An Introduction to Service Design
+ Service Design
What is Service Design?
Service Design is an approach to product development that works to ensure that a product or service will be easier to use, more useful and more desirable for the end-users. It takes place prior to product development to inform the direction of the product or service.
Service Design is actually a set of principles and methods that allow us to approach challenges by putting end-user and stakeholder needs at the center of the conversation. Using empathy research and discovery methods we can quickly dig deep into what frustrates a user, what employees need, and the underlying drivers and mental models of stakeholders.
This design approach to problem-solving and value creation results in a very human framework that pushes us to balance business viability and technological feasibility and adds the perspective that actually delivers value - desirability and usability. These last two attributes are defined by humans who are looking for the product and services they use to actually work for them in the right context and in accordance with the expectations they set.
Instead of simply talking about what exactly a client wants and how soon they want it, we ask the very human questions: Who is this for? What do you really need it for? What is the experience you expect and why is this important now? By defining success from the perspectives of employees, customers, clients and stakeholders, and not just the requirements and KPIs created in silos, we deliver real-world value.
Is Service Design a framework?
Service Design can follow many different frameworks. Wovenware’s approach is to combine human-centric design practices, like ethnographic research and prototyping with data, in order to identify the user and stakeholder needs, pains, goals and insights that shine a light on what will actually matter to them. We deliver these in usable and actionable ways to help business leaders and product teams make better decisions.
We believe that delivering exceptional digital experiences requires a holistic approach. We start by carefully crafting designs that focus on understanding user patterns, goals, and needs. But we don't stop there. We make sure that technology delivers in ways that users truly value.To achieve this, we bring together three methodologies - design, agile ways of working, and lean start-up principles. By combining these three, we create a powerful and efficient approach to service design that results in better outcomes for our clients.
What is the Service Design process?
Service design is a dynamic and iterative process that focuses on improving the overall customer experience. Unlike traditional problem-solving approaches, service design encourages users to continuously refine and enhance their solutions through an ongoing cycle of experimentation and feedback. At its core, service design is driven by a set of principles and methods that enable designers to understand, empathize with, and anticipate the needs of their customers. By combining these principles and methods, service designers can create solutions that are both effective and impactful, resulting in better experiences for customers and businesses alike. Whether you're looking to improve an existing service or create a brand new one, service design provides a powerful framework for innovation and growth.
At the core of design thinking are several key mindsets that service designers embrace in their work. One of these mindsets is leading with empathy, which involves understanding the needs, motivations, and behaviors of customers to create solutions that truly resonate with them. Another key mindset is multidisciplinary teamwork, which brings together individuals with diverse perspectives and expertise to create more comprehensive and effective solutions. In service design, framing and reframing challenges is also critical, as it helps designers to define and redefine problems in a way that is conducive to finding innovative solutions. Finally, service designers learn and test often through rapid prototyping and testing, which allows them to refine their solutions and incorporate feedback from customers along the way. By embracing these key mindsets, service designers can create solutions that not only meet the needs of customers but also drive business growth and success.
What is Design Immersion?
Before you even think about software development as a solution to a problem, you need to first immerse yourself in the situation: the business problem, the product vision, the experiences of users and other considerations. The idea is that every software application has a purpose or mission. By focusing on the purpose, you can develop a more holistic view of the requirements and better understand your users and stakeholders -- their workflows, barriers and unmet needs.
What do Service Design consultants do?
Service Design consultants are playing a growing role within software and AI creation, helping to ensure that projects take a human-centric approach by gathering input from all project stakeholders. They make sure that what is being created by software engineers and data scientists is actually what is needed by end-users.
Why does Service Design matter?
In a constantly changing world with rising user expectations, design is the differentiator. After all, tech companies often spend lots of money delivering something that sounds good in the boardroom, but in the market it’s not meeting expectations. By putting customer needs at the center of the focus, you’re not only improving the customer experience but you’re making sure you’re not throwing good money at bad projects that won’t resonate.
