THE SERVICE DESIGN WAY
Revamp your design team and understand customers better with Luis Rodriguez’s Service Design guide
Luis Rodriguez shows you a new way of understanding your customers
Is service design more than just expensive brainstorming techniques? Readers of this magazine will probably ponder this – after all, not everyone has a leadership role in their design or product teams, and service design might sound like something for the stakeholders to philosophise about. “Better to get on with useful code and design techniques”, some might understandably suggest. However, brand and product experiences are influenced by outside factors, some of which are beyond the design team’s control. Therefore, to consider all potential customer touch points and avoid fragmenting into disjointed experiences, design teams can start thinking of themselves as holistic service delivery units with all members contributing valuable domain
knowledge such as business, marketing, design, code, server technologies and data systems. Service design creates opportunities for team collaboration as well as increasing the potential to successfully meet audience metrics or conversion and retention goals.
What does AI have to do with it?
The current rise in artificial intelligence and robotics is leading to the rethinking of, and sometimes the entire overhaul of, established product roadmaps and ecosystems, as well as their related user experiences, business logic, server infrastructures and data sources. These new paradigms lead to consumerfocused cognitive realms. Using service design as a discipline to account for the intersections of people, infrastructure, communication and physical components in planning and organising your product, results in a map or sequence of events and functions that effectively represent your product’s or organisation’s digital and physical interactions with its audiences. At the same time, it also offers an opportunity to generate ideas for innovation. Apart from honing a user-friendly and relevant product, service design can uncover ways for a company to stay competitive by aligning its capabilities to the service sustainably. Already, machine learning is making different media, data and transactions accessible in visual and auditory formats, pushing the boundaries of familiar human-computer interactions. This is encouraging designers to reframe current user experiences beyond traditional inputs and outputs to service.
Introduction to service design
Service design methods go hand in hand with tried and tested product design methods, while adding new facets to the design process. The different schools of thought generally converge around these general methods: ● Definition of actors (users) and actions (steps taken by users and behind the scenes) involved in the services that are being designed.
● Scenarios, use cases and sequences of actions and actors’ roles usually captured in a service blueprint.
● Components of the service, including people’s contextual information, interactions, technical systems, business logic and data sources. The variation in the methods above helps define the requirements for the product or service and its underlying system that supports it. They all, however, make wide use of anthropology and ethnography disciplines, including video-ethnography