Why Service Design Matters

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Not sure what Service Design is all about? Start with our article What is Service Design? by our very own Rich Ekelman for some background and key information about this exciting new design field.

Everything is Designed

There’s a growing awareness in the design community about how services are designed. “Service design” may sound like a strange pairing of words, but it’s actually a natural progression in the design process.

Think about it. Everything you use, every single day, was designed. But how does that actually matter to you, the human? How does it make your life any better? Or, in those oh-so-frustrating instances, make it worse? In essence, why should you care?

That’s where service design comes in.

Products, services and experiences are all organized into systems. And systems govern everything from how you wake up in the morning to how the country runs. And they need just as much thought, care and attention as everything else. In fact, with such an unprecedented surge of technology this past decade, and the influx of digital products and experiences that followed it, we need service design now more than ever.

It’s About Quality of Life

To lay our cards right out on the table, service design is the glue holding everything together. It’s what makes it possible to stay sane in an increasingly chaotic and confusing world. Ever stand at a service desk, waiting powerlessly while the agent taps on her keyboard, interacting with some unseen screen? That’s bad service design. Get caught bringing forms between different departments who for some reason can’t seem to cut through the bureaucracy and talk to each other? Bad service design again.

Service design provides structure and logic to experiences that might otherwise treat us as insiginficant cogs in the machine. It puts the human first, but in a way that’s perhaps a little less tangible or visible than traditional user experience or user-centered design.

Service Design, Heavy Emphasis on Design

What’s key here is to realize that Service Design *is* design, just like graphic, product, and web design before it. It’s just a different kind of design, making use of a totally different tool set. But don’t take it from us. Here, watch this quick two minute video from design consultancy Nile and delivered in a highly trustworthy British accent.

Got the bug? Come Join Us!

Interested in learning more about Service Design? Next week we’ll be hosting the Service Experience Chicago conference August 27–28 in Chicago. It features an engaging combination of talks and workshops to provide a unique educational and hands-on exposure to service design concepts like co-creation, designing culture, and innovation. All from speakers and panelists from companies and consultancies including Intuit, Fjord, gravitytank, Trunk Club and more.

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DESIGNATION is a proud sponsor of the conference, and CEO Aaron Fazulak is a conference co-organizer. Although ticket sales have officially closed, there’s still time to get in on the action. Just email Rich Ekelman, rich@designation.io, and let him know you’re interested in joining us!

We’ll dive into more service design topics in future posts, so stay tuned. If you want to meet up with fellow service design practictioners and enthusiasts, join the Service Design Chicago Meetup and its 350+ members for monthly presentations and networking or find the Service Design Meetup group in your city.

And if you’re really ready to take the next step, be sure to join us for our upcoming Part-Time Service Design program starting this winter!

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