As a Digital Innovator at TTI, you’ll be able to do different kinds of projects focussing on different fields. From Innovation to Design and from Service Design to Growth Hacking. This week, we’ll dive a little deeper into Service Design.
Our Digital Innovator Tessa has been with us for 2,5 years now and recently became a Lead Digital Innovator. After several projects she found a niche she got really excited about: Service Design. What is it and what do Service Design projects look like? Tessa tells us more.
Tessa, how did you get in touch with Service Design?
I’ve done different kinds of projects, mostly within the discovery or validation phases of product and service design. When I started working for The Talent Institute I thought I didn’t have a strong preference, but after working on several projects I found out I got most energy from UX research and service design. Within my lead role I mainly focus on the latter now: how we can internalize these service design skills and how can we offer that to TTI’s clients?
What is service design, according to you?
Within our Digital Innovator program, we mainly focused on business proposition development: validating certain customer needs and trying to develop new products or services that meet these. Service design is more about human experience in its broadest sense, whether this human is a customer, employee, or other user of a certain service. This means we apply our human-centered methodologies not only to discover new value propositions, but also to optimize existing services and its underlying processes. So rather than seeing these as independent parts of the organization, service design is about designing them in such a way they together deliver value to the bigger picture.
How does Service Design compare to other projects?
In many of our projects we mainly focus on new products and services. For example, we help clients with developing new business models. Service Design also applies to existing processes of a company. We look into which products or services are currently offered and how we can help to ensure the overall customer experience is optimized. We’ll map the underlying processes and optimize them. So service design is definitely more comprehensive. We look into the current situation of a company, where they’re going and how we can ensure the user journey, from A to Z, is optimal.
Can you tell us a little about a Service Design project you did?
My last project was for Dura Vermeer. They asked us to optimize an internal process to improve the experience of both the end customer and the involved employees. We started with a service design blueprint. We try to optimize the client’s touch points and figure out how we can organize a smooth customer journey. In order to ultimately optimize the customer experience.
What excited you about Service Design projects?
I think the complexity of the projects makes it fun. It really is a puzzle. You analyze where the bottlenecks are and try to solve them. This also happens in proposition development, but what I like about Service Design is that it’s part of a bigger picture. You often have to deal with multiple stakeholders, underlying processes, and technology.
What I also like is that it’s not just about developing new things. You look at certain systems within an organization. For example, you might look into how certain departments work together to achieve the best result for a customer.
So what makes it fun: the complexity of the assignments and the fact that it’s about a system and the connection between different areas of a company, instead of it being a stand-alone proposition.
What makes a good Service Designer?
Being able to zoom in and out, being analytical and working in multidisciplinary teams. You often deal with different parts of the organization, so stakeholder management is important. Also having some visual skills comes in handy if you want to test your prototypes. If you find all of this interesting, I think you’ll be interested in specializing in service design.
Also, service design can be more of a back-end improvement for the company, rather than the launch of a new app. And the end user is much more varied. Instead of the paying customer being your end user, you’ll also be dealing with employees, for example. You may focus on questions like: how can we improve the onboarding process, or issues like that. So the end user is not always the paying customer. You have to like this variety.
Anything you’d like to say to future DI’ers?
Many people who start our programs are very open to the broader field of innovation. That was the same for me, too. During the program, the variety of projects TTI offers really helped me to discover the areas that I want to further specialize in. And when I knew what they were, TTI offered me the chance to deepdive within these fields, both in projects and for TTI.
I even got the chance to develop service design capabilities within TTI, so that future Digital Innovators can dig into it, too. So in this program on the one hand you’ll be able to find out what you like, and then you’ll be able to really specialize in that. I think that’s very cool.