Towards a service design driven society

Services are the heart of contemporary society.

Data are the ‘oil’ of the future.

The current ways of working will tend to disappear.

New technologies will be fully integrated into the human body.

These are only some of the journalistic phrases entered the everyday lexicon proposing a lens of observation to understand how the society in which we live is changing (or has already changed).
Surely the services are an essential element of the socio-economic development at the global scale. The way in which the production, the design, and the services development have had an impact on our habits is tangible in its real impact on our everyday life.

We all evoke the introduction of low-cost tourism services: organizing a trip in autonomy, buying an airline ticket online and even print the boarding card at home. Yes, printing it! The QR Code has arrived years after.

Not to mention the changes that the so-called makers’ movement has led us to make in our daily journeys. We have now understood that the production of an object can also take place in our living room.

And what can we say about the first time in which we signed our bank documents with a digital signature even without having to go to the branch? The digital transformation, the use of big and open data, the massive use of the artificial intelligence, the service processes automation, the design of iper-tailored solutions are only some of the topics that impact the way of designing services and influence the role that the service designer can have in society. These new services affect more or less directly and consciously our choices, our behaviors, and consequently the design at the base of such processes.

For those who design services, reading and interpreting these phenomena of transformation become essential to adequately respond to the new social, economic and environmental challenges.

Therefore, what does it imply to be service designers today?

What are the challenges that individuals and organizations must, or can, face in the present and in the future?

We do not have answers to these questions. And, of course, there are no univocal answers.
Those mentioned are only some areas of reflection that we believe are interesting to explore together to reflect on the evolution of the practice and discipline of service design. It is evident that the theme of the user experience is one of the most central issues around which rotates the change. Organizations – even those that do not rigidly deal with services – recognize it, design agencies design communicate it as a ‘credo’, people are aware of this and therefore they feel called (and they are!) to share their ideas, suggestions or frustrations about products, processes, and experiences.

Starting from these premises, as Master in Service Design, we have the responsibility to stimulating a critical thinking touching the world of designing services questioning on what might be the role of the service design in the light of the changes taking place and therefore to reflect on how the discipline and the design practice can evolve.

How are service solutions and processes changing?

How are organizations transforming their processes?

How are service designers’ competencies and capabilities evolving?

We share the urgency of feeding a collective reflection within the service designers community, matching the point of view of experts, academics and young professionals, organizations, whether they are operating on the small or large scale, whether in the public or private sector.