Process redesign is a popular term in organizational research indicating a practice aimed at adapting processes to the increasing social and technological changes affecting everyday work. In this frame, communication design is confronted with a demand of new approaches and tools to represent organizational processes, engaging different perspectives and connecting various levels of information, to support researchers, analysts, and managers in their analysis and inquiry activity.
The thesis explores the research area surrounding organizational processes, involving knowledge from various fields, including complexity science, organizational theory, information systems and information visualization, to recognize a dearth in the engagement of communication design.
Two different experimental contexts, focusing on the design of visual interfaces for the investigation of innovation processes and business process comparison, are presented and discussed in detail. The resulting visualizations enabled the exploration of multiple organizational perspectives, providing analysts and stakeholders with tools to observe, compare and manipulate different types of process data. A designerly approach to process modeling and representation has been also presented for the two cases to cater to process visualization research.
Exploring the disciplinary intersections, as well as the results observed in the interaction with scholars and stakeholders across the experimentation, communication design emerges as capable of providing essential theoretical and methodological contributions to the definition of new process design practices.
The initial concept of redesign is therefore redefined and articulated to describe the ability of visual representations of reframing thoughts, signs and techniques to foster the circulation of knowledge among the different actors to support process design. In this frame design is envisaged no more as a product or a service, but as a discipline to join the research network through the creation of design-based communities of organizational inquiry.