2015
Erik Flowers – August 28th, 2015
Chicago, IL
Erik Flowers, Shelly Evenson, Diane Miller

Designing End-to-End Experiences: Why we need Service Experience Design
DrupalCon Los Angeles 2015
Megan Erin Miller – May 12, 2015
Los Angeles, CA

Designing End-to-End Experiences for University IT
University IT Summit Unconference
Megan Erin Miller – May 7, 2015
Palo Alto, CA

A Service Design Odyssey: Building Service Design Capability at Intuit
Adaptive Path Service Experience Conference 2014
Erik Flowers – November 14th, 2014
San Francisco, CA

Tools Not Templates
Bay Area Drupal Camp
Megan Erin Miller – November 7, 2014
San Francisco, CA

A Crash Course in Rapid Experimentation, Pt. 1 & 2
Tajriba User Experience Week
Erik Flowers – October 21st & 24th, 2014
Nairobi, Kenya (via Mountain View, CA)

Going Mobile as a Community: A Case Study from Stanford
CASCADE SF at Runway SF
Megan Erin Miller – September 4, 2013
San Francisco, CA

UX 101: The Purpose of User Experience Design & Prototyping 101: Looking Forward to Surprise
Tajriba User Experience Week
Erik Flowers – September 20, 2013
Nairobi, Kenya (via Salt Lake City, UT)

Design Thinking for Client Engagement
CASCADE SF
Megan Erin Miller – September 4, 2013
San Francisco, CA

Managing Expectations Through Tactile Limitations
Eyeo Festival 2013
Megan Erin Miller – June 5, 2013
Minneapolis, MN

WORKSHOPS

Practical Service Design Bootcamp
Service Design Week
Erik Flowers & Megan Erin Miller – November 6, 2017
Boston, MA

Life on the Working Ranch: Building a Service Design Toolkit
Service Experience Chicago
Erik Flowers & Megan Erin Miller – August 25, 2016
Chicago, IL

End to End, Surface to Core: Practical Service Blueprinting
Adaptive Path Service Experience Conference 2015
Erik Flowers & Megan Erin Miller – November 17th, 2015
San Francisco, CA

A Practical Introduction to Service Blueprinting - Workshop
Service Experience Chicago 2015
Erik Flowers – August 28th, 2015
Chicago, IL

With over 15 years of design and leadership experience, Megan practices and leads teams in a rigorous, data and empathy-driven design practice. She is passionate about talent development, and chases her purpose to connect, inspire, ignite, and empower others.

Erik is a 24 year veteran of working with technology and design to make new, novel and interesting things. Creative productivity with like-minded people is his obsession; he is driven to engage, entertain, and educate people with works of meaning and merit.