April 12, 2024, 11:05 pm

Design dictionary

Here is a homemade lexicon crafted with love by the Meaningful team.

Design dictionary

[ Service Design ]

Service from the Latin servitium referring to servitude, applied initially to individuals before shifting towards the use and usefulness of a device and design from the Latin designare (to mark with a sign, to draw, to indicate).


Synonymous with product design or industrial design, which consists of designing manufactured objects that are marketed industrially, service design entails designing or improving services. This can extend to all activities that provide an intangible good or service. Service design is an extensive practice affects many sectors: mobility (public transport, car rental, etc.), personal services (childcare, home help, education, etc.), but also entertainment (video or music on demand), or public services. 

The design practice has adapted to this new intangible "consumer object" which is a service. To take into account all the dimensions that are specific to it, the client of a service is called a “user”, as opposed to a "consumer". The specificity of this service builds on the many interactions between its users and its company through physical or digital interfaces. 

To address this complexity, service design leverages a user-centric methodology as well as a service delivering process in order to identify the company’s pain points. A multidisciplinary team often carries out this holistic approach in order to understand the users' needs and the company's constraints or means. Service design maps out the desired experience and implements the different touch points or "components" of this experience, be it human, physical or digital (websites for information or administrative procedures, paper forms, reception areas, etc.)

Useful quote

"Service design is all about making the service you deliver useful, usable, efficient, effective and desirable."
UK design Council

Project example


a business innovation program

with Saint-Gobain

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