Choosenick. Notes and observations on service design, as well as other interesting things/thinking. By Nick Marsh.

Posts tagged with “digital”...

Digital (especially mobile) is making service so designable

I spotted this over on Techcrunch today - a brace of iPhone apps that enable you to order take away food directly from the app without calling. As they say, the apps 'allow users to order food on the go from online menus, buying entrees, appetizers, and drinks on the fly without the hassle of human interaction.'

Picture 2
Image from Techcrunch

Apart from just being cool, the thing that struck me is just how 'designable' all services are becoming once everyone has a little computer in their pocket. Almost every single part of any service encounter can be enhanced, personalised, made more convenient (and fun!) through the addition of mobile digital services - either as stand alone apps like these, or simply as mobile versions of company's websites such as this iPhone powered room service.

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Image from Mobilecrunch

The thing that also amazes me is the speed at which this is happening, and the speed at which ideas and expectations pollinate across sectors and experiences. Another example that popped into my inbox this morning is this restaurant in Madrid, which allows users to select exactly which table they will sit at online - which is obviously borrowed from the digital (web and kiosk) experience developed for airlines.

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Image from Springwise

What does this mean for designers and marketers? Well, I think the main message, which I've noted before here, is that advertising is increasingly irrelevant as a way to speak to customers about your products and services, beyond making new acquisitions and building basic awareness.

Companies that are interested in meaningful relationships are building direct digital channels to their customers which focus around improving and enhancing the service experience. They're building these channels through product/service platforms (such as this Nintendo/NEC/Hitachi/Health Insurance Mii fit health service), or by utilising other peoples platforms such as the App Store/iPhone.

Image from Geoff Northcote

The point is that all these channels and platforms are just so 'designable', so easy to hook into and access (with permission/payment to the platform owner of course, and there's the rub) that the question faced by brand managers and marketing bosses is not how (that's easy), but what? - and why?

What parts of the experience can/should we put into the customers hands? What web/call centre functionality should we take mobile? Should we use the App store to make a mobile version of our site? Should we have a facebook app? A linked-in app? An S60 app? A desktop Air App? What could it be? Should we have an API for our own website? Should we make something physical and utilise meatspace platforms? When should we do it? How do we plan it? Can we even plan it? Should we do everything? Where should I spend my marketing dollars/euros/pounds!!

It's a great time to be a service designer.
February 5th, 2009 / Tags: servicedesign, digital / Trackback / Comments