Why call it Service Design?

I don’t get why it’s called Service Design?

Especially when Service Design also considers products and systems in a 3-pronged holistic ecosystem? Or don’t they?

If so, why not call it Product design or System Design? Both disciplines do consider the other two.

So designers in Service Design are called Service Designers.

So do they provide design services, or they design services? Shall I get into what Product Designers or System Designers do?

Haha. We designers like to make our lives difficult, don’t we?

Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)

Brian is a multidisciplinary Design Leader with more than 18 years of experience leading strategic design programs that drives successful Brands and Fortune 500 businesses such as GE, Philips, Nakamichi, Flextronics, Ericsson, Hannspree, and HP. His passion is in helping organisations leverage on Design Driven Innovation to make people’s lives better.

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6 Comments on "Why call it Service Design?"

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Haha so true

Wim Rampen
@Brian: I think you will agree with me that in reality services and products are integrated more and more these days. Making the distinction serves no purpose anymore. It may sound familiar and therefor easy, but in fact you are overcomplicating things by separating services and products. If you recognize that there’s no distinction you’ll start to realize that products, services, and their integrated combinations, provide a service for their users: they help people to get their job done. If you approach your design/innovation/whatever challenge from the perspective of helping you Customer get their job done, you’ll find yourself less… Read more »
Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Hi all, sorry for the late reply as it has been hectic. @Xin Yi– haha, don’t get me started with that article! It partly inspired me to write this post. Calling it experience innovation does not help one bit. @Wim Rampen– Ah yes, Service Dominant Logic. Thanks for brining it up. I’m pretty familiar with SDL, but in reality it gets confused with traditional marketing terms of products and services. The difference being only that one is tangible and the other intangible. The definition of SDL is in itself too broad and therefore limited as people do not understand it.… Read more »
Adam Lawrence
It’s no secret that I loathe the name “service design”. It consists of two terms which people think they understand, and which they understand wrongly. “Service”, they think, means being nice to customers. “Design”, they think, means making things pretty. So they hear “service design”, think they understand it, and nod. If you then ask them what they think it means, they double check look confused and – if they can express their understanding at all – express something utterly cosmetic and trivial, I would prefer “service design” were called “zooblemobbleflop”. At least they would ask, “what is that?. (In… Read more »
Wim Rampen

Service, in Service Dominant Logic, is defined as the “application of competences (skills and knowledge) for the benefit of another”

Service Design attempts to design a Service and the exchange thereof with the aim to enable (maximization of) the co-creation of value.

Nothing difficult about defining it.. gets harder when trying to do it 😉

@wimrampen on Twitter

Xin Yi

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