How do I know? I am the Director of one.

Machine hand chases piggy bank
Machine hand chases piggy bank

I am a service designer with a background in UX, UI, and graphic design. I have 7 years of working experience, and I have been working in fintech for most of it. I am currently the director of FlexTogether, the social purpose arm of fintech Flex. I have worked for 3 different organizations that have tried or are currently trying to give vulnerable communities the financial services they deserve. This article is only about my general experience as a person working in the fintech industry, I am not referring to any one person specifically. …


and what to do about it

In order to be inclusive of the nuances in the gender spectrum, I will be using the term ‘trans*’ to refer to any person falling under the non-cisgender spectrum. One must also remember that identity is not one-faceted — trans* people are people of colour, with ‘disabilities’ (this term being problematic in itself), in older age, and an infinite array of nuances of what it simply means to be a person. Each study outlines the specific demographics of their surveys and statistics.
To clarify the writer’s positionality — I am a white, European, trans*, neurodiverse, middle class individual.

Swirls of colour merge together
Swirls of colour merge together
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Being part…


Bitesize Dissertation | Part 7

Shapes intertwine against a yellow background, making a geometric pattern
Shapes intertwine against a yellow background, making a geometric pattern
Illustration by Kas Moreno Madrigal

Whilst the key purpose of Service Design (SD) is to fulfil customer needs, the positionality of the service designer is taken for granted in the process of accomplishing this task.

There is a clear relationship in the nature of SD between service designers and customers — they (the customer) hold the potential to enable practitioners to create a great service, and it is the designer’s job to unlock it. Learning how to do Service Design (SD) implies going through methodologies of how to manage and incite this information from the customer and consequently turn it into something meaningful.

There is…


Bitesize Dissertation | Part 6

Shapes intertwine against a yellow background, making a geometric pattern
Shapes intertwine against a yellow background, making a geometric pattern
Illustration by Kas Moreno Madrigal

The Service Design (SD) discipline is a shape-shifter concept, and therein lies its strength (Buchanan, 2001; Stickdown and Schneiner, 2019; Iqbal 2018). Whilst there seems to be a general understanding of what ‘Service Design’ means amongst practitioners and academics, there is no consensus for a single definition. Much like gender, it is largely dependent on the experience of the individual, however, like gender, some definitions are more accepted than others. Some common definitions are:

‘Service design is a system for visualising this phenomenon [the marketing of products and services], so that services can be given proper position and weight in…


A study on the inequality of the music industry, the origin of the internet and its disrupting services with ONE solution

The illustration of a dog listening to a megaphone playing music, but instead of notes lines of code come out of the machine
The illustration of a dog listening to a megaphone playing music, but instead of notes lines of code come out of the machine
Illustration by Kas Moreno Madrigal

Within the context of this brief, we were asked to identify a ‘disrupted’ market — by the appearance of internet giants — and develop ‘an incumbent service’ to create non-zero-sum games, where all parties are ‘winners’ (instead of our current system, where inequality is a keen and painful reality). Our area of research was the music industry, and specifically the streaming platform Spotify. Nevertheless, within this brief, there are a series of assumptions that need to be unpacked. Firstly in regards to the meaning of disruption within business.

This project was a team effort. The amazing and talented members include…


The map shows two crucial pieces of information. Firstly, the types of algorithms Spotify uses. Secondly, how these create, pass on or filter data based within their wider system, record labels and the internet.

Bubbles and lines are interconnected in a ‘mind map’
Bubbles and lines are interconnected in a ‘mind map’

Firstly, the filtering algorithms in Spotify are 3 — natural language processing, collaborative filtering and audio analysis.

Two of them, natural language processing and audio analysis are mechanical. Natural language processing tracks news articles, blogs, and other texts around the internet, which we already know, is a filtered environment. It simply analyses your language or location, and so it assumes that because you live in a certain country you would like a specific kind of music. It makes assumptions based on your culture, and the culture that the internet creates. Raw audio model analysis looks at things like key, mode, tempo or loudness, since when Spotify creates playlists they all have to sound a similar way.

However…


Illustration by Kas Moreno Madrigal

Bitesize Dissertation | Part 3

Change is an organic state for companies, Judith Wainwright, director of management consultancy Bluestone with 30 years experience in management says ‘Just being an organisation is a constant process of change.’ (Wainwright, 2020, Zoom interview) This takes us to the next step of this concept analysis, companies are simply one more example of organisations. Which begs the question — what is an organisation?. ‘Organisation’ comes from the Latin organum “instrument”, indicating its usefulness. What’s more, it also means ‘organ’, understood both as a musical instrument and a part of the body (Online Etymology Dictionary, 2020, etymonline.com). It is fair to…


Bitesize Dissertation | Part 4

Pattern in shades of purple that plays with optical illussions
Pattern in shades of purple that plays with optical illussions
Illustration by Kas Moreno Madrigal

There are an array of business cases made in favour of inclusivity and diversity since the 1970s, particularly in the workplace. Renown business groups such as the Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, and Harvard Business Review amongst others, have released studies and articles showing with clear data how diversity promotes creativity in the workplace and has a real positive effect on ‘the bottom line’. Innovation revenue increases from 26% to 45% (Lorenzo et al, 2018, bcg.com) in diverse teams; workplaces with unfriendly work environments have a declining engagement of 30% (Thoroughgood et al, 2020, hbr.org). …


Pattern in shades of purple that plays with optical illussions
Pattern in shades of purple that plays with optical illussions
Illustration by Kas Moreno Madrigal

Bitesize Dissertation | Part 5

In this dissertation the world ‘self’ has been used, so far, rather lightly, in order to refer to the identification of individuals and societies. And whilst I do believe that there is a common understanding of the word, it is pertinent to create a theoretical framework in which to delve deeper into the self, identity and gender in the 21st century, specifically concentrating on European and Western history as the base for the ‘self’ in the United Kingdom today. Hence we enter into the second part of the research question.

Answering ‘what is the self’ has been the lifelong study…


This exercise was created as a way of provoking and challenging assumptions of climate change. It was designed for the sustainability workshop involving Ravensbourne University.

The following exercise is a thought provoking test to correlate personal values with sustainability systems.

In her book ‘Doughnut economics’ Kate Raworth speaks of the importance of visual references as a way to spark change — ‘words are processed by our short term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information, images on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory’ (Raworth, 2017, p.13). Furthermore, speculative design uses the power of stories and ‘what if’questions to provoke our imagination.The power of future-proofing through this method of visual and non visual storytelling is well-founded and it inspires the core of this exercise:

Years have passed, the world was shaken by COVID19 and key…

Kas Moreno Madrigal

Service Design, Business Design, Organisational Design. They/them

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