What is Service Design?

Service Design looks at designing the end to end journey a customer will experience when purchasing and using a product or service.

“Service Design is a collaborative process for researching, envisaging, and then orchestrating experiences that happen over time and multiple touch points.” 
– Oliver King

What is Service Design? — CC Adaptive Path, A Guide to Service Blueprinting

What is a service?

Services are intangible economic goods — they lead to outcomes as opposed to physical things customers own.

Outcomes are generated by value exchanges that occur through mediums called touchpoints.

Why invest in Service Design?

  • Understanding an entire service ecosystem
  • Knowing who is experiencing the service
  • Learning the context in which service problems occur
  • Identify opportunities to improve services or products

The value of Service Design

  • Greater understanding of people and their experiences
  • Retain the customer perspective in the delivery of complex services
  • Drive all business decisions from the customers’ perspectives
  • Visualisation, customer journey mapping and scenario-making provides a richer understanding of the organisation
  • Co-create with customers to test, learn and to improve the service experience
  • The customer experience becomes an organisation-wide responsibility

Creating and improving services with Service Design

You can create value for organisations by ensuring Service Design is:

  1. User-centred
    Bringing customers into the process to build empathy.
  2. Co-created
    Improving the experience must involve employees and stakeholders.
  3. Sequenced
    The services need to be visualised as a sequence of related actions.
  4. Communicated
    Can an intangible service be visually communicated? A post-it sketch is worth a thousand words.
  5. Holistic
    The entire service environment should be considered.

If you’re interested in learning the skills needed to become a Service Designer, I recommend the Service Design course at Academy Xi.

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