10 years of service design (in the eyes of Service Design Network conference, 2017)

Creating a common language, implementation as the key action, service design as a internal capacity and scaling the service design – these are 4 most important directions for the service design for the future after summary of 10 years at Service Design Global Conference which happened this week at Madrid.


Before main part of the conference (1st November) during the Service Design Network Members Event some special and important guests in the context of service design has summarized the state of 10 years. Important people in different markets (connected with services) has started to see the value of service design as approach. One of them is well-known marketing expert Philip Kotler who officially accreditates service design. We can find many links between marketing and service design through last years (i.e. Christian Gronroos or Mary Jo Bitner).

Some important and groundbreaking thoughts was pointed out:

  1. By speaking and sharing knowledge about service design we must create a language adequate to the context of company/people who are our recipients/customers (especially organizations);
  2. Hard work and crucial impact of services starts when they are implemented. We must focus on delivery state. This will be a real value of service design – provement.
  3. Building internal service design capacity in organizations should be the aim of the change management strategies.
  4. One of the biggest challenges for the future of service design will be digitalization of services and using technology in the right way with the aim of distribution of economic power.
  5. Building awareness of design and its role from the very beginning (Here Marc Stickdorn shared really important and great fact that in schools in Austria children at the age of 15 have “service design” as a course in High School). One of the cases during conference (at Service Design Network awards was also Bridgeable with their TELUS client: How children in Australia learn about design: https://www.service-design-network.org/headlines/bridgeable-redefining-the-telus-renewals-experience)

The mission that Service Design Network stated is that:

Service Design become a new normal

Service Design Network will support this direction. Now in their community there are 28 chapters all over the world. Chapter awards for categories as: Cultural Inclusivity, Most Innovative Initiative, Best Public Relation, Best Member Relations and Excellent Event Organization covered and mentioned teams from countries like Japan, Bejing or Netherlands. There are over 45.000 followers on different channels in social media. Our mission should be (as main conference theme mentions: Service Design at scale): building awareness and create a common language.

Finally, Marzia Arico from Lifework pointed out 4 important triggers for the future:


The whole presentation can be found here:

How about your thoughts about service design in the future and key insights about last 10 years? I’m sure there are plenty of thoughts I didn’t cover here, so be invited to co-create!

Katarzyna Młynarczyk, CEO of Socjomania, digital consultancy in Poland, SID student (2016-2017) – connect with me on Linkedin!
Other articles: Role of Facilitator

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