It's common to assume that adding service design to the front end of development may lead to additional costs and slow down progress. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, incorporating service design into the development process can actually accelerate time to market and reduce development time. Also, implementing design thinking early can save money, maximize sales, lift employee morale and deliver lasting customer satisfaction. When service design is not the starting point of a new product or service, the opposite may happen. Costs can escalate and the ability to make small pivots and work through problems later becomes nearly impossible.
Why is Service Design important today?
Technology investments can be quite costly today, and given a tighter focus on tech spend, it’s important to make sure that what you are creating is going to be used and provide a great customer experience. Beginning with Service Design helps you make sure you are building the right thing, before too much time and expenses are incurred.
What is human-centered Service Design?
Service Design should always follow a human-centric framework that places end users at the center of the design process — from requirements planning up front to making incremental changes after launch.
IBM was among the first companies to embrace the concept on a large scale. However, it has also been used effectively to foster a culture of innovation at such growth companies as Google, Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft. As design thinking today becomes more widespread, 38% of practitioners cite customer satisfaction as their top priority for implementing it, followed by better prioritization of business strategy and a reduction of time to market.
What is the goal of Service Design?
The goal of Service Design is to help reduce risk in the software development process, by ensuring that the solution you are creating will meet all users’ needs and address their specific frustrations and pain points. Implementing Service Design early in the process can save money, maximize sales, lift employee morale and deliver lasting customer satisfaction.
What is a Service Design model?
A Service Design model is a custom framework that enables us to craft seamless digital experiences through a design process that focuses on understanding users’ work patterns and behaviors, goals and needs and then ensuring that software delivers in a human-centric, intuitive way – in terms of both the user experience and the user interface. From interactions, screens and wireframes, to user testing and heuristic reviews we continuously refine our Service DEsign model to ensure we’re building the right solutions to meet customer needs.
What companies use Service Design?
Companies in a variety of industries can benefit from Service Design, which uses technology, science and empathetic principles to improve user experiences across the user journey. While it’s often associated with technology products, Service Design principles can be applied to any service or product that humans interact with – from streaming or ride-hailing services, to cars or consumer appliances.
Other value content that users can find
Hey there! My name is Linda Savage, and as a Wovenware Brand Ambassador, I’m always in search of the most insightful and thought-provoking blogs about software development. In order to help you find the best resources, I have curated a list of must-read blogs that cover a wide range of topics related to this field. These blogs are perfect for both experts in software development and those who are just starting out. You won't want to miss out on these must-read blogs!
Wovenware Brand Ambassador
Why Companies Need Service Design: The Benefits of Implementing a Service Design Strategy
+ Service Design Benefits for Companies
How do companies use Service Design?
Companies use Service Design to jumpstart their digital transformation initiatives by understanding the voice of their customers and employees and tying this knowledge to their business operations, capabilities, and goals. By leveraging the principles of service design, companies can create solutions that not only meet the needs of their customers but also align with their strategic objectives. Service design enables companies to take a holistic view of their operations and identify opportunities to improve the customer experience, streamline processes, and reduce costs. By focusing on the intersection of business and user needs, service design helps companies to design solutions that are not only effective but also profitable. Whether companies are looking to create new services or improve existing ones, service design provides a powerful framework for innovation and growth.
Why do companies need Service Design?
Implementing design thinking early can save money, maximize sales, lift employee morale and deliver lasting customer satisfaction. When Service Design is not the starting point of a new product or service, the opposite may happen. Costs can escalate and the ability to make small pivots and work through problems later becomes nearly impossible.
How can a business start with Service Design?
Organizations can benefit by working with an experienced integrated service design company that provides the full spectrum of Service Design, as well as software engineering and AI services. Questions to ask potential partners, include:
- Background. What are the skills of each team member who will be working on my project? If Agile is employed, make sure a Scrum master is in charge, and the team is well balanced with analysts, architects, developers, QA professionals and designers with UI/UX skills.
