Magazine

Trends in Service Design 2016

This year for our trends article we’re going to describe five things that began to emerge in 2015 that we predict will become big in 2016. Most of these service design trends are not completely new, but all have gained enough momentum to have significant impact on customers and businesses.

Strategic use of service design

Livework has seen some early adopter clients work with us to set business strategy at a high level. Comparisons to traditional strategy consulting firms show that service design has something different to offer and can compete in this area. By ‘strategy’ we mean setting the direction for the business. Service design with a true customer-centric model and the ability to create a clear and compelling vision offers a refreshing new approach.

Service design for internal services

It’s natural to think of service design for consumer services. Livework has always enjoyed the challenge of B2B service design too and next frontier is in the design of services within organisations. While the tools are the same, the application of service design to internal settings brings different complications around internal politics, silos and misalignment. We have seen this at JPMorgan, the BBC and the Coca-Cola company and predict it’s on the rise. The challenge is compelling as the task of making employees’ day-to-day experience better and helping business performance yields many benefits and is often overlooked.

Service design powers IT strategy

In partnering with IT consultancies we found that service design and IT strategy share common ground and have complimentary abilities. Service design provides the customer context that is often missing in complex IT initiatives. This is extremely important in prioritising and streamlining large enterprise-wide initiatives to successfully deliver value to the business early. Perhaps, the most valuable contribution of the service design approach is making organisations more agile by prototyping customer engagements early and eliminating assumptions and risks that can be the cause of expensive project failures.

Service design offers more for less

One thing we’ve seen in 2015 that’s been more frustrating than exciting, is the explosion of mega projects in service design. Some big banks have embarked on transformation projects that have involved large budgets and huge teams. This reminds us of other major technology projects that failed in the past. Livework is convinced that service design is an agile, cost effective and quick way to re-think a service and that the best way to do this is with small, smart teams. Only then should you crew up to deliver a clear vision.

Digital service design goes beyond the customer journey map

In 2015 the push for creating and implementing digital services means that there’s a growing demand for the designing them. Organisations need to face the fact that doing customer-insights work, or mapping customer journeys is not enough on its own to design the services that customers will adopt and they can deliver. Therefore we expect organisations to focus more on what customers need and expect of a digital services instead of digitising internal processes. Unfortunately we also expect organisations to continue to struggle with much needed internal alignment and commitment.

2016 is going to be great for Service Design…and there is more to come

Service design is evolving into a discipline with more business relevance and organisational impact. Looking back at last year’s trends we foresee for this year a wave of ever larger projects where service design will play a crucial role in delivering value to businesses and their customers. It is an exciting time to explore the potential of service design and practice it in new and challenging situations.

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