Do you remember last time when you felt surprisingly happy about that cafe you visited or a mall you went to, may be that crowded bus station you visited in some foreign country but you moving around the same was piece of cake. When I started thinking about why we like some environments and some services against why we hate some, I realised that some places make you feel extremely comfortable because the experiences there are designed around human behaviour. I felt the same when I visited Starbucks coffee for the first time, that made me think that how can we add creative flair to the environments in which we function and enhance the experience of that place. That is when I got to know about Service Design.
What is Service Design
Most design disciplines draw from other areas and fields. Technology, cognitive science and aesthetics all contribute to design as we know it today. Service design, a more recent application of design expertise, is no different. The field draws on many concepts, ranging from user experience, marketing and project management in order to optimize new services
It is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers. We have thousands of management schools in India when the pressing need is for the creation of experts who can innovate great services across a huge number of sectors of our economy. Starbucks, the airline check-in system, comprehensive branding systems, shipping processes, patient-care systems are few excellent examples where the aspect of service design has given much importance
Why does Service Design even exist?
Service design is critical to customer experience (CX). User experience primarily focuses on the design and development of digital interactions. Today, this typically means websites, mobile phones, and tablets. UX can also include touchpoints like kiosks, desktop software, or interactive voice response systems. Service design is all about taking a service and making it meet the user’s and customer’s needs for that service. It improves an existing service or creates a new service from scratch. Service Design exists because its of utmost importance that services should be designed based on
- A genuine comprehension of the purpose of the service, the demand for the service and the ability of the service provider to deliver that service.
- Customer needs rather than the internal needs of the business.
- Motif of designing and delivering a unified and efficient system rather than component-by-component. Because it can lead to poor overall service performance.
- Creating value for users and customers and to be as efficient as possible.
- Understanding that special events (those that cause variation in general processes) will be treated as common events (and processes designed to accommodate them)
- Primarily taking input from the users of the service
- The principle of developing a prototype before being developed in full
- Services must be designed in conjunction with a clear business case and mode
The ‘Service Design’ academics
4+ year of professional education is a prerequisite. Either bachelor’s or 3+2 years of education after Masters from any stream is convinient. But one must be equipped with keen eye to detail and creative mind. Best possibilities if one has bachelors from creative field such as Design or Arts.
A Service Designer must have following
Empathy is the key to become a great Service Designer. In order to solve wicked social problems impacting behaviour of masses to large scale one should have that ability to connect with people’s emotions. One should be able to step into other’s shoe, customer’s or the service user’s, to become a great service designer. Also, logical reasoning is of the essential abilities. As mentioned above, service design is nothing but giving solutions. The solutions has be logical, practical, executable and most importantly innovative. Communication skills are the must. The service designer should be able to communicate his/her concepts and ideas with his clientele.