Book review “this is service design thinking”

When I started reading this book I had only just been introduced to the coined term Service Design. I was seeking to understand what was generally expected and what approach was generally taken in Service Design. 

To help me grasp the overall concepts and get an understanding of how other service designers approach their jobs, help this book was great. It is beautifully designed, and presented, I was also pleased that the author approach writing the book as a service design project, and not an author/designer locked in a studio.

I had naturally been doing co-creative, user centered and visual approach to Customer Experience Management, so I was pleased to see some of this in the principals of service design thinking. Examining the title you should notice it says “This is service design thinking” and not “this is service design” which realizes that many professions are already doing service design thinking in their specific roles.

Fields of Service Design:

  • Product Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Social Design
  • Strategic Management
  • Operations Management
  • Design Ethnography

Defining service design, and service design thinking was also described in the book and it was interesting that there are allot of attempts, and not yet an agreed definition as service design is very young as a term.

A definition I liked from the book was:
“Service design is all about making the service you deliver useful, usable, efficient, effective and desirable. “ (UK Design Council, 2010)

Also the 5 principals of Service Design Thinking:

  1. User Centered
  2. Co-creative
  3. Sequencing
  4. Evidencing
  5. Holistic

Overall I would recommend this book for anybody wanting to understand and get started with service design.

To get others opinions I attended a book club in Melbourne which recently reviewed the book, one specific points was a few people felt co creation did not fit as a tool, and why it was also duplicated as a principal. It possibly should be left as a principal and removed as a tool.

Additionally the tools were extensive but didn’t go into specific details e.g. a process of how to use them, overall though we agreed this would have been difficult to achieve without the book being twice as long and it at least gave you direction to seek more information.

I asked the group: “on a scale of 0-10 how likely are you to recommend This is service design thinking to friends and colleagues”

The responses were:

2 x Promoters (9,10)
2 x Passive (7,8)
3 x Detractors (0-6)
Note: nobody marked less than 5. 

I also asked do you think its worth reading unanimously it was yes.