As we feel our way through the Covid crisis, how can service design help organisations adapt to a new reality?

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Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Service design defines how behaviours, digital experiences, environments, and processes work together for positive customer experiences. As a discipline, it’s well-equipped to help as organisations grapple with a brand-new set of needs and circumstances.

Organisations are shifting from frozen, to fire-fighting, to redesigning and rebuilding. These progressions involve some universal challenges that service design can address — both in the short and longer term. Every organisation must meet these challenges in the right ways for its own customers, employees, offer, and operations.

1. Accommodating a poorer society

In a future where people have less to spend, some services will have to become more affordable. Others…

Apparently, human DNA is about 8% virus. In other words, hundreds of thousands of years’ worth of viral infections have woven themselves into the human genome. Viruses break-in to our cells to tinker with our DNA leaving traces of their DNA in ours. This disgusting fact made me think about businesses and the services they produce.

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Once in a while a new business contagion appears, a recession, a cyber threat, an annoying sector disruptor or the ebb or flow of the threat from terrorism. In each case, ‘the virus’ washes through a sector or economy. Some businesses are unable to…

Imagine you need a lawyer to help you sell your house. Unsure where to start, you’d probably check out a few websites offering conveyancing services. They all seem to offer similar services to a competent standard, but you get a very different feeling about each company from the experience of using their websites. Some are crammed with jargon-filled text and poor quality images with information that’s both hard to find and understand, while others seem to have had time and money invested in the design and the words. Which would you put on your shortlist?

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The truth, people are attracted…

It’s true that when it comes to being customer-centred and design-led, each organisation we work with is at a different level of maturity. Those that are furthest to the right on the maturity scale have their problems too. Right now, on their grand journey towards customer-centeredness and being truly adaptive and design-led, these organisations are grappling with several new challenges:

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Connecting the whole organisation, not just the few, to the customer experience challenge.

There are no longer any organisations we work with in which we find people who don’t appreciate that the experiences their customers are having impact the business’s bottom line. Yet, not every individual has a practical understanding of how their…

When you think about what ‘beautiful design’ means to you, a physical product probably comes to mind. It might be your iPhone, the classic Jaguar F-Type, a Nest thermostat, a Danish-designed chair from the 1950s, those amazing spectacles that allow you to adjust the lenses until they focus, or even Concorde. It works not just because it looks beautiful, is easy to use, or solves your problem elegantly; it’s because it does all three at the same time. A superb piece of design makes you feel good when you’re using it.

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Although we can all point to products we consider…

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By Paddy Whiteway, Client Services Director, Engine

Since the birth of the car industry, brand strength has been a powerful influencer of consumer choice in the automotive marketplace. From family favourites and symbols of status, through to reputations for safety, environmental respect and reliability, manufacturers have long depended on brand positioning and perception to attract buyers of both new and used cars.

However, with a marked shift from car ownership to usership, there are new challenges ahead for vehicle manufacturers. …

Engine Service Design

Insights into service design and design thinking from…

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