A service is something that the public needs, such as transportation, communications facilities, hospitals, or energy supplies, which are provided in a planned and organized way by the government or an official body. Service design is based on the original intention of service. Therefore, service design means considering service in design and how design can improve service. The recognition of service design in industry represents a change in paradigm from being product centered to service centered. There's no such thing as mass production anymore, and the importance of service has been expanding. Design has changed not only public services, but also company services. In brief, many people from previous generations might not be able to understand that service can be a target of design, but people in the digital age can and do appreciate the change.
Principles Which Help Service Design
Service design has ten rules; these rules were made by Birgit Mager who is a professor at the Koln International School of Design in Germany. There are the two primary principles in these rules. One is the designer treats both service and the product equally. Service design came about after the establishment of various strategies. Service has to combine characteristics which can give an impression to their customer. For this reason, service design has to leave evidence of their service, and it is necessary to consider the customer's situation and respond with flexibility. For example, Vodafone, a mobile carrier in the UK, developed photo sticker phones for children. London Heathrow Airport changed their passages which were like mazes. They made direction boards that are purple or yellow. Gilbarco, an oil refining company in the US, asked IDEO to address their customer's complaints. IDEO is a famous design company in the US. Customer's complained they couldn't see the gas pumps at night. In addition, the oil refining company's CEO also complained that gas pumps occupy too much space. Therefore, the gas pumps were changed to have fluorescent colors.
Another main principle is that a designers and companies need to experience the consumer's situation, it is called going on a "Customer Journey". Service has distinct characteristics which lead to frequent use of products. For example, Kraft, a food production company in the US, makes CAPRI-SUN. Kraft Foods wanted to more closely collaborate with its customers and involve them as co-designers. They accepted the complaints of their customers, who said they couldn't easily find their favorite flavor on the beverage display stand. Kraft turned to IDEO for a solution. IDEO worked out a way to solve this problem. Their idea was to create a display in the form of a piling box chimney, so people could have easy access to product stacks. They also sped up stocking and shopping. In order to understand a problem, designers have to experience their consumer's situation. Good design is created by listening to client concerns. Another good example is Graz Airport in Switzerland. This airport made a graph detailing the concerns of various groups of consumers. The vertical axis represents satisfaction and the horizontal axis each service step. Therefore, the most important thing is to make service products which can continually be developed. Deutsche Bank in Germany, for instance, continues to create and apply new services.
Public Service Design
Service design is used for public purposes such as hospitals and schools and so on. One well-known example is Play Pump. It's so revolutionary that it doesn't seem real. The idea to use the endless energy of playing children to turn it into blue gold came from Trevor Field, an Englishman who emmigrated to South Africa and made his fortune in advertising.
The first pump/merry-go-round was installed at the end of the 1990s in a small South African village and was known as the Stinkwater Play Pump. Trevor Field set up a workshop and manufactured about thirty pumps per month and spread his market to Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. Currently, there are about 900 Play Pumps in operation and they cover the needs of 2 million Africans.
There are similar campaigns to the Play Pump. One is the Ripple Effect by IDEO and the Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve large-scale problems. The Ripple Effect project aims to improve access to safe drinking water for over 500,000 of the world's poorest and most underserved people; to stimulate innovation among local water providers; and to build the capacity for future development in the water sector as a whole.
IDEO also changed the educational environment of Stanford University with the Center and the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. Stanford University suffered from stagnation after classes finished. Many students began to congregate to ask questions. IDEO suggested a new facility to act as a living prototype space, flexible enough to accommodate new tools, new workspaces, and new methods. The team delivered a space that was flexible enough to support a wide range of research activities, from small private spaces that allow concentration to large-scale presentations. The space needed to distribute the Center's work to a wide audience, both on and off campus. The ground floor is the Center's most visible aspect and serves as its public face. A full-width display wall made of timber slats provides a warm and adaptable surface to attach and showcase the Center's work using many forms, from posters to plasma displays. Information kiosks made from plywood allow the inevitable changes to be made cheaply and easily. Memorial Hospital in the US might face the same difficulties as Stanford University. This hospital has a busy waiting area, and serious cases and general cases are mixed in this area. IDEO applied these principles to six distinct areas of the program: reception, corridors, short stay, departmental entries, nurse stations, and patient rooms.
Another strong service design country is the UK which started Dot (Design of the Time) project. It improves schools, communities, energy, and the environment. They have adopted concepts of service design in about 3,500 school renovations. This project's goal is to build future schools and it will take place over the next fifteen years.
Korean Service Design
We have looked at many examples of other countries' service design initiatives. However we have not examined any Korean examples. The question remains, does service design exist in Korea? Korea has no established service design specialty companies. However, we are developing service industries. On the other hand, Korea shows an interest in city design. Seoul has been selected World Design Capital 2010. This distinction does not specifically cover service design, but it can provide a basic platform. In addition, Korean people need to improve their image. To improve our image, consumers and companies must change from an attitude of stinginess to having more open minds. In other words, Korean service design must do more to foster expertise, infrastructure, and environment.
Large companies as well as small and midsize companies have in house design departments. However many large companies have to outsource design work to design specific companies. This raises a problem because the work of design companies is kind of slow. Design companies also need to do research and have intense periods of observation of their consumers. One of the advantages that foreign companies have is their focus on research and observation. Although Korean companies research their consumers, there is a shortage of research. If Korea is to develop service design, its company's images must be vividly engraved on the minds of consumers. This way consumers can enjoy more safe and convenient products and services.
The combination of service and design has been a long time in coming and a lot of time has passed, but the ripple effect is very strong. IDEO and Livework in the UK provides their people and other people benefits and convenience. Service design has not been felt on a large scale but Korea can achieve service design, if we show enough interest.
jung-In Bae firstname.lastname@example.org
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