- Design Thinking. How is design thinking incorporated into your development process? What priority do you place on the user experience? Great design leaders have strong UI/UX backgrounds, and many have certifications from top universities.
- User Involvement. What is your process for involving stakeholders, including business owners, employees and customers? Do you produce wireframes to test various approaches? How do you ensure your process is working to enhance the user experience?
- Prototypes. How much time do you need to deliver working prototypes? Top Scrum shops typically work in sprints of two to four weeks with a goal of producing a working product prototype to stakeholders at the end of each period.
- Collaboration. How do your team members communicate with each other? What systems do they use to collaborate with business and other stakeholders?
What are the deliverables for a Service Design consultancy?
Service Design consultancies work closely with their customers to ensure that product creation is informed and integrated with the voice of the customer, as well as all stakeholders to ensure that what is being created is exactly what is needed. Through workshops, forums, discussions and research, service design consultants provide customers with a summary and analysis of the feedback it receives from all stakeholders to get to the root of the business problem that needs to be resolved and the strategies for achieving success.
How does Service Design work to drive innovation?
Service Design leverages the power of collaboration across all project stakeholders, as well as UX professionals, software engineers and data scientists to work together to provide a solution to a business problem. This is also how innovation happens – brainstorming solutions to problems and working together to realize the vision.
How has design thinking led to innovative products and services?
Design thinking is the key to success for some of the most high-profile services and products - from the Apple iPhone to Netflix streaming services. Since it focuses on the very people who will be using the service or product, it carefully gets to the heart of their business challenges and allows designers to walk a mile in their shoes and together, ideate unique solutions. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, “To be successful, an innovation process must deliver three things: superior solutions, lower risks and costs of change, and employee buy-in.” Design thinking enables all three of these requirements by putting humans front and center in the process.
Do you want to know more about Service Design?
These are our favorite blog recommendations.
Branding is Important. But the Real Showstopper is User Experience
The article discusses the rebranding of a Puerto Rican cinema chain and how branding is more than just color, logo, and aesthetics. It is the overall experience that customers have with a brand, including the digital experience.
Setting Sail Into 2022: The Year of Human-Centric Everything
The article discusses the emerging trends that are driving the shift towards Human-Centric Everything in the field of digital transformation. It identifies five major shifts of change that are impacting digital transformation in 2022, all of which are driven by the human experience.
Digital Transformation Doesn’t Need to Fall to Great Resignation
This blog discusses the IT talent shortage and how the great resignation is exacerbating the problem, and offers five tips for companies to retain valuable employees and address the issue, with Wovenware offering solutions to fill in the gaps.
Jumpstart Your Service Design Journey: Tips for Beginners
+ How to Get Started with Service Design
How should I choose where to contract a Service Design consultancy?
There are many options when deciding where to select a Service Design partner, but many companies are turning to Puerto Rico. It’s unique to Latin America in that it’s a U.S. territory, so people share cultures from the States and LatAm equally. The island is also governed by U.S. federal law, making it an onshore destination in a nearshore location. Also, when it comes to the collaborative nature of Service Design, Puerto Rico is often in the same time zone, with the same culture, language and lower costs than many other firms on the mainland. In addition, the population in Puerto Rico is bilingual in English and Spanish, allowing people to communicate effectively with everyone
How do I choose between outsourcing or in-house for a Service Design project?
Service Design involves some very specific skills and it can be difficult to find the right talent in a full-time employee (FTE). When you work with an outsourced Service Design provider, you not only get the right expertise, but you only pay as you go without having to maintain an FTE. In addition, it can be difficult for end-users, company stakeholders and others to confide directly with you, having a third-party uncover their frustrations and needs can be more effective and gather honest feedback.
How do I structure a Service Design team?
