Understanding Principles Of Service Design

Khushbu Raval
3 min readOct 25, 2021
Understanding Principles Of Service Design

“A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it,” said Brenda Laurel, a designer at MIT.

It means the design has a huge influence on users, especially in a software and app design world where the number of touchpoints is large, and usage is critical. And usage translates into customer churn and ratings.

Design is a coalescence of multiple things as it draws inspiration from varied fields and areas. Today, besides emotions, intelligence and aesthetics, technology plays a vital role. Modern-day design, service design is influenced by marketing, project management and user experience (UX) to enhance services. It aims to understand and visualise the users and their experience to improve the user’s service experience. It’s about taking a service and making sure it meets users’ needs for that service, which can be used to improve an existing service or to create a new service from scratch. To adapt to service design, a UX designer needs to understand the basic principles of service design thinking and focus on them while creating services.

These principles are drawn from the design ethos of Design4Services, the organisation dedicated to developing service design and promoting business transformation. The principles are widely accepted in the commercial sector.

Also Read: Address Customer Needs With Right Technology Response

Principles of Service Design


Customer-centricity is the first service design principle. Understanding expectations, consumption behaviours, personal tastes, core decision making influences, personal values, cultural values and beliefs mechanisms lays a foundation for design. Also, broader demographic and data-driven information about your current and potential customers can assist in designing services based upon delivering on specific customers needs and expectations.


Effective customer-centric service design and delivery require the commitment of all levels of an organisation and a wide range of external and ancillary service providers present in the service ecosystem. It requires that every customer interaction and touchpoint on the customer’s service experience journey be aligned and consistent with the customer-centric service design philosophies.

Customer centricity should be led from the top of an organisation and should engage all stakeholders Engaging stakeholders in a co-creative service design process encourages a higher level of cohesion, alignment and commitment to the customer as the centre of the service philosophy.

Also Read: Better Data Governance Leads to True Customer-Centric Experiences


Services should be viewed and treated as a sequence of interrelated processes or events. Delivering service is a journey; from a customer’s perspective, any one or more interactions with your organisation and external stakeholders or ancillary interaction points is typically in their mind a connected part of the service delivery experience. If you see it from a customer’s perspective, every interaction is a service touchpoint. It impacts their perception and expectation of the value that they will or will not receive from future engagement with the organisation.

From a customer-centric standpoint, every interaction is a part of their experience journey, and organisations need to design services based upon delivering consistent, high quality and seamless service experiences.


Services are intangible and should be visualised in terms of physical elements. Creating lasting positive service memories and solid emotional associations with past service experiences can prolong and enhance customer perceptions of the service they received.

Integrating physical elements of service that act as lasting memory triggers such as souvenirs, merchandise, cosmetic samples and professional photographs of unique activities. within the service, the delivery experience can be a powerful value-adding contributor. Using service evidence intelligently can positively impact customer loyalty and referral rates.


Even though service design is in a developing phase, there are several tools to help businesses cater to their customers better by understanding their journey. By integrating services for a more robust and practical approach, service design enhances customer satisfaction while increasing organisational efficiency.

Originally published on: Martechvibe