Isobar Brings Service Design to MassArt

“User experience designers, product designers, visual designers, service designers — we are all designers.”  With that statement, a team from Isobar kicked off their service design presentation and workshop at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston on Tuesday, May 6 at 6:30PM.   The audience consisted mainly of industrial design students and faculty, but also included others who were simply interested in learning more about service design thinking.

Isobar was represented by Jennifer Briselli, Eugene Burke, Mario Gonzalez and Lars Leimanis — members of the Boston UX team and active participants in the Service Design Roundtable, an internal forum hosted in the Boston office focused on developing Isobar’s service design practice.  They presented an introduction to service design and conducted a workshop designed to get students thinking about how their design solutions exist within a broader service ecosystem.

The presentation provided a broad overview of service design – here’s what we covered:

  • Service design defined
    • It’s about creating the service experience within a multi-channel ecosystem that includes products, people, technology and the physical environment
  • The changing marketplace
    • For many years now, there has been a shift in our economy from manufacturing (producing goods) to service (providing services), with a stronger focus on customer satisfaction.
  • The service design skill-set
    • There are essential design competencies for successful service design such as knowing how people behave in context, understanding complex systems, and envisioning the future.
  • Service design project reality
    • Service design is really about changing the way a company does business, and a service designer needs to understand the organizational hierarchy and vertical siloes of the client company.
  • Service design tools
    • Service design is an iterative and collaborative process that benefits from methodologies and tools that examine the service experience from the perspective of both an individual customer and the entire organizational system.

The workshop provided an opportunity for the students to consider their work in product design as part of a broader service design context.  Four teams armed with markers and sticky notes went through the following exercises around a hypothetical service:

  • Service blue printing
    • We created simple current-state service blueprints to identify customer touch-points with the organization and related back-end operations.
  • Experience mapping
    • We created simple current-state experience maps to visualize how the service is experienced through a customer journey over time
  • Brainstorming improvements
    • We then studied these blue prints and experience maps, looking  for gaps in the service experience identifying customer pain points and opportunities  for improvement. This sparked much conversation and inspired new thinking about potential future-state service experiences – very much how the process of service designing works in reality, just simplified and condensed.

We enjoyed sharing our enthusiasm and expertise on service design and look forward to more community involvement on the topic in the future.


To Isobar, service design is more than an offering or a capability – it is a holistic design approach that allows Isobar to deliver the superior omni-channel experiences that our customers expect.