High quality and competitive costs are the key objectives of good products.  But services are all about people, as consumers and/or providers of the service.  In addition to high quality and competitive costs, achieving asuperior customer experience is now a top priority across all industries given the growth of services throughout the economy.

It’s much easier to appreciate the role of design when it comes to physical objects: cars, bridges, buildings, dresses, shoes, jewelry, smartphones, laptops, and so on.  But, it’s considerably harder to appreciate its importance when it comes to more abstract entities like services, systems, information and organizations.  Yet, they account for the bulk of the growing complexity in our daily lives.

Design thinking is all about having positive service experiences with the companies we do business with.  Good design aims to make our interactions with complex institutions, – e.g., a business, a healthcare provider, a government function, – as appealing and intuitive as possible.  Design-centric organizations are adamantly focused on their customers’ needs.

We may not be hearing as much about service science because, in a sense, the battle has been won.  The technologies, methods and concepts once pioneered in service science are now well accepted in mainstream IT and academic disciplines.  We still have much to do, but we no longer have to argue that science, engineering and design now play a prominent role in services all across the economy.