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

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Two non-design service design books every service designer should read

Inspired by Jeff's recent post on the best books in the service design library, I thought I'd share these two - New Service Development and Innovation in the New Economy and From Products to Services: Insights and experiences from companies which have embraced the service economy.

Both these books are written by 'non-designer' service designers and both are essential reading for 'design led' service designers. They provide whistle stop tours of 'the other' side to service design - i.e the side that's not full of designers and marketers going on about user-centred-experience-design-touchpoints-over-time-etc.

Laurie Young's book, From products to Services, is clearly and concisely written and gives a wide overview of the workings of service focussed businesses. It's not the most exciting read, but what it lacks in sensationalism it makes up for in sensible, clear ideas. This is not a one hit wonder business book full of anecdotes - instead its a practical how-to guide for delivering change within service businesses (or businesses that are getting into services).

It sets out in plain language many of principles and practices around the internal workings of service organisations that design schools just don't teach you about. HR, operations, service marketing and the important differences between service business units and other business functions. Illustrated with lots of case studies and many useful diagrams, this is the best business book I've read in ages, and definitely the most directly useful to my practice - unlike many trendier pop business books, which tend to be more generally inspirational and have made their only real point by the end of the first chapter. Readable and relevant.

Edvardsson et al's book is tougher going than Laurie Young's. But, despite the donnish language and dense copy its a great tour de force of the wide range of new service development techniques employed by companies, with a particular focus on how the digital economy has changed the economics of service. The authors introduce lots of design management and new product development concepts that most designers will be unaware of, and then start exploring how their application to the design of services changes their structure and features. Again, lots of case studies and engaging powerpoint style diagrams give you something to latch on to - my copy bristles with post-its and I've referred to it many times during projects.

Both books are practical, clear, and provide lots of ideas that you don't hear about in the design studio - get 'em now!
March 4th, 2009 / Tags: servicedesign, publication, designthinking / Trackback / Comments