Academy Xi Blog

What is Service Design and why is it important?

By Academy Xi

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We’ve compiled this list of questions most frequently asked about Service Design to help you understand what it’s like to start a high-impact career as a Service Designer.

  • Service Design and why it’s important
  • Service Design essentials
  • Service Design skills
  • Careers in Service Design
  • Industry demand for Service Design
  • Becoming a Service Designer

Already know you’d like to study Service Design? Get in touch with our Course Advisors to discuss training options, and check out the upcoming intake.

Service Design and why it’s important

What is Service Design?

With so many rival businesses competing for customers these days, offering outstanding service is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd. 

Service Design is a Human-Centred Design practice that emphasises the needs of the customer and strategically organises a business’s people, infrastructure and processes to provide seamless services.

Improving the customer’s service experience can help increase brand differentiation and build customer loyalty, leading to sustainable long-term growth. As well as improving the customer’s experience, a business that champions good service often provides a productive and enjoyable working environment for employees.    

How do businesses use Service Design?

With markets evolving quicker than ever before, what a customer deems to be an amazing service can change in the blink of an eye. Paying attention to Service Design allows a business to remain connected to its customers, ensuring continuity of change and enabling it to meet their current and future needs. 

Service Design uncovers the criteria customers have for committing to a company and making a purchase, helping a business validate its offerings and identify opportunities for improvement.  

The impact of Service Design isn’t restricted to customer-facing departments. Having an end-to-end service blueprint helps all internal stakeholders comprehensively analyse the service experience, instead of viewing it as a series of scattered actions. This breaks down silos and brings departments together, paving the way for a more innovative and customer-centric business model.

What does a Service Designer actually do?

What do service designers do

A Service Designer looks holistically at a business and its customer interactions, aiming to create amazing service experiences that permeate a whole company. 

Although no two roles will ever be the same, some of the day-to-day tasks that go into being a Service Designer include: 

  • Performing customer research 
  • Prioritising service features
  • Designing a service blueprint
  • Coordinating different teams 
  • Assigning and managing tasks 
  • Liaising with stakeholders, both internal and external
  • Determining metrics for success
  • Collecting and analysing data  

Service Design essentials

What are people, props and processes?

In order to optimise a business’s service, Service Designers focus their efforts on three key types of resources:

  • People

This refers to anyone who creates, uses or is indirectly affected by a service. First and foremost, this involves customers and employees, but could even include business partners and external investors.

  • Processes

This refers to the workflows, procedures and rules needed to successfully deliver a service, including hiring and training new employees. Many processes are carried out behind the scenes, but will ultimately impact the customer’s service experience.  

  • Props

This includes the physical or digital artefacts used throughout a service, as well as business spaces such as shops and showrooms. This could also include the digital platforms that businesses use to interact with their customers, such as social media sites and online stores.

What are the front and backstage elements of Service Design?

Taking a holistic approach, Service Designers research and optimise the front and backstage elements of a service. 

Front stage elements include:

  • Shops 
  • Websites and apps
  • Customer-facing staff 
  • Emails and chatbots
  • Telephone conversations

Backstage elements include: 

  • Company processes and policies
  • Workflows and systems 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Tech
  • Staff training programs

When problems exist with backstage elements, they often have frontstage consequences, including poor service, inconsistent communication and customer frustration. Streamlining backstage processes improves the employees’ experience, which in turn allows them to create a better service experience.

What is a customer journey map?

A customer journey map is a visual representation of a customer’s experience with a company. From gaining awareness of a brand via social media to the aftercare received from customer service, there are normally many steps in between that a customer journey map addresses.

Rather than predicting the experience of a service based on internal opinions, a customer journey map clarifies the physical and emotional responses to a service based on the customer’s perspective.

Customer journey maps provide an understanding of the needs and concerns of potential customers, which directly motivate or inhibit their actions as they interact with a brand. Service Designers use this information to enhance a business’s service, leading to increased customer retention.

What is a service blueprint?

A service blueprint is a diagram that visualises the relationships between the different components of a service – people, props and processes – all of which are directly tied to the different touchpoints in the customer’s journey.

Similar to customer journey maps, service blueprints are instrumental in planning how an end-to-end service will be delivered. Blueprinting is an ideal approach for planning services that are omnichannel, involve multiple touchpoints, or are coordinated by multiple departments.

