What is service design? The Service Design Network defines the term as such:
Service design is all about making the service you deliver useful, usable, efficient, effective and desirable
Service design is a growing discipline, and has emerged from a need to design for people rather than systems. When I was at university, my curriculum was renamed almost every year: Experience design, Human centered service design, Integrated experience design…. and more. The reason for this dynamic name changing was due to the fact that it still very much evolving as a discipline. It is gaining momentum as organizations start to realize the value that it brings to their customers. At the end of the day, the core principle is unbeatable: to design an experience a person has with a given product, brand, or service.
If two coffee shops that are located right next to each other offer the same coffee at the same price, why would you choose one over the other? Because of service design.
Let’s take a look at a little case study on how it applies to UX (user experience as applied to software and applications).
It’s date night. My boyfriend has booked a table for us at a lovely restaurant, and I am to meet him there. Now here comes my first problem statement in this experience: how do I get there? My options appear to be as such:
- Book in advance taxi
- Hailo app
A taxi can be unreliable as I may not find one on the road. I also feel the pressure to use cash, which limits my payment options and leaves me with the possibility of carrying change around.
A book in advance taxi tends to be more expensive, I need to forward plan and can’t leave it to the last minute, and it can get muddy with payment options.
Hailo, I can open the application at any time, view the availability and proximity of the nearest car. I can watch the progress and get alerts. The experience is catered to me… the user.
In conclusion, it pays to invest in understanding how someone would use a given brand, product or service. It is important to design around the people’s needs to ultimately create a product that improves an experience.