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A must read for anyone who wants to know what service design is and how it works. Practical and easy to understand but also detailed enough to be useful (which would be my criticism of other service design or design thinking oriented books). Buy it!
Not bad, goes into too much detail in places basically pointing out the obvious, goes down to telling you what type of socks to wear... I would recommend some diagrams and case studies, but not too much more
Fragmented, confusing and it repeats many times the same basic concepts about marginal aspects. When it comes to the end, you figure out that you still have a blurry idea about service design and you are even more confused about how to build a Service Blueprint. Don't buy it. There are better books and articles around.
If this review only took into account the text of the book, I'd give it five stars. I own a small, local service business with a few locations, and though this book is intended primarily for people interested in service design as a profession, I've found it very insightful as a business owner. My company is planning on expanding in the near future, and I'm incorporating a lot of the ideas and processes in this book into a refinement of our service proposition before we do. The text is clear and concise, and offers valuable insights for a small business owner looking to refine their offering and put themselves a level above their competition.
That said, the glaring shortcoming of this book is the photos/graphic examples. A significant portion of these come from one of the authors' work for Gjensidige, an insurance company in Norway. While there is nothing wrong with this—and in fact I like having a common thread of examples run through a text like this so it's easy to comprehend how different concepts are relative to the whole—the examples have not been translated into English. This is a serious, serious flaw and I can't understand how the publisher let this get through. There are numerous images from the company's website displayed in Norweigan, but if I visit the site myself Chrome knows it's not English and offers to translate it for me so it would have taken a minimal amount of work to display it as such in the book. I can only assume that the images were taken during the design work and reused in the book, which would be fine if they were in English, but in this case is downright lazy. An even more egregious example are the sample Channel Specifications on pages 125 and 126, which serve to provide more detail on specific touchpoints in the service blueprint. These are simply screenshots of text files—which one of the authors clearly has access to as it was his own work—which no one bothered to translate. The result is two full pages of graphic examples which can convey nothing to a non-Norweigan speaker other than: "A Channel Specification should be a series of paragraphs".
I hope that the authors and publishers fix this in future editions, as this is an otherwise excellent book. At the very least, while it doesn't excuse the oversight of giving English readers examples in Norweigan, it would be great if English language copies of these images and examples were made available on a website for owners of the current edition.
Service Design is one of the best books I have read this year as it unpacks the jargon ladened discipline of service design. The term service design reflects an enhancement of products, services and experiences to reflect the competitive, digital and consumer powered world we face. How you design experience into a product, particularly from the customers point of view is a challenge and service design is one answer to that challenge.
The chapter structure of the book provides an illustration to the clarity, focus and actionability of the advice offered in this book. You will not be a 'service designer' after having read the book, but you can be a highly productive participant in a service design project.
Chapter 1: "Insurance is a service, not a product" provides an end to end case example of how service design applies to in a real market context.
Chapter 2: The nature of service design covers its development, evolution and basic way of thinking.
Chapter 3: Understanding people and relationships looks at the human element, across all actors, in setting expectations and creating experiences that drive effective services.
Chapter 4: Turning research into insight looks at tools and methods for taking qualitative input and quantitative data to create meaningful insight.
Chapter 5: Describing the service ecology recognizes that while 'the product stands alone' a service lives in the white space between multiple people and actors. Fans of "ecosystems' will enjoy this chapter.
Chapter 6: Developing a service proposition gets into the meat of the tools and techniques which are beautifully illustrated in the text.
Chapter 7: Prototyping service experiences is pretty self explanatory discussing the different techniques etc.
Chapter 8: Measuring services addresses one of the hot buttons of service design -- how do you know they are working?
Chapter 9: The challenges facing service design provides a look forward at the potential of service thinking to change business, society and commerce.
This book lays out the service design rational, basic process and major deliverables (service blueprint) in less than 200 pages. Polaine, Lovlie and Reason has written a book that is largely free of 'design' jargon and readily accessible to the business or technology professional. Overall this is an excellent book and highly recommended.