service design
In this Ferris Wheel episode, I speak with Peter Merholz, the co-founder of Adaptive Path. I deconstruct his thinking on user centered vs service design, get him to share his biggest learnings and more.

The field of design has changed a lot in the last two decades. User centered design is no longer unorthodox. That said, there are a lot of things that happened in the last two decades that led to the way we look at products and design today. Today, we talk about design in the C-level and the design executive. What better than sitting with a designer and design executive to know more? In this episode, we speak about:

  • What is unorthodox design and how it’s changed over the years?
  • How the design is practiced at the organizational level.
  • Aligning of product, design and marketing teams in the new design-led organizations
  • Who have influenced our guest in his formative years and why he thinks the way he thinks.

Who is Peter Merholz?

Peter Merholz co-founded Adaptive Path in 2001. He was instrumental in AP’s growth from a small boutique firm to a renowned international consultancy. At the start of the year he became the VP of Design for Snagajob, a leading marketplace for hourly workers. He leads design for product/UX, marketing, and brand, all within the framework of designing delightful end-to-end service experiences. Previously, he lead design at Groupon, doubling the team from 30 to 60, and was instrumental in the first redesign of since the company launched.

He co-authored Org Design for Design Orgs, a book on building in-house design organizations. Peter is also perhaps most (in)famous for coining the word “blog” in 1999. Really. In the OED and everything. Since then, he’s been blogging continuously at

What you will learn – User Centered Design, Learnings and more!

  1. Could you quickly talk about yourself and how it all started a couple of decades ago?
  2. Who in your mind are the most unorthodox designers?
    • Why? What do you think of them?
  3. Who you think are the most impressive, lesser-known teachers in the product design space?
  4. What makes you different from other designers in the product design space?
    • Who are the people that’ve influenced you the most?

To be continued in Episode129.

Useful Links

Join DYT Insider

DYT Insider is our newsletter program. I share episodes, my best work on product and design and give away my best ebooks and other resources for free so you can download them and read at your own pace. Join me here.

Getting Started & Resources

  • Tiny Book Of Triggers for actionable triggers to learn fresh new Product Management & Design skills & more. (click here to download)
  • Get Started with Design Your Thinking (click here)
  • Handpicked Resources (click here)

Struggling To Sell Your Online Course or Membership?

Download the Irresistible Offer Playbook to learn my three-part, step-by-step process to creating highly irresistible offers that will get people to shut their brains, open their hearts, and surrender their wallets!

Irresistible Offer Playbook