Before I define what service design is, we should maybe first talk about the two words that compose this fancy term and which you’ll see about a thousand times during this course.

What is design?

Design is one of those words that can mean so many different things 🧐. When I started my career as a graphic designer, I designed books, posters, and thousands of other visual elements. But there are also other people who say they do design. For example, product designers. They create objects. Architects also say they are designers. Okay, what does an architect do? They design spaces and buildings.

So, what do all these fancy people have in common? They all create stuff, things. So, design is about conceptualizing something 💡.

The verb “to design” is about transforming a rough idea into something people can use, experience, play with, enjoy or anything such else.

Okay, so now we have a bit of an idea of what the word design means.

What is a service?

The word service is maybe even less clear than the term design 😟. It is a very abstract word. Let’s try to give a more practical meaning to this term.

Do you remember the examples I gave you before about design? There are people who design furniture, cars, posters, buildings, and so on. What do these things have in common? They are all tangible elements. You can touch them, smell them, and sometimes even taste them.

A service is, in a way, the opposite of all these things. A service is the intangible element that we experience in our lives. Your bank is a service. In most of what happens with your bank you basically never touch, smell or taste. At least, I hope you never tried to taste your bank 🤪. It’s all about the experience. You don’t see, feel or even know where your money is but you know, or at least hope, your banker is doing something good with it. It’s intangible.

Services are the intangible interactions or experiences you have with a company or organization.

One of the first services that was created were the early shamans or priests. You traded meat or objects with them for counseling. You can’t really touch or store the counseling you get. But it makes your life much better, or sometimes much worse. A service has a big impact on your life.

So finally, what the fuck is Service Design?
Okay, that has been quite a long road to get here. So, there is a whole set of disciplines that are based on making the tangible world around us better. Architects make homes better. But is there are discipline that makes services better? Is there a discipline that makes the interaction between you and companies better? Yes. That’s service design 🙌.

Service Design is a discipline that tries to make you hate less and sometimes love the companies and organizations you interact with every day.

What you’ll learn in this chapter
In this chapter, you’ll learn the basic principles of Service Design. You’ll learn that
  • Good services are constantly evolving,
  • Good service design goes beyond marketing, and
  • Good service design goes beyond your business.

This first chapter is a short one, made of 6 videos, so that you can slowly start your journey in this course. Let’s start with the first service design principle: “The First Draft of Anything Is Shit”.

Course: 100 Service Design Principles

Stop struggling to get those pissed customers and users to love you! Learn 100 simple principles that you can apply today to enhance your customer experience.

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