6 Responses

  1. Stuart Bailey
    Stuart Bailey at |

    Liz, I think your feelings are shared by more than UX designers, but designers in general. It is more than the title of user experience designer that is misconstrued, but the title of designer itself that is so often misconstrued and under-valued by clients and perhaps even society. When interaction design was used as a term it was hijacked inappropriately by interface designers, and user experience design suffers a similar downgrading in the minds of some, as you describe in your post. Product designers also experience the feeling of being under-valued that you describe for UX designers. 

    With regards to service design versus user experience design, as a lecturer in product design and service design at Glasgow School of Art, our students are taught to design for the user experience and to apply the appropriate design skills to design the physical interactions with touch points, physical and digital, that enable or deliver the experience – which may or may not involve a service. Tools and methods specific to service design are applied to explain and design how a service will be delivered, explaining to the client how the customer will experience the service, but also visualising what the company has to put in place in terms of staff and infrastructure to be able to deliver the service as designed. That is perhaps the biggest difference between user experience design and service design and why ‘bosses’ do not want to give the time to the service design as it involves knowing how the client organisation works and how they are structured – something not all clients will pay for as they might feel they have only commissioned a user experience design and believe their management and service delivery structures are adequate.

    In essence, service design is the application of design for services and involves a range of design disciplines from product through interaction to user experience design with specific tools and methods that help communicate how the service delivery will happen, or should happen. We experience services through the various interactions we have with staff, products, interfaces (digital and physical), but sometimes to deliver the appropriate user experience, the user experience designers will have to define how the service will deliver the experience, and that often means designing how the organisation will have to organise itself to deliver the service and subsequent experience.

    Perhaps there is a job to do in changing how people perceive the value of design itself. By necessity, we might train within design disciplines, but the underlying principles of a user-focussed design approach crosses many of these discipline boundaries and as such we find ourselves bumping up against other disciplines. Celebrate the differences, recognise the similarities and in that way we might create services and experiences that customers might actually enjoy.


    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      Well put Stuart. I love that you bring it up to an even higher level. My concern is that we are too narrowly trying to define something (different design disciplines) in a world where people aren’t even sure of the benefits of the parent discipline (as you describe so well). Thanks!!

      1. U.S. real estate
        U.S. real estate at |

        This is a great post.I think it will be very
        usefull to us. I read it but I need some thing more to know about this. How can
        I know about this.

        1. Lis Hubert
          Lis Hubert at |

          Thanks! If you are looking for more info on Service Design itself I would check out http://www.service-design-network.org/

  2. Jim Voorhies
    Jim Voorhies at |

    Yep. UX is a subset of customer service.

  3. Ronnie Battista
    Ronnie Battista at |

    Amen.  Well said Liz.   I hope someday that we’ll evolve to the point where we recognize that, digital or analog, human or computer, research or design, we’re all striving for the same thing: “It is to facilitate, as best as possible, a user’s experience with a product or service.”


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