Keep in mind that a business might have multiple service scenarios, which will lead to multiple blueprints. For example, a restaurant might have separate service blueprints for customers ordering takeout food versus customers who are dining-in.

Service Design Skills

service design skills academy xi

What skills does a Service Designer need?

A successful Service Designer will rely on a broad range of hard and soft skills when completing their day-to-day work. Here’s a shortlist of the fundamental skills that any aspiring Service Designer should aim to develop.

Hard skills

  • Commercial acumen 

Service Designers need to understand the target market, customer demographics, market demand and their business’s value proposition. Commercial acumen helps Service Designers deliver experiences that not only meet specific customer needs, but are also commercially viable.

  • Analytical skills

Service Designers rely on quantitative and qualitative data to understand a service from the perspective of customers, employees and other stakeholders. Analytical skills help Service Designers build sound, well-informed service blueprints that are based on data insights, rather than just their best guess.

  • Project management

Designing and implementing service improvements often involves coordinating input from multiple teams. A Service Designer relies on their project management skills to facilitate collaboration and ensure team members complete tasks according to a brief within set timelines.

  • User research

Any Service Design project will always begin with user research. It’s crucial that Service Designers know how to ask open questions that elicit a deeper understanding of people’s needs and behaviours. Capturing a customer’s perception of their experience relative to their goals will directly inform how a service can be improved upon. Service Designers need to be able to analyse research data and turn insights into actionable solutions that can be incorporated into a service.

  • Prototyping and testing

Service Designers need to be able to bring ideas to life and test their practicality with early and inexpensive prototypes. Prototypes take many forms, from rapid and iterative, to physical and digital. Customers will normally use the prototype, giving Service Designers the chance to test their design. Customer feedback will often decide which features are included in the final service blueprint.

Soft skills

  • Empathy

At the very heart of the Service Design process is empathy and a burning desire to improve people’s lives. Service Designers need the ability to listen and interact with their service users so they can explore different perspectives and experiences. Service Designers use their skills of empathy mapping to craft customer solutions and enhanced user experience.

  • Problem-solving

A Service Designer’s job involves multiple departments and many moving parts, which often leads to complications (budgetary constraints, conflicting beliefs, etc). A Service Designer with a problem-solving mindset can brainstorm ideas and identify solutions that will satisfy the customer’s demands as well as a business’s objectives.

  • Communication

Service Designers work cross-functionally, collaborating with anybody from tech teams to marketers. Strong communication skills enable Service Designers to secure stakeholder buy-in, nurture meaningful work relationships and align an entire company around a strategy.

  • Strategic thinking 

From the identification of improvement opportunities, to the development of a service blueprint and its implementation, Service Designers are often required to think strategically. Service Designers rely on their strategic skills to ensure that all teams, infrastructure and resources are properly organised to deliver incredible service experiences.

  • Decision-making

Inevitably, a range of choices have to be made when taking charge of an end-to-end service. Service Designers have to be able to weigh-up options, anticipate probable outcomes and make smart decisions that positively impact the service the customer receives.

Careers in Service Design

service design career demand australia

There are a wide variety of reasons to choose a career in Service Design. In particular, it’s a profession that’s highly sought after. These days, businesses in every industry understand that profitable companies are built on delivering great service.   

Before you embark on a career in Service Design, it’s useful to have a clear picture of what a typical pathway might look like. 

What does a career path in Service Design look like?

Here’s an example of a typical Service Design career pathway, broken down into roles of increasing responsibility and seniority: 

Junior Service Designer

The entry-level position that will kickstart many careers is a Junior or Associate Service Designer. Organisations with larger teams will often hire Junior Service Designers, who are normally freshly qualified in the field. 

Some of a Junior Service Designer’s responsibilities include: 

  • Assisting more senior Service Designers with their duties
  • Conducting customer research
  • Gathering and reporting on data

Mid-level Service Designer

After gaining a few years of entry-level industry experience, you’ll be well placed to apply for mid-level Service Design roles. Being a mid-level Service Designer is more strategic and relies on your ability to coordinate the efforts of different teams. 

A mid-level Service Designer’s responsibilities might include:

  • Identifying problem areas through key performance indicators
  • Proposing changes and improvements to the service experience
  • Liaising with other teams to implement an improved service 

Senior Service Designer

Once you’ve accumulated roughly 5 years of experience as a Service Designer, you’ll have the chance to move up to the role of Senior Service Designer. At this level, you’ll be taking on more serious responsibilities, which include:

  • Planning a company’s end-to-end service blueprint
  • Leading collaboration across cross-functional teams
  • Managing interactions with internal and external stakeholders
  • Setting the service vision for an entire company

Industry demand for Service Design

demand for service designers in australia

How high is the demand for Service Designers in Australia?

