Service designers know that change needs many steps

The Kübler-Ross Change Curve shows how as humans we deal with changes in our lives.

A last good model that helps to deal with uncertainty is the Kübler-Ross model. This one is used by many change management and service design consultants.

It shows the different steps we have to go through when a change occurs and how we need to adapt to it. 

How it works

The model is composed of seven steps.

  1. The first one is the shock 😵. When change happens, you are at first surprised and disturbed by it.
  2. The second step is denial ✋. You keep looking for evidence that it isn’t true. 
  3. Then comes frustration 😤 as the third step. You recognize that things are different and that might make you a little angry. 
  4. The fourth and lowest point is depression 😞. Your mood is low and you lack energy. As times passes, your attitude toward the new situation changes. 
  5. That’s when the fifth steps comes in: experiment 🙄. You start to engage with the new situation or reality. 
  6. After that, in the sixth step comes the decision ✅. You are learning how to work in this new situation. You start to feel more comfortable and positive. 
  7. Finally, in the seventh and last step, integration 🤗 happens. The changes are totally integrated into you. In a way, you are now a renewed individual.

Why service designers use it

Here again, what is interesting to me is that this model helps service designers and their clients explain what they are feeling now and what might happen after

When you are in a project and you’ve just learned that your solution doesn’t work at all, it is totally normal for you to be shocked at first, disbelieving of what people tell you, then angry, and so on. You have to go through the many steps of the change curve.