Service design looks at the service experience from a broad perspective. Users experience a service in the form of a ‘service string’ made up of episodes over time, or ‘service moments’. During a service moment the user sees, experiences and senses the service via ‘touchpoints’, which can be spaces, processes, people or objects. The user’s experience cannot be fully predetermined but can be guided by design. The role of service touchpoints is set against the process as a whole and they are viewed as interactive situations involving the user and the service-providing company.
Service design is based on understanding the user and the context, and on real customer needs, the relevant target group and the company’s strategic targets and resources. Service design can be used to further develop services for which there is a target group and a level of demand, and which are feasible in business terms. The use of service design can also help a company to differentiate its services from those of competitors by attaching certain images and significance to services, helping to increase customer commitment to the service. Images and significance are also more difficult to replicate than purely technical factors.
Research at MUOVA on the theme of service design:
- Quicksteps (2009-2011) A more effective innovation process for companies by focusing on identifying and producing significant service value for the customer
- Desire (2007-2009) Reshaping the innovation process through the use of market-driven service design
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