(Tampa, Fl., December 2020) — Weighing in on a long, unsettled issue regarding the definition of service design, more than 100 service designers from around the globe voiced their opinions, narrowing it down to three definitions, according to findings in a newly released survey by the Tampa, Fla.-based International Service Design Institute.

The respondents ranked more benefit-oriented definitions over the more theoretical ones that are most often found on internet blog posts. Their first choice aligns with how service designers build services to the benefit of end-users, the second choice more closely describes how service designers help improve the business of service providers. Their third choice, found on Wikipedia’s Service Design page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_design, was a more theoretical definition from when service design could best be described as nascent.

  1. Experienced-centered methodology (which includes human-centered design, emotional design, design thinking, and contextual design) that enables service innovation https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jpim.12283) by which ‘services’ are a provider’s total, accumulated portfolio of products and services. (A business portfolio perspective)
  2. 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. (Wikipedia’s definition)