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Leo Poll

Leo Poll

PhD – President Akendi UK

An Introduction to Service Design

Why is it that we can understand what is happening to materials and technologies at a molecular level, but struggle to understand why someone might buy a product or service?

We are complex organisms and people are difficult to understand. Here is a great example, have you bought a present for a ‘loved one’ – a wife, husband, mother, father, daughter or son but have kept the receipt just in case they didn’t like or want it?

Hands up? Yes!

That simple question reveals how much we struggle to understand the needs and desires of people we know intimately, so how do we understand people we don’t know so well? This is a lot more challenging but it can be done.
Service Design is a process used by people and organizations to help them understand the people they serve (the Who) – the needs they have (the What), the way they achieve their goals (the When and the How), and their motivations (the Why).

The, so called, 5WH approach is not new, but is more important than ever given the growth of digital technologies and platforms. Almost everything we consume today is evolving from a ‘simple’ product to a service experience. Perhaps the best known is Software as a Service (SaaS), for example Microsoft Office used to be a CD in a box bought for a couple of hundreds of pounds. It is now sold as a subscription service, where a monthly fee allows the user access to a wider array of tools and capabilities, requiring Microsoft to build new operations and capability continuously.

Service Design is a multi-faceted approach requiring user insight to inform how the business amends and improves its operations. So the real challenge is – how to share these insights to improve collaboration between strategic and operational teams. Service design; its process and framework provides teams with the tools and techniques to facilitate this collaboration.

It is a complex process filled with nuances but with a solid approach it can help you to understand human insight to then turn that into improved service experience for your customers.
Leo Poll

Leo Poll

PhD – President Akendi UK

Since 1996, Leo has been helping organizations provide an intentional customer experience while matching technical innovations to market needs. He uses the Akendi blog to share his thoughts about the challenges of addressing business problems from an end-user perspective and finding solutions that work for real people.


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About Akendi

Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.