Memorable Experiences

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Our fourth briefing looks at how service design is the one genuine differentiation strategy.

Text of Memorable Experiences

  • the power of services // loyalty // in-house // body and soulco-creation is key // picks of the season // and more...




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    MemorableexperiencesService design as the one genuine differentiation strategy

  • Service Design

    Humberto Matas,

    Head of Strategy and Innovation,

    Designit Madrid

    Page 2

    There is initially something almost counterintuitive about the concept of service design. For many strangers to the world of design, services are thought of as too intangible to approach from a design perspective at all. For practitioners and clients, including some of the worlds most progressive and innovative companies, the concept is no longer shrouded in mystery. It is totally tangible and of potentially almost infinite value.

    Even though service design is no longer a novelty as a discipline or area of expertise, it is fast becoming professionalised. The skill levels among practitioners as well as the depth of their understanding is increasing swiftly and in parallel, it seems, with service designs increased importance.

    This importance stems from several things, among them the fact that it is far more difficult for your competitors to copy your service than it is to copy your product. More and more companies realise this while often struggling to differentiate

    themselves by lowering prices and/or improving the product. Your services hold tremendous power over your brand and by initiating processes which will improve your services often because of a deeper understanding of your users and their needs, desires and aspirations you have embarked on a journey with the potential to increase the value of your brand dramatically while creating a base of extremely loyal users.

    Think of services as experiences and make those experiences memorable. If you accomplish that you have begun to build an, in the words of Csar Astudillo, elusive emotional bond between your client and your company.

    This issue of Briefing is a collection of - we hope- timely thoughts on service design accompanied by some recent examples of service design projects we have carried out with our clients.


  • The power of services

    The entrepreneur's little helperww

    When the patient takes center stage

    A matter of experience

    care, importance & trust

    A global market for services

    A school for applied thinking

    rethinking communication about pregnancy

    A welcoming experience

    service designers at your table

    pics of the season

    co-create it to make it happen

    education as a service

    A radically different idea in a conservative industry




  • Page 4

    Memorable Experiences Service Design

    O n the surface of things it is simple enough at this point: Service designers design services. But two decades ago the practice had not yet been conceptualised and thus there were no service designers. Even though there were lots of people designing services the term hadnt gained recognition. 10 years ago it was still a brand new idea. It is true; service design is only a novelty in the sense that service design has become a conscious activity thus leading to the emerging professionalisation which we are witnessing today. But this professionalisation is taking service design to new levels, dramatically improving the quality of services and creating amazing value for the companies and organisations that understand its importance. Service design is still an emerging design practice with an interdisciplinary heritage and in order for service design projects to become successful you need to build on skills from several disciplines. As service design becomes more established as a practice, we can deduct how it draws on insights and inspirations from other disciplines, such as interaction design, user research, product design and architectural and grapic design. For each of them there are on one hand the knowledge and practice that professionals develop, and on the other hand the set of skills that help create the various deliverables. says Ione Ardaiz Osacar, Service Designer at Designit Madrid. nobody owns it When users interact with organisations across the rapidly increasing number of communication channels and platforms they take part in a constantly evolving, complex social system. The relationships between individuals, communities and organisations are dynamic and influenced by an even wider social context. That understanding, which

    comes from interaction design, is one key element when designing successful services. "From interaction design we learn the importance of mapping connections and intercommunications for the service. On one hand between the user and the artifacts in the service (known as touch points), and on the other hand between the various stakeholders involved in the service in the form of an actors map. According to Ione Ardaiz Osacar it is a significant advantage for the service design discipline that it is still in the process of becoming properly defined. The field is characterised by a very inspiring openness, its like nobody owns it. There is nobody around to say that there are things you cant do because its not in accordance with the orthodoxy. That is very valuable as the world we design services for is rapidly changing and developing and calls for new answers all the time. The inspiration for the right solution can come from unexpected corners of our understanding unhindered by an established practice. she says. always new tools This is not to say that there is anything amateurish about how service design processes are approached. On the contrary, each contributing discipline must be on its best form and each is rapidly developing individually. There are always new tools to dig out of the toolbox and test in the real world. New looks and new conceptualisations from graphic designers and new methods and insights from the rapidly developing area of product design. And, not least, constantly new ways to improve the co-creation processes with users and clients. There's so much inspiring work and so many inspiring insights to draw upon. Service design is growing and

    The pOWer of servicesservice design draws from a wide range of other disciplines in order to improve interactions with users. There is always room for improvement and, thus, potential for gaining a competitive edge.

  • Page 5

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    Service design is characterised by a multidisciplinary heritage and a remarkable openness. No orthodoxy, just lots of ways to get inspired.

    maturing into a powerful force for organisations looking for ways to distinguish themselves from the competition, says Ione Ardaiz Osacar, who follows the developments within countries like Germany, Italy, Austria and the UK, where the discipline first began to become conceptualised. extend the reach A common way to look at service design is to focus on utility, as in what the service does or offers, usability, as in how easy it is to interact with the service and pleasureability, as in how much pleasure the user derives from interacting with the service. Service design processes will often have as their starting point an analysis of the

    The inspiration for the right solution can come from unexpected corners of our understanding unhindered by an established practice

    existing service with at least those three elements present. And there is always room for improvement. Traditionally there is a strong focus on the quality of the physical product but less attention is dedicated to the services surrounding the product. But these services are growing strongly today, for reasons such as the emergence of new platforms for providing those very services. Services are in themselves powerful means of extending the reach of the physical product. Consultancies with the necessary quite broad set of skills and with the necessary openness to inspiration can bring tremendous value to clients because of the power of services. says Ione Ardaiz Osacar.

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    Memorable Experiences Service Design

    G lobalcaja, a major Spanish regional savings bank, has been looking for ways to do business with entrepreneurs but kept coming across two major obstacles. The Spanish banking system is very conservative and the risk assessment of young entrepreneurs is that of a private bank client. Entrepreneurs not only find the doors closed for financing, but also do not even try to knock at those doors. For entrepreneurs, banks are simply not an option. The challenge was to help Globalcaja to serve and work with entrepreneurs in a different way. And the response was a service design approach. "This wasn't only about developing a fancy website, but dealing with a more complex interaction adapted to the entrepreneurs need for personalised solutions, and aligning the business objectives and the resources of Globalcaja to deliver a valuable service," says Charlotte Schoeffler, Design Consultant with Designit Madrid. David de Prado, Managing Partner, adds: "Not often does one have the opportunity to design a complete service from scratch with the possibility to create a brand new concept built on users needs. When Designit started to do research with Globalcajas team, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders, it was clear that the need for financing should be the main focus, but to assure the success of the new business, and enter the inner circle of entrepreneurship, other needs should be taken into account, like training, networking, mentoring, psychological and emotional support.

    a chain of entrepreneurial energy Global