ISDI Service Design Survey Findings Summer 2020

Learn What Service Designers Think


ISDI conducts periodic surveys that seek to learn about the field of service design from practitioners first-hand.

Below are the results from our Summer 2020 survey.  Here we post charts from our presentation.  Soon we will offer a download report.

Stay tuned!

I Would Like To Participate In Next Survey

Summary of Findings

Service Designers Span the Globe

Designers believe SD is a growing field

▶ Most respondents said they believe SD is a growing field

▶ Believe there are more SD jobs 77.88%

▶ 67% said Covid has impacted their job

Defining Service Design

If you were to get a half-dozen service designers in a room – sounds like the wind up for a joke – you would inevitably get six definitions of service design.  But that’s no joke because if service designers have different ideas about the definition of service design, imagine the confusion of others, including clients.

So we repeatedly ask service designers for their definition of service design. Thankfully, to a large extent, the definitions are close, what I call the same compass heading.  

This is somewhat of a relief, because the dilema posed by confusion will cripple the intentions and benefits gained from Service Design. 

I, for one, don’t completely agree with the definition of service design posted on Wikipedia. That definition focuses misleadingly on arranging people, technology, and process, rather the basis of user-centricity to uncover and meet user needs, thereby designing successful outcomes for users – the what and why. 

But I am an eternal optimist and believe in time that we will collectively get closer to how its practiced and used. 


The Results

  1. An established field that is both studied and practiced, based on a user-centric approach for creating and improving services. Using methodologies, models, and tools, services are designed to meet user needs and result in satisfying user experiences.
  1. Experienced-centered methodology (which includes human-centered design, emotional design, design thinking, and contextual design) that enables service innovation – by which ‘services’ are a provider’s total, accumulated portfolio of products and services.

 3.Used for planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication, and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its users.

▶ Choice #1 was preferred by a slight margin over the other two.
▶ Those who identified as Mid-level SD, chose #1 by a margin of 2:3 over the other two definitions.
▶ Senior SD chose definition #2 over #1 by a slight margin.
▶ Junior SD chose definition #3 over #1 by an even slighter margin.

Becoming a Service Designer

▶ Matriculated from a service design school of higher education
▶ If you entered the SD field from another profession, which one
was that?
• Product Design
• Innovation consulting
• Design thinking, user research
• Content design
• UX Design
• Spatial experience design
• Design and sustainability
• Community development and research
• Industrial design
• User experience design