Examples of Services.

This past class was spent really defining what “Service Design is not”. But yet I left more confused than before, because our conclusion was that it really could be anything.

The conversation centered around what a service is or is not. The general consensus was that a service is not something you own however, you can own something through a service. This confuses me. Janna of Meld Studio posts on her blog that “Service Design is specifically talking about the process of designing services”. But that is just the act and the intention. Services are everything, NGO’s are services, Waste Management is a service, the National Parks are a service. You could extrapolate anything into a service.

The act and the intention could be applied to anything, and thus service design can tackle anything.

Polane via http://www.core77.com/posts/24697/Service-Design-From-Insight-to-Implementation-Exclusive-Excerpt-Part-2

It feels like when reading about Service Design you are only reading about Design, as there are these generalities such as: “Service Design isn’t about avoiding mistakes, it is about exploring as many ideas as possible, identifying problems as early as possible in order to learn from them.” and And ‘Service Design fails is not taken up by the organization’, but depending on the purpose, isn’t that sentiment universal?

I think keeping in mind that service design is just the tools one uses when thinking about a service- or designing a ‘verb’. Or for Services specifically, I like the definition from Polaine, that a service is an intangible object, and “provides no or little intrinsic value until the moment of its consumption”. Or the definition where services are a verb, and in service design you are designing that verb.

From Seminar 3, I’ve come to think of Service Design as playing with Latour’s Actors as a way of replacing or adding human variance to a system in order to streamline or enhance the experience in some way. (This is also part of my thesis) When you replace a non human actor with a human actor, the act automatically becomes a service. When an individual does something to benefit another in some way, that is a service. In Service Design are you designing this interaction? I think yes, but I will revisit my answer in 15 weeks!

A personal question of mine is what is discerning the difference between Service Design and Business Design? is Service Design just looking at what is and changing the system by designing touch points? When I was at Philips over the summer, I talked to a Service Designer who was working on a project, but to me it seemed like a whole new business proposal.

When looking up examples of Service Design, ‘Society of Grownups’ is among the list, but to me, that is just creating a new business- how is that service design? is it just the intent and process taken?