Service Design has roots in the growth of the public sector in the 1990s. Along with the move to what is called “service economy”, innovation studies and policy debates have flourished to support the development of new understandings of innovation in the public sector. As a discipline, Service Design has emerged through a notion that products are not isolated entities, but rather part of a larger system of complex service network.
With a user-oriented approach, Service Design is generally about the design of solutions that improve the quality and the interaction between service providers and customers. It gives attention to all and every touch point of a journey that connects products and services towards a particular goal. A simple train trip, for example, contains a varying number of touch points that are seen as opportunities to be carefully studied and designed. In this example, different types of interactions that happen before, during and after the trip itself shape the customer’s experience of the whole journey. Rather than looking at channels (e.g. website, ticket machines, desk service, ticket agents) as isolated products, service designers care to design the relationship between them towards a complete experience.
At IT Product Design we engage users, public organisations and companies in co-creating products and services. More than craving for exhibition-like objects, we are interested in designing context-situated solutions that offer rich experiences to people. Within Service Design, this process includes methods like customer journey mappings, service blueprints, touch point matrixes, system maps, affinity diagrams, storyboards, role-playing and low fidelity prototyping as a way to understand how people experience existing services and to visualise new concepts.