Service design is the act of designing, aligning and optimizing an organization’s operations to better support customer journeys, which results in an improved experience for both users and employees. Service Design analyzes the workflows and procedures performed throughout a service.
But it also looks at the people involved in the creation or use of the service and props like physical spaces or digital environments. As UX professionals, we’ve gotten quite good at recognizing the need to observe users and understand their needs. But if that’s the case, then why do we need to practice service design? Well, in many organizations, teams work in silos and that means departments like sales, product, marketing and support are communicating about the holistic customer experience. And even if each team understands their user in isolation, they’re likely not paying much attention to the experience of one user across many touch points.
These knowledge gaps can result in inconsistencies and user pain points. With that being said, service design helps bridge organizational gaps by surfacing conflicts like misalignment between the business models and the service the organization delivers, fostering hard conversations like overhauling archaic policies and procedures, reducing redundancies by defining where duplicate efforts occur and redesigning them and forming relationships by facilitating discussions across departments and creating a shared understanding service design helps us manage and diagnose existing services or compose completely new services going forward. Just keep in mind the process we design is just as important as the product we make.