#Digital marketing
20 May 2021

Definitions of service design

It will take you to read the article4 minutes

Martyna Tarnawska
Digital Marketing Lead

Service Design is a methodology created as a response to the growing expectations of contemporary consumers and the changes that business has undergone in the last century.

That is mainly due to the growing importance of the Internet and digital transformation. Clients are well aware that they have a real influence on the design of the new services. They also know what technological opportunities are available in today’s world and want to use them.

Many companies use Service Design to improve the customer experience and, at the same time, further develop their organizations. 

Take a look at our article about User Experience Design.

Find out what the term Service Design actually means according to the best experts in the field.

Why is Service Design becoming more and more critical in today’s businesses?

Companies that take proper care of their Customer Experience observe a 10-15% increase in revenue, a 20% increase in customer satisfaction, and a 15-20% reduction in costs. Are you wondering how to achieve that? Designing services, or Service Design, is precisely what enables the improvement of customer experience and, at the same time, the development of your organization.

However, before we move on to the definition of Service Design, it is worth introducing two other concepts that will prove to you that Service Design is something your company needs.

  • Servitization – meaning that every good offered by a company is a service. The service is understood here as the total of impressions, emotions, and interactions experienced by the user from the moment of making a purchase decision to the end of using a given solution. 
  • Service is the process of delivering value between the producer and user. It is based on the delivery of a product (object, product, service), and the recipient defines its final purpose and value. An essential feature of services is that they are produced and consumed simultaneously, and their final course depends on the user.

Those definitions were developed by experts from Socjomania.

To the point – 4 Service Design definitions

Service Design is a fairly young methodology, but many organizations have tried to develop their own definitions due to its great popularity. It is also related to the fact that the Service Design process can be used in different business areas.

What is Service Design by Service Design Network

Service Design Network is an international organization dealing with promoting the idea of ​​Service Design and bringing together the best experts in the industry. According to their definition, Service Design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication, and material components of a service to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and customers.

Service Design according to UK Design Council

UK Design Council, a non-profit organization that advises the British government on design issues, does not focus on the definition itself but rather on the purpose of Service Design. It is creating services that are useful, efficient, and desirable.

Service Design by Paul Boag

In turn, P. Boag, a consultant for Service Design and User Experience (Service Design vs. User Experience), claims that Service Design results from changes in the behavior and expectations of today’s consumers. Therefore, each client’s interaction with the company should be designed in such a way as to provide a top-class experience. And Service Design makes it possible.

Definition of Service Design by Socjomania

According to Socjomania experts, Service Design is a methodology that supports the creation, optimization, and improvement of services in a user-oriented approach. The use of the Design Thinking method is also crucial in the whole process.

In a nutshell: what exactly is Service Design?

In fact, none of the above definitions is better or worse. All of them offer the complete picture of Service Design as a methodology enabling the creation of services that respond to the needs of today’s consumers and ensure maximum efficiency for organizations that provide them.

Service Design – assumptions

To better understand the Service Design process, it is not enough to know a few definitions. Understanding the principles that play a paramount role in service design is also very important. Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider present these in the book “This is Service Design Thinking.”

  1. Human-Centered Design / User-Centered Design
    The customer plays the most important role in the Service Design process. Knowing and understanding their experiences, points of view, expectations, and needs are crucial in designing effective solutions.
  2. Co-creation
    One person cannot design a service. That is a task for an interdisciplinary group consisting of employees and board members of the company, as well as customers and even competitors. Creating innovation requires a variety of perspectives.
  3. Sequencing
    A good workflow requires dividing the service process into segments in the timeline. It is essential to consider the contact points between the customer and your brand—both during the use of the service and before and after the entire process.
  4. Record keeping
    There is never enough knowledge about the processes taking place during service delivery. Therefore, new solutions should be created, considering elements visible to the user and those that escape their attention.
  5. Holistic approach
    The newly designed or optimized service is to provide the best user experience with the efficiency of their provision at the same time. That means that all people involved in its collection and delivery should be satisfied with its final shape.


Although Service Design has many definitions, the most important thing for you should be the results that you can achieve thanks to it. It can be the optimization of Customer Experience, but also an improvement in employee experience and, of course, an increase in revenues. There are many possibilities – it all depends on your goals and the challenges your organization is facing.

Remember that Service Design can be used to design any processes in which the user’s experience is the most important.

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