We asked practitioners and employers for the knowledge and skills required of a service designer. For employers, we asked how they evaluate candidates. For service designers, we asked what knowledge and skills they used in their work.
Basic Understanding –
- That the premise of service design is to create reliable, satisfactory experiences for users, based on what is to be achieved for the desired outcome.
- Recognition that services are made up of components, distinct parts that must be organized to create satisfactory user experiences.
- Familiarity with the concept of user-centricity, the approach for practicing service design. And, to base the use of models and tools on users’ needs.
- Know which models and tools to use at the stages of design.
Leadership qualities: Capable of leading diverse teams to accomplish a service design goal. This includes the ability to communicate objectives, moderate discussions, solicit divergent viewpoints, and accommodate group needs. Additionally, must be able to communicate ideas clearly, and serve as a role model to less senior service designers. Empathy is key.
Strategic Vision-oriented: An ability to see problems in all their dimensions, necessary to realize a holistic perspective on an organization’s challenge. This includes foresight into how designs and changes impact users and stakeholders.
Critical thinker: Able to solve business problems and envision possibilities. Must be comfortable challenging assumptions.
Skills, Knowledge, and Additional Abilities —
- Clear communicator, able to visualize possible solutions to complex issues and challenges.
- Curiosity for technology, open to trialing in innovative ways in support of user experiences.
- Intuit physical parameters, important for developing service frameworks, identifying resources, and planning how to develop an experience flow based on user actions and reactions.
- Understanding of business models.
- An understanding of research, including research instruments to uncover insights, ways to gather responses, some familiarity with data analysis and the ability to visualize results.
- An interest in a wide range of topics, and a thirst to discover more (curiosity). (Service designers who are educated in arts and science typically have a solid foundation from which to build upon.)
- Knowledge and ability to develop processes.
- Comfortable with the basics of customer experience.
- Subject matter expertise, which evolves from working across disciplines and domains (sectors), or deep knowledge of one or more domains.
- Experience(s) delivering large or complex projects.
- Experience working within regulations and policies.