First and foremost, team members are creative, lateral thinkers who contribute their diverse skills to every project. On the technology side, team members frequently include system architects, programmers, data scientists and cloud development specialists. Design thinking leaders steer projects toward successful outcomes from the start. They help developers empathize with users, pinpoint unique business challenges and find innovative ways to address them. Nearly all service designers have strong UI/UX backgrounds, and like any effective group, they can be an eclectic mix, bringing to the team their experiences in related fields such as business, industrial psychology and anthropology.
How can Service Design help improve business processes?
Design Thinking as a set of principles allows us to approach challenges by putting end-user and stakeholder needs at the center of the conversation. Using empathy research and discovery methods we can quickly dig deep into what frustrates a user, what employees need, and the underlying drivers of all stakeholders. Often, this means that the solution to meeting the needs is a change in processes, which can only be discovered through this human-centric focus.
Where do service designers fit within an organization?
Service designers are integral to the development and delivery process. They work closely with development teams, as well as sales and marketing and other teams. The goal is to help clients define the overall customer experience that is needed to successfully compete in their respective markets. They uncover what is currently happening, focus on the key areas of opportunity and design innovative ideas that delight users and differentiate businesses. All of this is communicated to development teams that make those ideas reality.
Advanced Service Design Techniques: Taking Your Strategy to the Next Level
+ Deeper Dive into Service Design
What are the main stages of the Service Design Lifecycle?
Phase 1: The first phase involves gaining insight into the problem through research. The team conducts user interviews, mines existing data, performs mind-mapping exercises, reviews user stories and interprets the findings. It explores the user challenges in informal meetings and absorbs as much as it can. Toward the end of this discovery phase, areas of opportunity are identified, and everyone aligns on what will be developed.
Phase 2: In this phase, the process shifts to designing potential solutions and refining approaches that provide the best outcomes. Ideas are brainstormed and user flows are considered. Journey maps are created, along with wireframes that envision how the user interface will work and prototypes are created.
Phase 3: In the third phase, the software architecture and engineering teams create the software and solutions whose requirements are now well understood. The work typically proceeds in sprints: typically, one week in development; one week for integration and testing; and one week for QA, iteration and refinement.
Phase 4: Once new solutions are launched, it doesn’t end there. Real user data is collected to make incremental improvements.
Who should be involved in the Service Design process?
Getting to the heart of the business problem and brainstorming ways to solve it can be accomplished with formal guided sessions attended by all company stakeholders, including employees, end-users and partners. Often, stakeholders clearly know what their frustrations and paint points are but have no idea how to solve them, and that’s where the design technology professionals come in. By listening attentively, and playing the role of both technologist and psychiatrist in many cases, design experience experts can uncover the technology solution that can address the problem.
What are personas and why are they an integral part of Service Design?
A persona is a fictional character created to represent a common user type with typical attributes that might use a product, service or solution in a similar way. What is key to Service Design is involving actual users to get to the heart of their likes, dislikes, frustrations and needs, yet personas play a key role in helping to identify key solutions that have a high rate of appealing to specific user types.
How do you use Service Design to root out an end-user need?
The design approach to problem-solving enables companies to balance business viability and digital solutions with very real end-user attributes: desirability and usability. To get to the root of this, you need to ask a customer, who is this for, what do you need it to accomplish, what is the experience you expect and why is this important now? By defining success from the perspectives of stakeholders, and not just the requirements and KPIs created in silos, we deliver real-world value.
What is emotional design and how does it relate to Service Design?
Emotional design anticipates user needs and responses as they interact with your solutions or services. It can be a subconscious thing, where they may not even realize what is making them happy or fulfilled. Service Design gets to the heart of what brings out positive user emotions so that they are built into the solutions created.
Is good data integral to Service Design?
Data and design are increasingly viewed as a power couple. Data is all about the numbers. Design is about ferreting out what people want and will use. As more data is collected and analyzed about field usage, a regular stream of UX design tweaks and product features can be added to reinforce brand loyalty, attract new customers and ultimately provide valuable insights.