Celebrating a decade of Service Design
live|work set out, ten years ago, as the first service design agency in the world. Pioneers of a new field, we needed to prove that service design was more than an idea in our heads.
We thought service design needed three things to move from an idea to a commercial practice. The field needed a language that described design from a service point of view so we could share ideas with a community. It needed to be something you could study and learn about at school, or on the job. Most importantly we needed evidence that service design was of value to people and organisations in the form of successful projects.
Ten years on these things exist. Later this year we will publish a book on service design with US publisher Rosenfeld Media. The Service Design Network enables more and more people to discuss service design with a shared vocabulary. A number of schools – from Cologne to Copenhagen – offer the opportunity to study service design. And a lot of projects have been completed with success. At live|work we are particularly proud of our work with Mobilty, Telecoms, Finance, Insurance, Healthcare, Media and Public Services where we can demonstrate real business benefit and customer value.
So, what do the next ten years hold? Here is our starter for 10.
1. We think that service design is ready to add a business case and measurement model to the design approach. We are developing tools to connect the customer experience to business value.
2. We also see that service design is likely to develop with different flavours. Some designers focus on digital services that are primarily delivered over the Internet. Others have made a niche working with staff behaviors. We think it is important that we don’t end up back in the silos we crawled out of.
3. Finally, when we started we thought it would be great to see designers creating services themselves the way industrial designers make their own products. On this one live|work is yet to succeed – the closest we have is our involvement with start-ups Whipcar, Informa Medica, Spice and others. We take our hats off to Sidekick Studios for their energy in this direction and love their Buddy service.
We would love to hear from clients, collaborators and friends – what do you think the challenges and opportunities are for the next decade?
Check out Design Thinking Brazil, written by livework’s Tennyson Pinheiro and Luis Alt, released earlier this month in Portuguese!