With businesses in every industry recognising the need to offer gold-standard service, Service Design is now one of the hottest roles in the employment market. 

A recent International Service Design Institute poll found that three quarters of Service Designers believe they have more employment opportunities than ever before. 

In Australia the demand for Service Designers is particularly strong, with LinkedIn currently advertising more than 3,000 specialist roles

You should also remember a professional Service Designer’s skills are in demand globally, so wherever you find yourself living, you’ll have work experience and a resume that hiring managers are actively searching for. 

How much do Service Designers earn in Australia?

Because Service Designers are now highly sought after across a full range of industries, the pay opportunities in Australia have never been better. 

The average Service Designer salary in Australia at $119,178 per year (or $60.12 per hour). Even entry-level positions start at $109,421 per year, while more experienced Service Designers make $157,907 per year on average.

Becoming a Service Designer

How hard is it to learn Service Design?

Even for a complete beginner, mastering Service Design is not as hard as you might think. That said, it’s important you begin with a strong desire to connect with customer needs and think big-picture about how a business functions. 

You’ll need to learn how to manage the service experience from end-to-end and it takes time and dedication to grasp the research methods that underpin an effective service blueprint. 

If you’re aiming to get a foothold in the profession, you should consider earning a formal certification in Service Design. It will be difficult to secure your first role without this, since so many other applicants will have a certified skillset.

Where can I study Service Design?     

There are many options when it comes to qualifying as a Service Designer. In the past, many have chosen to take a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, which takes 3-4 years to complete, before specialising in Service Design.    

There’s less of an expectation for Service Designers to be university trained nowadays, with most employers favouring skills, experience and a strong portfolio over formal degrees. 

As a result, more people are enrolling in condensed bootcamp-style courses, which leave graduates industry-ready in a much shorter period of time. These courses focus on the tangible skills that today’s professionals need to make their mark on the industry.

What Service Design courses does Academy Xi offer?

Academy Xi offers practical, industry-recognised training that’s designed for digital careers. Our beginner-friendly Service Design courses will give you the hands-on skills and strategic mindset needed to design end-to-end services that focus on the customer’s experience at all touchpoints.

Whatever your lifestyle and time commitments, Academy Xi has a course that’s perfectly suited to you. 

Both courses have been built in collaboration with industry professionals from top digital companies, offering you the chance to:

  • Access a comprehensive toolkit containing all the templates and tools a Service Designer needs – it’s yours to keep and you can use it on the job straight away.
  • Demonstrate your strategic skills to employers by researching and creating actionable current and future-state service blueprints. 
  • Put the theory of Service Design into practice by working on weekly practical activities and hands-on projects. 
  • Choose from a range of real-world scenarios or bring your own Service Design problem to solve. 
  • Add value in any business by Identifying customer needs, creating user stories and designing company-wide approaches that ensure exceptional service.

Not sure which course is right for you? Chat to a course advisor and we’ll help you find the perfect match. 

Want to discuss your transferable skills and training options? Chat to a course advisor today. We’ll help you to find the perfect course so you can kickstart a career in the fight against cyber crime.

joel tolli Academy Xi Student testimonial

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Joel Tolli

By Academy Xi

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joel tolli Academy Xi Student testimonial

Keen to carve out a career he was passionate about, Joel stepped out of podiatry and into the exciting world of UX Design. Find out how the UX UI Design: Transform course helped Joel land the role he was after.

What were you doing before studying with Academy Xi?

I spent four years at university studying podiatry and worked in the field for two years. By the third year of university, I already knew it wasn’t the right long-term career for me.

 It took a little while for me to make the decision to change my path. Eventually, I quit my job without a plan and started working temporarily as a labourer with my Dad. I spent about three months doing research trying to find a career I’d really enjoy. This time, I wanted to make a decision based on passion.

 During my career transition, I delved into my unexplored creative side and I really wanted to find a career that would harness that. While I was looking at jobs within tech I stumbled across UX Design, which is creative but isn’t just about visual design work in the traditional sense. Instead, it’s practical and centred around designing solutions that solve real problems.

