Service Design- a buzz word or something more?

‘Service design’ seems to be an emerging area within design over the last few years or so.

Provoking the question…
Is it an important emerging discipline or just a buzz word that is alluding to already existing design principles?

I think it’s neither a buzzword nor an emerging trend, it’s just a term that designers have coined to get themselves into other areas apart from products and interactive devices. It’s basically a business pitch that design principles can make services run better. Look at it this way, there were a lot of college grads who graduated with a great knowledge of industrial design, but the market could never absorb all of them. Some of them loved designing things, so they wanted to find a new opportunity to use their skills, and that opportunity was services. Some service design principles genuinely offer advantages over other service management principles, so those people are onto something serious.

Service design in more than a buzzword, it’s the indicator of the way in which civilization is moving.

Well, I certainly hope it’s more than just a buzzword, as it’s a profession I’m hopefully headed into!

I think there’s potential for interaction between service design and systems engineering which could make it more than just a fad. There are facets of systems engineering, like this grad program at MIT (, which look at complex systems involving people, not just infrastructure. I think the fascinating part of service design is that it’s geared at making life - perhaps the mundane parts of life - easier for us humans.

If you haven’t already, definitely take a look at my interview with Reboot’s Panthea Lee from Core77’s front page: A Better World By Design: Spotlight on Panthea Lee of Reboot - Core77