SDN Team
Author - SDN Team

We asked leading practitioners giving talks and workshops at the Service Design Global Conference to answer the 3 key questions. Today we asked Elinor Keshet , a service designer at Idea Couture, to give us her take.

1) Can you explain what service design is? And how your company implements it / uses that field?

Understanding, improving, and sustaining positive service interactions between the organization and the user are core concepts in service design thinking. But before there was service design, there was experience. Focusing on an economy derived largely from goods and services fails to explore the holistic environment in which a product will live. Refining institutional goals, widening the scope of the patient experience across channels, and bringing a heightened awareness of the patient-focused experience has led IC/Health’s strategic vision to the doorstep of service design.

This is not a surprising convergence, and it can be traced back to our origins in digital strategy and user experience. An experience isn’t only how patients, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders click through a website. Experience implies something about the wider time, place, and context in which an interaction occurs. To understand and design the best possible experiences for patients, IC/Health takes a hard look at the very culture of interactions to understand what patients and stakeholders truly care about. 

 2) What do you believe is the greatest opportunity for your company using service design? 

To bring long-term success to our clients, we are constantly seeking opportunities to gather user and stakeholder feedback, design for maintenance and sustainability, and determine a product/service’s role within the larger system. Weaving journey maps into larger organizational priorities and solid change management processes are necessary to produce true improvements in how services—and an exceptional patient experience—are delivered. 

3) Can you share three tips for implementing service design in their own practice? 

1. Journey maps and other service design tools aren’t the end of the design process—they’re the beginning. A well-executed patient journey is integrated into larger organization operations, given a chance to mature through iterative feedback cycles, and drives ongoing enhancements to service delivery.

2. After opportunities and needs are identified, the experience should be dimensionalized in negotiated within context and space. Looking to analogous domains for inspiration and playing the role of a specific user, are just a couple ways to generate solutions. From this, prototypes and experiments can be formed leading to real-world data gathering.  

 3. Service design isn’t simply about identifying problems, but about finding the keys to behavior change. Introducing a new culture and reorganizing the structures of a service requires engagement, empathy, and interest from all sides and this cannot solely be accomplished from a boardroom or a workshop. 

Figure image

Elinor Keshet is a service designer and innovation strategist at Idea Couture’s Toronto office, where she designs health systems for and with patients. Elinor holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto and is the recipient of the National Collaborating Centre’s award for innovation in knowledge translation.


Read Elinor's full biography here

And find out more about her SDGC16 workshop Living Prototypes, Fabricating Shared Experiences here.

Related Community Knowledge

Case Study 5by5: Service Design for Healthcare

5by5: Service Design for Healthcare

Interview with Leah Cabrera, Service Designer in Design and Innovation Group at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Article by Thomas Brandenburg and Twisha Shah-Brandenburg.

Continue reading
Case Study 5by5: A Conversation about the Future of Service Design for Mental Wellbeing

5by5: A Conversation about the Future of Service Design for Mental Wellbeing

Interview with Jennifer Bagehorn, Service Designer at Live Works Studio; Article by Thomas Brandenburg

Continue reading
Case Study 5by5: Behavioral Science & Service Design for Healthcare

5by5: Behavioral Science & Service Design for Healthcare

Interview with Aileen Heinberg, Behavioral Scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Article by Thomas Brandenburg

Continue reading
Meet the service designer 5by5: Five Perspectives on Scaling Service Design

5by5: Five Perspectives on Scaling Service Design

Interviews with Boris Divjak, Strategic Designer at Unboxed; Dennis Hambeukers, Strategic Design Consultant at Zuiderlicht; Marc Stickdorn,Co-Founder & CEO of More Than Metrics; Jamin Hegeman, VP, Head of Design, Financial Services at Capital One; Timo Patiala, Commercial Director and Partner at Hellon London; Article by Thomas Brandenburg

Continue reading