Service design and UX

Torresburriel Estudio
5 min readJul 19, 2023

Service design in UX is a discipline that focuses on creating services that meet the needs of users and provide them with a positive and effective experience. Above all, it is a key factor in ensuring that these potential customers continue to interact with our product.

As services become increasingly important in today’s world, it is crucial to understand the principles of service design when creating a successful product.

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We will explore the fundamental concepts of service design in UX, including the key elements of a successful service, its principles and benefits, and how it can impact users’ perception of a brand.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

What is Service Design?

We already know that a “service” is a provision that aims to meet a specific need. For example, when you take a taxi, the taxi driver is providing you with the service of taking you from point A to point B.

Well, following this logic, Service Design aims to plan and organize the people, infrastructure, communication, and material components of a service in order to make the interaction between the service provider (such as the taxi driver in the previous example) and the customer as satisfying as possible.

Key differences between Service Design and UX Design

Now that we understand the concept of providing a service in a daily context, such as taking a taxi, let’s focus on discovering the main differences between service design in the UX world and traditional service design. Here we go!

UX Design alone is not enough. Running a service-oriented business by only considering UX design is like creating a website with just an interface — it’s useless. The organization of any business is carried out based on the user-service provider interactions. The business process is optimized to better cater to customers, providing them with the best user experience.

This means that UX is of vital importance, but we cannot ignore the fact that without proper service design, businesses are nothing.

UX Design and Service Design must go hand in hand. They depend on each other and vice versa.

A website with a good business process but a poorly designed landing page has a high probability of failure. Similarly, a company that has an amazing website but takes a long time to respond to user inquiries is also destined to fail.

To succeed in the business process, both factors must work together, as the main goal of a service-oriented company should be to provide quality service to the customer and ensure that their business processes run smoothly.

Principles of UX for Service Designers

As a service designer, it is essential to have a solid understanding of UX principles to create services that are engaging, effective, and user-friendly. Here are the key UX principles that every service designer should consider:

  • User-centric approach: The user should be at the center of everything the service designer does. Understanding the users’ needs, expectations, and motivations when interacting with a service is crucial in designing solutions that meet those needs.
  • Task orientation: The service should be designed around the tasks that users need to perform. It should be easy for users to accomplish their desired tasks without having to search or think too much.
  • Context is key: Designs should be optimized to fit the devices users will use. This includes ensuring that designs work well across different screen sizes and designing applications or websites to be usable in various situations.
  • Intuitive design: The service should be easy to understand and use without the need for explicit instructions. Users should be able to navigate intuitively and quickly find what they need.
  • Consistency: Design elements such as colors, buttons, icons, and more should be consistent throughout the service. Consistency helps create a cohesive look and feel across different parts of the design.
  • Emotional design: The service should evoke positive emotions in users. It should be visually appealing and generate a sense of satisfaction when users interact with it.
  • Feedback design: Feedback design ensures that users know what is happening at all times and have the ability to correct any mistakes they might make. It provides clear and informative feedback to users throughout their journey.
  • Design with the end in mind: Designers should work with a clear understanding of the purpose and goals they want to achieve with the service. This helps create designs focused on delivering a user-centric experience.

These are just some of the UX principles that service designers should consider when creating services that meet user needs and provide a satisfying and effective experience. By incorporating these principles into service design, designers can improve the user experience and increase the likelihood of service success.

Benefits of Service Design

Implementing the aforementioned principles correctly brings several rewards. Here are the key benefits of doing service design well:

  • Benefits for customers and organizations: Customers experience consistent, coherent, and frictionless end-to-end service experiences. For organizations, the benefit lies in delivering a job well done, leading to customer loyalty and repeat business.
  • Increased brand differentiation: Thoughtfully and effectively designed services can differentiate a brand from its competitors and enhance its position in the market.
  • Encourages innovation: Service design, with its user-centered approach and creative design thinking, fosters innovation and helps businesses develop new products and services.
  • Improves collaboration and communication: Service design involves collaboration and communication across different areas of the organization, enhancing overall effectiveness.
  • Boosts profitability and customer retention: By enhancing the user experience and service efficiency, customers are more likely to return, resulting in long-term profitability for the organization.

These are just some of the benefits that come with designing services tailored to user needs.

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Torresburriel Estudio

User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance