Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the ways that industrial design students approach service design projects. Taking the unique aspects of services compared to products into account, first, the notion of the studio ‘project’ was discussed from a service design perspective. The elements of service design projects were articulated as ‘the offering’; ‘the modules and interfaces’; and ‘the suppliers, customers, and resources’. Then, using an undergraduate service design elective course as a case, a thematic account of nine student projects was developed. Four design strategies utilized by industrial design students in their service design project development efforts were inductively identified: Replacing a product with a service idea; reconceptualising an existing service in a local context; expanding the scope of a professional service through digital channels; and changing the target user group of an existing service and redesigning the customer journey. These strategies were distinguished by the locus element of the projects and the amount of iteration that took place between the three project elements. The results show that the design strategy followed impacts the degree of novelty of the proposed service. Consequently, for successful service design projects, students and design teams need to combine different methods to visually manifest the parameters and limits of the service, decide on the locus project element that will guide the design process, and continuously explore and seize new ideas that emerge from the interactions between the different project elements.

Keywords:

design strategy, industrial design, service design, studio projects, teaching and learning

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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

How Industrial Design Students Approach Service Design Projects

This paper aims to investigate the ways that industrial design students approach service design projects. Taking the unique aspects of services compared to products into account, first, the notion of the studio ‘project’ was discussed from a service design perspective. The elements of service design projects were articulated as ‘the offering’; ‘the modules and interfaces’; and ‘the suppliers, customers, and resources’. Then, using an undergraduate service design elective course as a case, a thematic account of nine student projects was developed. Four design strategies utilized by industrial design students in their service design project development efforts were inductively identified: Replacing a product with a service idea; reconceptualising an existing service in a local context; expanding the scope of a professional service through digital channels; and changing the target user group of an existing service and redesigning the customer journey. These strategies were distinguished by the locus element of the projects and the amount of iteration that took place between the three project elements. The results show that the design strategy followed impacts the degree of novelty of the proposed service. Consequently, for successful service design projects, students and design teams need to combine different methods to visually manifest the parameters and limits of the service, decide on the locus project element that will guide the design process, and continuously explore and seize new ideas that emerge from the interactions between the different project elements.

 

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