Magazine

Service design + business design

Over 12 years of practicing service design at Livework, we have seen huge potential in marrying great design and business understanding. To boost the impact for our clients we are now combining service design with business design skills. This newsletter highlights elements of our new approach.

Service design gives organisations a way to understand customer experiences and design new solutions that meet customers’ needs. Coupled with business skills this approach can really have impact by placing customers in the context of the organization and the market.

What design brings to the table

At its core, service design brings together a practical understanding of people (specifically, service users and customers), and enables an organisation to imagine how to respond to this understanding in ways that improve the service offer and the customer experience.

At Livework, we have found that our focus on the tangible, experiential aspects of services has a number of benefits:

  • Greater understanding of the desired customer experience and an ability to retain the customer perspective in the delivery of complex services.
  • Richer organizational understanding of customer issues and opportunities through the use of design tools such as visualisation, sketching and scenario-making.
  • The capability to prototype, test and learn with customers to improve the design and develop a more effective solution in the long run.

What business understanding brings to design

Business know-how offers service design a number of qualities that can increase the value and impact:

  • A better understanding of organisations, how they work and what the implications of change are to a business.
  • Quantifiable measurement of the potential of service concepts to enable more precise recommendations for improvements or innovations.
  • A framework for adding business proof to prototyping to demonstrate that something works and has value.

It's better than a business case; it's a business case in action

Better organisational insight

Design and business skills take the ability to understand the human experience and motivation from the customer to the organisation. This is different to change management: The aim is to understand how to develop the right solution that will work with the business as well as the customers.

Customer expectations are not sector specific

A customer view is invaluable. Coupling this view with an understanding and focus on the business agenda offers organisations strategic guidance in the identification of business issues and opportunities. Mixing clear perspectives on specific industries with a cross-sector understanding of customers leads us to a full understanding of the situation.

The challenge of engaging customers as individuals

Organisations need help to serve customers as individuals whilst still being able to access the economies of scale that come with scale and standardisation. Combining the individual experience with the mechanisms and technologies of large-scale service industries will develop exciting new models.

Service design on steroids

Service design has a great toolkit and a huge advantage in the visual, practical and holistic nature of the approach. Married to a close and deep understand of organisations – their motivations, language and context – is a unique combination that can add significant value.

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A second reading of McKinsey on Design
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A second reading of McKinsey on Design

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Designing for a bright mobility future
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Smart machinery - the backlash

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Nudges aren’t the holy grail of behaviour change
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