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Sophia talks service design at SDN

Sophia talks service design at SDN

Last week Sophia, one of our UX designers, spoke at Belfast’s chapter of the Service Design Network at StepSpace. Sophia was joined by Claire Jordan from Land & Property Services NI (LPS) and Steve Wreyford Hind from PA consulting. The speakers gave a wide lens description of what service design means within their field. This ranged from how service design is being used within LPS during a large–scale digital transformation to how service design is working within GDS and the barriers faced using these techniques within the public sector and government. 

Sophia’s talk focused on the merging of UX and service design and how you truly cannot achieve customer–centric service design without taking UX methodology into account.

Key points:

  • When we think of UX, we think of the customer journey. What is the customer experiencing, how are they experiencing it, what behaviours or emotions are attached to that? UX is about deconstructing those experiences and improving them.
  • If we don’t do this, any subsequent designs will have shortcomings.
  • The challenge of talking about service design specifically is that there is no finite definition. Only recently has the discussion moved on and parameters around what good service design is have been put in place.
  • In essence, human–centred design is the sweet spot between customer experience, user experience and service design.
  • Sophia summed up the relationship between user experience and service design in a quote from Michael Schofield: “In a model where the user experience is a success metric, and user experience design describes the use of tools, techniques, and the application of behavioural knowledge to improve that metric. 

Then service design — concerned with the systems that underlie a service as it’s performed — determines the potential impact user experience design can have on that score.” 

This was also a chance for Sophia to showcase the service design work Fathom completed with Translink earlier this year.

Service Design Drinks is a great way for like–minded people to meet up and learn about service design in different sectors. It’s a relaxed quarterly meeting featuring professionals from a variety of backgrounds.

Thanks to Big Motive and The Innovation Lab (organisers) and to PA Consulting who sponsored this event.

By Michelle McFadden

Michelle worked as an Associate Content Strategist at Fathom from 2014 through to 2021, when she took up a full time role with Roche.

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