For clarity: Service Design (SD) is any activity that takes customer or end user needs and expectations from concept to delivery and adoption of a service.
The field is broad and there appears to be something in it for a wide range of professionals: marketeers, analysts, engineers, artists, anthropologists, to name a few. The richness in literature and case history can be both enthralling and daunting. So if you are confused about where to start or how to get prepared for your own involvement in SD, here are some suggestions that worked for me and may help you navigate this relatively new area of study and practice:
1. Embrace the diversity and find your own bearings in Service Design before standardisation and codification deal the innovative aspects of SD a blow. SD combines a wealth of experience from industrial design to modern app development and does not easily let itself be confined to a straightjacket approach, but the threat of someone laying claims to 'best practice' is always around the corner.
2. Decide which strand of SD best suits your professional interest and ways of working. There is enough variety to meet your individual needs and expectations: strategy development, portfolio management, product development, CRM, social media, business transformation, contract law, event management, performance improvement, organisational design, etc.
3. Explore the tools and techniques that best work in your own environment and experiment before your solidify the various components. It is the experience (workshops, interviews, pilots, evaluation with customers) that lays the foundation of a successful SD approach, not necessarily the method or the tools you pick.
If you are looking for a good introduction and grounding in this rapidly evolving area, then there is some recommended reading to get you off to a good start:
- Service Design for business, http://liveworkstudio.com/sdforb/
- The Service Innovation Handbook, https://serviceinnovationhandbook.org/
- This is Service Design Thinking, http://thisisservicedesignthinking.com/
- Value Proposition Design, https://strategyzer.com/books/value-proposition-design
You will most certainly pick up a handful of good ideas or helpful insights from any of these well-researched publications. It is both rewarding and liberating, when you move away from the more rigid frameworks that traditional business modelling and design approaches tend to offer.