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Bigger parts of the western world live a life of abundance: Too much information, too many ideas, concepts, opportunities and offerings. What to do? What to believe? What to eat, to buy and not to buy. As for customers and companies alike: It is always good to know the real needs, to be taken by the hand and to take by the hand. This is why Service Design is getting more and more important every day: Now more than ever, companies, who do not want to be left behind, need to adopt a radical focus on user needs.
This growing focus on the user and customer is what we, at iF, have noticed as well: The entries for the iF DESIGN AWARD for the young discipline of service design have more than tripled in the last four years!
For our big iF design special on "Service Design", we talked to experts on their turn on the topic, we show the best of the best in this discipline and give you some service as well: With the best pages on the topic and our five steps to the perfect service design experience!
"Service Design" is one of the most exciting disciplines every year in the iF DESIGN AWARD. As the number of entries grew over the years, so did the quality. From digital to real life services: We are impressed how innovative user-centric design can be! See below our best practice examples by swiping through the most recent iF gold honors - from solutions for better patient-care in hospitals to finding the best hotel via app!
„'Holistic design' is one of the major components of Service Design“, says iF juror Oliver Gerstheimer, founder and CEO of chilli mind – a think tank for Digital System Design and UX Design Innovations. He has been also a key speaker and expert on various events and lectures on Design Thinking, Customer Experience and Service Design since 2001.
There is probably no other discipline, that is harder to differentiate – even for professionals in the field. Though, it is no question of definition only. It is a question of what good Service Design is – we asked him about his personal day-to-day principles when “designing a service or service strategy”.
There is no other design discipline with this abundance of literature like Service Design. The lists of counselor books, tipps and best-practice handbooks for professionals seems never-ending. The theories go in many directions. Below you can find three most recent recommendations, that offer a great overview and are helpful in the everyday work as a service designer:
📚 2013: Thinking Design – Transdiziplinäre Konzepte für Planer und Entwerfer (Rittel new edition): Reuter, Wolf D.; Jonas, Wolfgang (Editor); Birkhäuser.
📚 2016: Contextual Design – Design for Life: Holzblatt, Karen; Beyer, Hugh. Morgan Kaufmann Second Edition.
📚 2017: Introduction to Service Design: Designing the Invisible; Lara Penin, Bloomsbury Visual Arts.
Birgit Mager is not only an iF juror since 1995, she also holds the first European professorship for “Service Design” at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne, Germany. Birgit is also the founder and head of “zefo”, the Center for Research Communication, a member of the research project for “Digital Technologies and Social Work” at the TH Cologne, a founding member and president of the international Service Design Network as well as the editor of “Touchpoint”, an international journal for service design. She lectures and teaches as a speaker and visiting professor at many universities around the world.
In the video interview she talks about the challenges to define Service Design and the challenges designers in this field face. Click on the picture to watch the full video.