What is the difference between product and service design?

Oliver Bailey

By Oliver Bailey

Client Partner

The simplest way to think of Service Design is as the holistic overview of the organisation aligned to the customer journey, so the detail goes across;

  • Customer touchpoints;
  • Technology;
  • Processes;
  • People;

The role of service design is to comprehensively research, understand and map this detail - bringing together insights from across the organisation, external stakeholders and customers. This then allows Service Designers to identify pain points in the journey, and highlight the opportunities for improvements (aligned to the customer insight).

So, what is product design?

Product design sits within the holistic ecosystem; there may be a website that fulfills a booking function, or a CRM that powers the sales team; the designers should understand the role of the product as part of the wider ecosystem.

They sit hand-in-hand because quite often when Service Designers have spotted new opportunities, they can include changes or requirements for new products to achieve the new desired outcomes.

If you’d like to speak to us about the role of product and service design in your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch; hello@thisisabsurd.com or +44 (0)161 713 0430.

Absurd workshop