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Service Design: A Strategic Approach For Designing Services For Best User Experience

January 8, 2019

If you look around you will find that you are surrounded by so many services. Look at your daily life and you will find coffee shops in Africa, transport in America, sandwiches shops in Dubai, cleaning guy in your office in India or your dentist in UK etc. These are all providing services in one way or another for users.

A service design is a complex job. Designers have been designing services for years but now as everything has gone digitized, mostly service designers are designing services online to facilitate the customers and give them best user experience.

What is a service design?

It is very important to understand what exactly is a service design?

This is one of the most important yet mysterious questions that many people who are in any way associated with design agency or web agency ask.

To put it in simple terms, ‘A service design is used to make a service helpful, desirable and easy to use for a service user (who uses that very service)’. Service design either it is for a Dubai based organization or any other company on the globe, service design focuses not only on creating new design but it also helps improve an existing one according to customers’ needs which they experience in every stage of their interaction with any service providing organization.

A person who designs these services is called service designer. A designer from a design agency focuses keenly on creating optimal service experience for service users, making role of a service designer highly crucial for any or a Dubai based organization, service users and for that design agency who decides to embark on the journey of designing services in first place.

A service designer does not only traditionally help design services, products, infrastructures etc. but he also helps in digital world to make online user experiences great and creating user centered designs.  Usually a service design is used when a company or organization wants to improve a specific service for their customers on individual channels. For example, if an online shopping company in Dubai wants to improve their website so that users can shop online with more ease than ever, they may want an improved service design for the company’s website. The same way some design agency can also help improve an old design or assist in designing a completely new user experience for mobile applications, in-store kiosks, and mobile apps etc. So, service designers work beyond limits to increase user experience and help companies to provide their best services to end users.

Service Design is not only for product

Service design is mainly concerned with design of services so that they better suit to the needs of service’s users. But it also examines all infrastructures, activities, material components and activities involved in a service for improving interaction between service provider and its customers and also enhancing overall quality of a service.

Service designers’ work includes all tasks that deal with formulating both front and back office strategies. They have to not only design simple products but to work on strategies that meet customers’ needs in most relevant manner, also considering economic aspects of a service provider. Ideal services are the ones which are not only highly competitive in current market but also user friendly. Because according to survey almost 80% companies think that they provide best services and excellent user experience to customers but only 8% of customers agree with this.

How service design works?

Service design is not a one man job so it needs help from a variety of disciplines to provide ultimate UX to the customers of a service providing company. Service design requires focus on following points:

  1. Bring consensus: As I said earlier, service design is not one man job and this job requires some tactical thinking to bring all stakeholders on board. Even the most ingenious designers have to deal with all internal politics of an organization for making any project, an ultimate success. Facilitated design thinking workshops facilitate all parties with a platform where all contradictions from all stakeholders can be flashed out and help bring new ideas and even engineer consensus among parties.
  2. Performance measurement: For any service design to succeed, data analysis always helps for performance measurement. Scorecards and KPI benchmarking give a clear idea about where improvement is required and what works well. 6 Sygma, Lean and JIT are some process optimization frameworks which help black belt service designers for driving inspiration.
  1. User research: Customers are always biggest risk factors in any service delivery system. They are always unpredictable, emotional, and on their toes. They keep on changing their behaviors and tastes over time. So human factor is never out of question in any service design. This is why, service designers need to go out and track the internal users and specially customers in order to get a complete picture of what they really want. By tracking users’ actions and getting surveys filled can help track their behaviors which help in fully optimizing a service according to customers’ needs and requirements.
  2. Strategy analysis tools: Strategy analysis tool are always of great help for service designing process. Kaplan’s Strategy Map, Porter’s 5forces, McKinsey’s 7S are a few strategy analysis templates. Putting your strategy in these templates can help the team to look at bigger picture of how a service will compete in a specific market. This analysis help evaluate that how far objectives of a service design will be achievable in longer run.

A service design in a nutshell:

  1. Should be user centered
  2. Should involve all stakeholder in designing process
  3. Should divide complex services into separate processes
  4. Should consider all touch points in a wide network of users and interactions
  5. Should visualize all service experiences and then make them tangible

Conclusion:

Service designing is not an easy task as it needs help from many other departments or disciplines. A service designer in a design agency/web agency cannot work alone. It needs team work to build a bridge between a service user and service provider for providing ultimate user experience within budget given by the service provider.

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