Why do we need service design thinking?
In Part 1 I talked about what service design is and how a service is different to a product. Here I want to outline some of the reasons why we might need service design thinking.
What’s a good definition for service design?
First, though, I want to look at a definition. There are academic definitions, but here’s a non-academic definition that I prefer.
When you have two coffee shops right next to each other, and each sells the exact same coffee at the exact same price, service design is what makes you walk into one and not the other. (31 Volts Service Design, 2008).
Now substitute swap out coffee shops for education providers. And allow for the fact that “right next to each other” in an internet economy includes online and blended education opportunities.
You get the idea… But see the short video above if you need some further elaboration.
How can service design thinking help me?
Drawing from my workshop notes again, here are some of the reasons why I need to embrace service design methods, tools and techniques. I’m not saying everyone needs to, but here are some of the reasons that stand out for me personally.
Service design thinking tools and methods could help me by:
- Giving me the tools I need to increase productivity. This includes my own and others that I work with. Actually, we need to increase our national productivity if we want to compete internationally.
- Giving me a competitive edge in a world characterised by increasing change. This applies personally as well as in terms of my organisation.
- Allowing me to embrace the increasing rate of change in the worlds of education and business and actually gain some leverage off this in my own work. If you’re about the status quo and business as usual then service design thinking is not for you.
- Helping me deal with the negative aspects of an educational culture characterised by “she’ll be right” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
- Helping me learn how to recover effectively and quickly from adverse circumstances. This is a tricky one. No one wants to fail. But it has to be a given that in a world characterised by increasing change that we’ll all fail more frequently.