 Because it combined creativity and problem-solving, I realised UX Design was a career that suited me perfectly and even allowed me to use many of the skills that I’d learned during podiatry. Retraining was a big decision, but I went for it and never looked back.

Why did you pick Academy Xi?

I looked closely at a few courses, but the Academy Xi schedule seemed the most user-friendly. The classes were held twice a week, but there was lots of flexibility when it came to working through the course content. Some of the other courses expected you to block-out your calendar with commitments, which for me just wasn’t possible. 

 I was also drawn to the Career Support Program. Landing a new role was my main objective, so having that support throughout my job search was very important. Finally, I researched the course mentors, and everybody seemed to have a strong amount of industry experience.   

How did you find working with your mentor?

My mentor was Hayden and we hit it off straight away. He’s a fun, interesting character and his passion for UX is unmatched, which I think lit a fire in a lot of people.

 Whenever Hayden was explaining something about UX, he always found a way to tie it back to a real industry scenario that he’d experienced. He also encouraged us to start networking with people already established in UX. 

 As the course progressed, I ramped up my efforts to connect with people in the industry. I have family friends who are already involved with UX and I also connected with professionals through LinkedIn. I wanted to figure out what it takes to be successful in the field and start building some of those habits into my life. For anyone keen to break into the industry, I’d recommend reaching out to other designers and starting a conversation.

What projects did you work on?

For my personal project, I tackled the water wastage problem in the major Australian cities. Truthfully, I made a lot of mistakes with my first project. It was a steep learning curve and gave me the experience I needed to properly approach the client projects. For the two client projects, I worked with Westpac and a startup called FitFun. 

 FitFun is trying to revolutionise the fitness industry by focusing on community and collaboration. Because it was a startup, everything was very fast-paced and we were able to carry out a huge amount of work. My team built a full design strategy for FitFun in just three weeks. 

 For Westpac, we were given the task of redesigning what their autopay function could look and feel like. Even though it’s a relatively small piece of their transactional process, if the process wasn’t optimised it could dissuade a potential customer from using the function. In the end, we had the time and resources to scope out what we thought was an untapped market opportunity. We presented it to Westpac and they were really impressed. Both clients were very happy with the work the teams carried out.

How did you find working in teams? 

As a podiatrist, I’d typically work alone. I’d have no one else in the clinic, so I learned to solve problems by myself. In a group setting, you must understand that you’re not an expert at everything. There are people around who have experience in a range of areas. I’d look at people’s projects and be wowed by the beauty of the design work or impressed by the depth of the research. 

 You start to understand that you can delegate the tasks based on people’s expertise. That approach really allows you to work agile – you’ve got people collaborating on different parts of the project at the same time. Because everybody was playing to their strengths, it meant their work could really shine, which led to a better end result for the group.

 Working in teams is such an important experience, because UX Designers hardly ever work alone. Even if you’re the only UX Designer, you’ll be collaborating with other departments and working cross-functionally. In that sense, the team projects prepare you for the real-world dynamic of UX.  

How did you find studying online? 

Honestly, I was jealous of all the people working from home throughout the pandemic! I loved studying online. Some people prefer doing things face-to-face, but online learning gives you unparalleled levels of flexibility. You have set times for the live classes, but how you use your time before and after is completely up to you. 

 With other courses that require you to regularly be somewhere, there’s so much more demand on your time, which can lead to burnout. When you’re studying online, all that matters is that you’re getting through the work. It really doesn’t matter when and where it gets done. 

 Plus, there were three or four communication channels that the cohort stayed connected through, and you’re regularly in Zoom meetings with each other during the client projects. I never felt like I was studying alone. 

How did you land your new role? 

I got back from a holiday over New Year’s and worked on my portfolio, CV and base cover letter. I was really motivated to find a job and get started with my career, so I set a personal target of 50 applications in 50 days. 

 I was knee deep in interviews when a UX designer at Symbio reached out to me. She had spoken to Academy Xi in the hope to find someone ‘up and coming’ and passionate about launching a career in UX.  After a few interviews with her and the Head of Marketing, where we discussed what the role would entail and how I could add value to the team, I was overjoyed to be offered the job.

 I did sign up for the Career Support Program, but thankfully I landed a role before the program even kicked off. That said, lots of people in the cohort did go through the program and found it really helpful. 

How’re you getting on with the new role at Symbio?

I’ll start with a bit of a background. Symbio has been around for about 20 years – it was started by two friends who dreamt big about what voice products could become in the future. Today, Symbio is a tech company, selling Global XaaS products to different segments of the market – from big companies like Google and Zoom, to smaller telcos, and even government enterprises.

 My work varies, I’ve gone from one business division to the next working on completely different projects. I might come in during the discovery phase and be asked to conduct some research or build a wireframe so a new feature can be tested. This has given me the opportunity to pick up all kinds of skills, especially within stakeholder management and advocacy.  

Did the course prepare you for the role?

The fast-paced nature of the Academy Xi course prepares you for the industry, where you must produce high quality work very quickly and at times, on demand. Completing the course projects in three-week sprints was an accurate representation of how you’re expected to work once you’ve broken into UX. 

 Symbio also runs regular tech talks and I delivered one a few weeks back, which was a great way to spread the word about the value of UX. Whilst I’ve always been a confident speaker, I hadn’t had much experience with public speaking prior to the course. The projects gave me the opportunity to improve upon those soft skills and build them into my capabilities.  

Can you tell us about your involvement with Academy Xi since you’ve graduated?

It’s a challenging course, especially for those with a unique career history, but the payoff for the commitment is immense. 

I like to say, based on my career shift, that if I can do it, anyone can. I’m truly passionate about this industry and think it should be accessible for anyone who shares that passion. I always jump in to talk to the new students whenever a new cohort starts to try and give them some practical advice and a bit of inspiration. 

Beyond that, Symbio was also the client for both projects with a recent cohort. It was a great experience to be on the other side of the brief and provided another learning opportunity for me. To be able to witness their dedication and hard work on a complex and challenging brief was awesome and is something that will stay with me forever. It’s been nice to stay involved with Academy Xi and I’ll definitely continue to work with you folks in the future.

 Finally, would you recommend Academy Xi?

For anyone that is maybe lacking a bit of passion within their work and hoping to do something meaningful and creative, UX is a career that you should consider. The Academy Xi course has given me the opportunity to do it every day, and I’d happily recommend it to anyone wanting to do the same. 

 Want to bring the power of UX UI Design to your career just like Joel? If so, check out our UX UI Design: Transform course.

Academy Xi Blog

Student Spotlight: Cilla De Nadai

By Academy Xi

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A firm believer in the benefits of lifelong learning, Cilla decided to add a new dimension to her design process by upskilling with Academy Xi.

After 20 years working in the design industry, Cilla decided to deepen her problem-solving skills by connecting with the customer and enrolling in the Service Design: Elevate course.

Can you tell us about your career history?

I have a degree in fine art, but moved into design. I’ve been working in design for about 20 years now. It’s a great industry, but as is the case with all creative industries, it’s constantly evolving and changing. I feel it’s important to look outside your own industry for inspiration; I completed an interior design course a few years back, but it had been a while since I’d learned something new. I like to add new dimensions to my skillset as often as possible.

Service Design appealed to me because of the emphasis on problem-solving. I really wanted to take my problem-solving skills to the next level. I didn’t know much about Service Design at first, so I did some research online, spoke to a few people and watched some YouTube videos. I quickly realised that Service Design isn’t just about reading briefs and brainstorming solutions. Instead, it adopts a human-centric approach, connects with the customer and gets to the root of the problem. The whole process really resonated with me.  

Why did you choose Academy Xi specifically?

I did look at a few other courses, but what really stood out was that Academy Xi offered the flexibility of self-paced learning. Without that level of flexibility, completing the course just wouldn’t have been possible. I work full-time and have a pretty hectic schedule, so knowing I had six months up my sleeve to work through the content at my own pace was really the deciding factor.

What were the highlights of the course?

First and foremost, getting to grips with a whole range of new tools. It’s been really empowering to add those to my arsenal. From a problem-solving standpoint, the biggest advantage has been learning how to break down a problem and really get to the heart of the matter. 

The course also helped me appreciate the value of thinking even more carefully about the customer during the design process. That’s something you always do, but the course was a nice reminder of why it’s important. Regardless of what industry you work in and how you use that process, it’s always going to be extremely useful.

How did you find studying a self-paced course?

I’ve completed online courses in the past, but they were traditionally structured and involved set classes and deadlines, which definitely increased the pressure. With the self-paced course, I enjoyed having the freedom to manage my own cadence and workload.

Studying alone could have easily been a negative, but I managed to turn it into a positive. Ultimately, I made the structure work for me. There was an option to connect with other students and staff, but I’m actually a bit of an introvert! I mostly worked through the course content independently, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. 

Rather than relying on someone else to guide me or falling back on their knowledge, I had to figure things out for myself. I sense-checked my own ideas and decided for myself if I’d done something properly and met the criteria. I drove the whole process alone, which was challenging and could have been a setback, but it turned out to be something I benefited from.

How did you find the workload?

Even though it was self-paced, it was still pretty intense. I probably put in more effort than I needed to. Truthfully, I could have dedicated half the amount of time and still got a decent result, but that’s just not how I work. 

I figure if you’re going to commit, it’s best to go all in. In the end, you’ll get back what you put in. I tried to really engage with the content and make sure I got maximum value from the course.

What personal project did you work on?

I’m a really big fan of IGA and put together my own brief for the company. The idea for the brief came about quite organically. I noticed that Milk Run, Volley and a lot of the rapid grocery delivery apps were gaining in popularity throughout Australia. I wanted to establish if there’s a way that IGA can enter into that market. My project laid out a Service Design proposal for IGA to launch its own version of a rapid grocery delivery service. 

Did you benefit from having access to your course expert?

It was really useful to reach out to my course expert and gauge if I was grasping the course content that'd been put in front of me. He reinforced that I was on the right track and gave me some great tips on how to improve my work.

Jocelyn Fisher

Also, we spoke about the processes and tools I was using for my project. If I had any issues, he helped me resolve those. We discussed the project itself, but mostly at a high level. I was comfortable working through the brief by myself.

What advice would you give to a prospective student?

If you’re studying self-paced, I think it’s pretty important that you’re disciplined. I’m very good at setting my own deadlines and holding myself to them. When you’re studying self-paced, being able to maintain your own schedule and progress is vital.   

If you’re the kind of person who needs constant interaction and feedback, self-paced might not be the best format for you. There is a chat function for the students, but how much engagement you get from that will depend on how vocal the students are. Nobody’s forced to interact. If you want high levels of interaction, the cohort-based option would probably be a better fit. If you’re somebody who thrives working independently, self-paced will probably work nicely.  

What are your plans for the future?

In terms of using what I’ve learned in Service Design, I plan to apply what I have learned in my role for my current clients. At some stage further down the track there’s a good chance I’ll look to expand my skills and take another course. Work is keeping me busy for now, so I’ll take a break and focus on that. That said, it’s important to keep on pushing yourself and flexing those thinking muscles! I’m sure I’ll be taking another course in the not too distant future. 

If you’re ready to redefine your resume and pick up an exciting new skillset just like Cilla, check out our Service Design courses.

Academy Xi Blog

Market Update: How much do Service Designers earn in Australia, 2022

By Academy Xi

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What is Service Design?

In today’s ultra-competitive markets, providing exceptional service is one of the surest ways to build brand differentiation, a loyal customer base and long-term business value.

Service Design is a Human-Centred Design practice that places equal focus on business processes and customer interaction, aiming to create seamless services and unforgettable customer experiences.

What does a Service Designer do?

Service Designers design the journey of a service from end-to-end. This involves orchestrating ‘front stage’ elements, which include aspects of a service that users interact with, as well as ‘backstage’ elements, which include aspects of a service that users don’t see. 

To give examples, the core elements that usually make up a service include:

  • Actors (e.g., staff members involved in delivering the service)
  • Location (e.g., a physical or digital environment where the service is delivered)
  • Props (e.g., objects used during service delivery)
  • Associates (e.g., external organisations involved in facilitating the service, such as a courier or logistics company)
  • Processes (e.g., workflows used to deliver the service)

Adopting a customer-centric approach, Service Designers will prioritise the user’s needs when planning all of the above touchpoints, combining them to form frictionless services that offer maximum customer satisfaction.  

What process does a Service Designer follow?

More often than not, a Service Designer’s process will fit into the five stage process of Design Thinking, which covers empathising, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing. 

Empathising often entails user research, which could involve interviewing customers to understand their lived experiences of a service. The research phase is intended to uncover all dimensions of a user’s needs. 

Service Designers then progress to defining the problem they intend to solve. Creating an actionable problem statement can help to secure stakeholder buy-in and kick-start the ideation phase.  

