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 Majid Iqbal & Dounia Ouchene, service designers at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, to give us their take.

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

Majid:The design of a service makes sure a set of outcomes and experiences will materialize as expected, at a particular place and time, through the performance of a job or the availability of a resource. At RVO.NL we are using service design as an instrument to understand and explain the impact of a policy through one or more services.

Dounia: I believe the design of a public service articulates the effect and impact of policy, more over; it gives us detailed information about the relations between what kind of actions for what purpose, are needed. And therefor, helps our analytical designers improve or create new services. It helps us explore possibilities by thinking through interactions between complex service elements, including the interactions and experiences of the agents (civil servants).

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

Majid:There an opportunity to use design to discover new and interesting ways to maximize the desired impact of public policies, and minimize unintended consequences. Through design we can minimize trial and error, which can be costly both in terms of political and financial terms.

Dounia: Service design enriches our usual methods and tools to translate policy ambitions into a implement and execute our public services.

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

Majid :Speaking only for in-house capabilities in a government setting, (a) quickly show what good service design can do beyond the usual and obvious such as improving citizen engagement and improving user experience (b) build credibility by taking on unusually hard problems that nobody else wants to take on (c) make it worthwhile for people to participate in the design process

Dounia: Next to what Majid said: be humble. Don't approach service design as a holy grail, and look for ways to improve or enrich current approaches. One of our enjoyment is the impact on our collegues mindset, enabling and equip teams to solve complex problems.


Figure image

Majid Iqbal an expert on developing new and interesting ways to package and deliver value in the form of services. He advises government agencies and commercial enterprises how to express policy and strategy through the design of a service.

Figure image

Dounia is a strategy advisor at RVO.NL, focussing on the design and development of new policy instruments and services, that implement the long term vision of the agency under the aegis of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (Min. EZ). She has the habit of bringing in unorthodox methods to design solutions that solve long-standing complex challenges, working with whom she calls ‘unusual suspects’.

Read Majid 's full biography here, and Dounia full biography here.


And find out more about their SDGC16 talk "Design As An Instrument of Public Policy"  here. 

Related Community Knowledge

Case Study Meet Pete Fossick

Meet Pete Fossick

For this issue of Touchpoint, Editor-in-Chief Jesse Grimes caught up with Pete Fossick (Service Design Program Director, GTS Design), to learn about the opportunities afforded to him as a service designer working within global giant IBM, and to hear his thoughts on where service design education should be heading.

Continue reading
Case Study What is to be a service designer

What is to be a service designer

Since service design still may sound exotic, this article will help you explain what it is in a simple language.

Continue reading
Other An Exclusive Interview from the Chairwoman of the International Service Design Network, Birgit Mager

An Exclusive Interview from the Chairwoman of the International Service Design Network, Birgit Mager

Since 1995 Birgit Mager has held the first European professorship in service design at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, and since then has developed the field of service design constantly in theory, methodology and practice. Her numerous lectures, publications and projects have strongly supported the implementation of a new understanding of the economical, ecological and social function of the design in the domain of services.

Continue reading
Case Study Meet Muna Al Dhabbah: Championing service design to deliver ‘seven-star’ government services in the United Arab Emirates

Meet Muna Al Dhabbah: Championing service design to deliver ‘seven-star’ government services in the United Arab Emirates

At the 2016 Service Design Global Conference in Amsterdam, Muna Al Dhabbah (Director of Government Service Development, Prime Minister’s Office, UAE) was joined on stage by Simone Carrier (Head of Service Design at FutureGov) to share their experiences in applying service design to improve citizen-government interactions within the UAE.

Continue reading