This is a video interview with a faculty member who specializes in service design. The main reason I’m sharing it here is that the interview takes place at the Helsinki City Library, and there is some discussion about user experience as it relates to libraries
Birgit Mager from the Köln International School of Design offers a brief overview of service design as part of an international lecture series organized last month by the Helsinki City Library – to celebrate the Library’s 150th anniversary. While she has some nice things to say about the library, with respect to its design, she admits that she doesn’t have much experience with them either (she says “I’m not the librarian type”). She tells the interviewer, “Your library is a brilliant example to how much flexibility there really is to reach the customer…I see a very lively place that is made for people.” The library she says, is a good example of a “living product” – which is what service should be.
Here at DBL, we haven’t had much to say about service design. Given the number of blogs, books, conferences and other types of information about service design, it certainly is a growing profession. The differences between designing a user experience and service design isn’t always crystal clear to me. A key difference appears to be that service design is perhaps more narrow in its focus on the service operation and the interaction between the service operator and the customer. I’m still learning more about service design. Librarians, I think, can find inspiration for new ideas in either one. If the field is new to you, take a few minutes to watch the video to learn a few new things about service design.
I previously stated that customer service is not that same as a user experience, and gave some reasons why user experience goes beyond the concept of customer experience. Innovation Playground is a blog I’ve been directed to a few times recently, and Idris Mootee offers some pretty interesting discussions about experiences and designing them. In a recent post Mootee explains what he sees as the relationship between service design and experience design. Are they one and the same? It’s not all that clear, but I think I get his point.
Service is a key part of the customer experience, and Mootee asks the question: can a service or experience be designed. He provides some examples of firms that have developed the “service journey”. The journey: consists of numerous touchpoints between the customer and the organization; these touchpoints need to be carefully design and managed; each touchpoint has a potential for innovation. Ultimately Mootee concludes that “you can design a service but you cannot design an experience.” I had to re-read that section a few times because I’m apt to disagree with it – you can design an experience – it must be designed.
Mootee connects the two when he says that “service designers can only stage or create favorable conditions for great customer services to happen.” The post is a reminder that a great library experience has to incorporate the totality of the organization. It points out that you can do three things right but get one wrong and you’ve greatly reduced or eliminated the possibility for delivering a great experience. Service design may certainly set the conditions for a great library user experience, but it’s the design of the experience that can ultimately determine what happens at the service touchpoints and how the service is delivered.