Problematizing Evidence-Based Design: A Case Study of Designing for Services in the Finnish Government

Helena Sustar, Luke Feast

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


The increasing complexity of design problems and degree of innovation required of design solutions today has led many authors to claim that decision making in design should be based on strong scientific evidence. However, current models of evidence-based practice are too simplistic for design since they tend to focus only on evidence strength. We investigate the role of evidence in service design through analysing a case study of creating a service design solution to improve immigration services in the Finnish public sector. By using a conceptual framework that emphasises the impact of different kinds of evidence on knowledge as justified true belief, we illustrate some of the different roles that evidence can play within the design process. The insights from the study indicate that relevant evidence is more useful than strong evidence during the early phases of the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS2016
Subtitle of host publicationDesign + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking
EditorsLloyd Peter, Bohemia Erik
PublisherDesign Research Society
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventDesign Research Society International Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016
Conference number: 50

Publication series

NameProceedings of DRS2016
PublisherDesign Research Society
ISSN (Electronic)2398-3132


ConferenceDesign Research Society International Conference
Abbreviated titleDRS
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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