The following, which could even be considered a job description for a service designer, was accumulated from asking senior service designers, service design firm leaders, business leaders, and those who hire service designers.
Basic Understanding –
- The components of a service: what are the distinct parts of a service, such as a service system and service operations, the importance and treatment of tangible and intangibles, the basics to define user experiences, and how to monitor and measure them.
- Knowledge of the tools in a designer’s tool box: understand how to construct and derive data from a journey map, and use of a blueprint. Understanding and planning knowledge of touchpoints.
- Comfortable with new, emerging and existing technology: sufficient knowledge to plan and implement technology in support of user experiences.
- Diagnostic fundamentals: sufficiently skilled to know which tools to use and how to implement them for finding and neutralizing specific points of service failure.
Leadership qualities: Able to lead functional and otherwise diverse individuals to accomplish a service design goal. This includes the ability to communicate objectives, moderate to solicit divergent viewpoints and accommodate individual and group needs. This is not serving as a manager. This is indeed leading a group to achieve trust between individuals and the leader, to be able to come to a mutually agreeable outcome. Additionally, able to communicate clearly and earn respect among juniors, peers, and leadership.
Strategic Vision-oriented: The qualities of ‘strategic’ have many meanings, but for service designers, it encompasses the ability to acquire an understanding of an organization’s challenge and objectives; and to realize and recognize impacts of a service on users and the organization, along with any other stakeholders. It also includes the ability to create a framework for services, recognizes when changes must occur, and just as importantly, to know when a service is complete—ready to go live.
Skills, Knowledge, and Additional Abilities —
- Fundamental ‘service design’ skills
- Ability to recognize and develop business models.
- A critical thinker, one who can develop their own insights to envision possibilities, and have the confidence to challenge assumptions and clearly communicate them to others.
- To possess, or be able to acquire, a user-centric mindset, such as understanding human (behaviors) actions and reactions, and likely responses to certain stimuli. At its essence, a service designer needs to be able to define human interaction and comprehend its significance around planning and implementing user experiences.
- Sufficiently skilled in the capabilities of research, including an understanding of research instruments and when and how to use them. Also, to possess a critical eye to analysis—specifically, to make underlying assumptions; synthesize findings into shared-communications, and discriminate for those conclusions to incorporate into service designing.
- 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.
- Customer experience skills.
- 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
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