Throughout ideation, Service Designers collaborate with colleagues and stakeholders to generate a list of ideas, which are filtered down to the most practical and effective solutions. At this stage, it’s normal to hold co-creation workshops to establish the most viable design concepts. 

Service Designers use prototyping as a chance to replicate the final experience of using a service. Testing can be used to validate design choices and identify opportunities for refinement. The final stage of a Service Designer’s work involves preparing the finished Service Blueprint for handover. 

What skills are needed for Service Design?

Service Design is a multifaceted role that calls for a unique blend of skills and capabilities. Five of the most important skills that a Service Designer can have at their disposal include:

  • Empathy: At the very heart of the Service Design process is empathy and a burning desire to improve people’s lives. Service Designers need the ability to listen and engage with their users, so they can explore different perspectives and experiences. Service Designers often create Customer Journey Maps, which allow them to visualise step-by-step how a customer will interact with a service. 
  • User research: Any Service Design project will always begin with research, whether analytical or anecdotal. It’s crucial that Service Designers know how to ask open questions that elicit a deeper understanding of people’s needs and behaviours. Capturing a customer’s perception of their experience relative to their goals will directly inform how a service can be improved upon. Service Designers need to be able to analyse research data and turn insights into actionable solutions that can be incorporated into a service. 
  • Communication: Service Design normally involves cross-functional collaboration, which means they need to be able to engage staff at all levels and introduce new concepts to colleagues and stakeholders. Communication and presentation skills are essential to relationship building, influencing others, and educating people about a Service Design vision.
  • Prototyping & testing: Service Designers need to be able to bring ideas to life and test their practicality with early and inexpensive prototypes. Prototypes take many forms, from rapid and iterative, to physical and digital. Users will normally test out the prototype, giving Service Designers the chance to validate their design. User feedback will often determine which features are included in the final Service Blueprint.
  • Strategic thinking: Covering a broad sweep of an organisation, Service Designers are responsible for ensuring that all staff, infrastructure and resources are strategically aligned with a service vision. They need to hold a high-level view of a service in its totality, while also keeping a watchful eye on the details. Service Designers tend to be strong facilitators, who strategically coordinate the efforts of different teams and departments.   

Is Service Design a good career in Australia?

Research by Deloitte shows that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that neglect the same focus. Added to this, a PWC report has found that 32% of customers would stop using a brand they loved after one bad service experience. 

With all kinds of businesses acknowledging the benefits of creating frictionless services, the demand for Service Designers is climbing. A recent International Service Design Institute poll found that three quarters of Service Designers believe they have more employment opportunities than ever before. 

In Australia the demand for Service Designers is especially strong, with LinkedIn currently advertising more than 3,500 specialist roles

A Service Designer’s earning potential in Australia

Because Service Design can dramatically increase a business’s revenue and bottom line, earning potential for Service Designers in Australia is high.   

Can Service Designers be self-employed?

It’s not uncommon for Service Designers to be self-employed or freelance. Rather than being permanently employed by a single company, freelance Service Designers offer their expertise on a per-project basis or with a short-term contract. 

In order to attract clients, it’s vital that freelance Service Designers have a portfolio of past projects demonstrating the value they can add to a business. This means it’s normal for Service Designers to build up industry experience before transitioning to freelance. It’s also common for freelance Service Designers to find work opportunities by registering with a Service Design agency. 

Pay opportunities for freelance Service Designers in Australia are excellent, with an average hourly rate of $64.68.     

Where can I train as a Service Designer in Australia?

If you want to upskill and take your career in an exciting new direction, studying Service Design online can get you to where you want to be fast. At Academy Xi, we offer intensive online programs that equip you with the full spectrum of theoretical and practical skills needed to become a well-rounded Service Designer. 

Academy Xi Service Design Elevate courses come in two flexible formats, part-time and self-paced, with both offering you the chance to:

  • Access a toolkit of service design templates and techniques – it’s yours to keep and you can use it on the job straight away.
  • Demonstrate your strategic skills to employers by researching and creating an actionable current and future-state Service Blueprint.
  • Put the theory of Service Design into practice by working on weekly practical activities and hands-on projects.
  • Choose from a range of real-world scenarios or bring your own Service Design problem to solve.
  • Add value in any business by identifying customer needs, creating user stories and designing exceptional company-wide service experiences.

If you’ve got any questions about our Service Design courses or want to discuss your career options, chat to a course advisor.  

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