1.1 What is a Service?

The word “service” isn’t the greatest. You see it everywhere, but nobody really knows what it is. So, before we try to describe what Service Design is, we should take a few seconds to define “service” first.
A service is an interaction, between you and an organization. This interaction should in the end bring you some value.

In a way, a service is the opposite of a product, which is something tangible that you buy. A piece of furniture is a product. A website that lets people post a tiny advertisement showcasing old furniture, putting you in contact with possible buyers is a service. Websites like Craigslist and eBay are services. A service is thus something you can’t physically touch or break.

Remember the last time you got frustrated with your bank? It surely wasn’t because its building wasn’t beautiful enough. It was because of the interactions you had either with its staff or with some automated pieces such as their apps or websites. These elements that pissed you off are the service elements of the bank.

Since services are intangible interactions, between you and the company, they are often not thought of as requiring the same careful consideration that tangible products receive. That’s why there are not many people who care about creating such moments that make a customer really happy. This is where Service Design comes into play. But wait a minute! You might ask yourself why it is so important to take care of services. We will discover so in just a second.