Like many who end up in the world of service design, my background was not in any traditional design discipline, such as fashion or graphics. My background is in philosophy.
I had to give myself the task of learning on my own, in the day to day work and projects.
I have learned what it means to think as a designer, how this helps to solve problems, what changes it makes in the preconceptions with which we arrive at a company.
And also more concrete things: what is the design methodology, what tools are used, how to approach users, how to structure services and processes, how to make a journey, a service blueprint, an archetype, among others.
In this learning process, a book that helped me a lot was This Is Service Design Doing, by Marc Stickdorn, Adam Lawrence, Markus Hormess and Jakob Schneider.
It is a book written for different types of readers. Designers and non-designers. Juniors and seniors. Apprentices and experts.
This book is one of the best compendiums of the human-centered design mindset and its application to all kinds of services, digital channels, analog channels or app design processes. It includes concepts, paradigms, case studies, methodologies, tools and approaches to different problems.
It is a toolbox to be constantly consulted, but it is much more.
It explains, first, the usefulness of design thinking.
What management, marketing, processes, among other areas of companies, can do with it. And the fact is that the language of design is, more than a specialized jargon, a point of convergence of different languages. It is first and foremost a language that observes and listens to the client, that puts itself in the client's shoes and creates value based on empathy.
Second, it explores the different ways of understanding design.
Is it a method, is it a mindset, is it a discipline, is it an activity? It's all that, but it's more. And every time we stand on an understanding of design we can do different things with it. And it highlights, by the same token, the importance of constantly reflecting on design. As in many other fields, also in design there is nothing more practical than a good theory. And theory is that reflection that never ceases.
Third, it disproves many of the misconceptions that are formed about design.
In particular, the idea, fortunately less and less common, that design is cosmetic or only concerns the areas of marketing and communication. On the contrary, the authors show that design can be in the creation of a business model or a value offer.
Fourth, it teaches how to use all the instruments and methods of design.
It understands the tools as concrete models that are applied. For example, the business model canvas. Or service blueprints or journeys. And he understands methods as special procedures to achieve or approach something. They seem more uncertain, in that they are rigorous, but not strict, i.e. they adapt to each context and design challenge.
Anyone who wants to approach service design should read this book. You will find the right inspiration to believe in design, but you will also see the ways to meet your goals through design thinking.
If you want to know how we apply service design at Xperience, don't forget to keep checking our blog.