Is Service Design Boring?
If service designers look beyond the customer experience to also focus on the back-stage system, does that mean that service design is boring? Nico Morelli encountered this odd objection on his recent trip to Finland. To rephrase, the business professor who offered this criticism regarded a massive and challenging expansion of the scope of inquiry as potentially boring for service designers. That doesn’t make much sense to me.
The underlying point is that service designers need to be cautious about becoming overly focused on the customer experience, to the exclusion of system details. Morelli sees this as the 21st century equivalent of the designer as “decorator.” Instead, service design should be concerned with balancing the needs of both the customer and the business. Finding a symbiotic relationship between front-stage and back-stage.
This points to another aspect of service design education that needs attention. Many projects focus a great deal on the customer experience side of the equation but are a little hand-wavy about system design. Or you find programs that focus on the system but ignore the experience. We need to find a balance.