Service Design will help you create new services and improve existing ones by focusing on customer needs in conjunction with your own capabilities (including the technology).
What is Service Design?
Put simply, Service Design is the process of designing services. It can be broken into two ‘sides’:
Analysing existing services and creating new services by focusing on customers and how to best meet their needs.
Taking into account the service provider’s capabilities to ensure the best service possible is created and delivered. This side of the equation uses a multi-faceted approach, looking at people, infrastructure and communication.
Why should you be interested?
We are ALL service providers. The building blocks of any great service experience are the designed interactions from first to last impression. Not all service touch points are created equal, but considered and measured service design can turn your customers and users into advocates.
How can you benefit?
Service Design helps you design services that are needed/wanted and that you’re capable of delivering. This balanced approach can ultimately save you time and money and help you deliver a better solution. Because of its customer focus, Service Design is also another way to keep you focused on your end users.
For our government clients, Service Design has the added benefit of ensuring a digital project adheres to the DTA’s Digital Service Standard, particularly Number 1: Understand user needs and Number 3: Agile and user-centred process. Number 4: Understand tools and systems also comes into play, as the tools and systems form part of the agency’s infrastructure, of the service provider’s capabilities.
The Service Design Network’s Impact Report: Public Sector provides a great example of service design in action in government. The Work and Health Project looked at people on long-term sickness benefits and designed a service to help them get back to work. They set up work and health coaches who work across non-health services and liaise with recipient’s employers. They prototyped the service by creating a Work & Health book and the project resulted in the creation of the Work & Health Unit.
Another very interesting application is Team Rubicon Global. Team Rubicon started in 2010 when a group of US veterans went to Haiti to help relief workers after the earthquake. Team Rubicon used service design to expands its services and create Team Rubicon Global. The project was the runner up for the Service Design Award at the 2016 Core 77 Design Awards.
If you want to find out more about Service Design, I recommend these links:
Service Design Toolkit (this one originated in Europe but it’s been translated into English)
The principles of Service Design (article from The Interaction Design Foundation)
Service Design will help keep you focused on your end users and designing the best possible digital solutions for them.
Design Thinking blog series
User Research (#3)
Empathy Maps (#4)