The Value of Experience Design and Service Design
Chapter 2 of both Experience Design: A Framework for Integrating Brand, Experience, and Value by Patrick Newbery and Kevin Farnham, and Service Design: From Insight to Implementation by Andy Polaine, Ben Reason, and Lavrans Løvlie cover the foundations of experience design and service design in relation to business. I will explore the value experience design and service design bring to business, and how they go about it.
A Myriad of Activities
In Experience Design, Michael Porter is quoted for his thoughts on business strategy. He says that delivering a greater value to customers over competitors is created by the myriad of activities a business performs. “…creating, producing, selling, and delivering a product or service are the basic units of competitive advantage...Strategy involves creating a ‘fit’ among a company’s activities.” This is the core of service design: examining a business across all of its verticals to fill in the gaps customers may experience. Most businesses, rightfully so, organize themselves into silos so that each one can be as efficient as possible. This arrangement of operations works but there are shortcomings. When businesses organize themselves into silos, there may be gaps in knowledge or experience across verticals. This gap isn’t felt directly at the company but is felt by customers. Experience design remedies this by better understanding customer’s pain points with a business, product, or service, and improving it.
Performance of a Service
An interesting note from Service Design is the idea of the performance of the service. Performance can be thought of as ‘experience’ and ‘value’. Performance as experience focuses on the style or way a service is delivered to customers. It can be how a customer is treated or how the service provider performed the service. Think of it like an orchestra: we have a spectrum of different performers with diverse talents coming together to deliver a single experience. Performance as value measures the outward and inward-facing value of service. Did the service deliver the results it promised? How cost effective is this service for our business? Performance as value is objective compared to the subjectivity of performance as experience.
All in all, experience design and service design are major players when it comes to developing and maintaining value for businesses, and therefore customers. These two methods of design help businesses zoom out and examine their activities holistically while zooming in on customer experiences across a range of verticals.