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 Robert Neal, a design consultant at Qualia, to give us his take.

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

Many practitioners delineate service design from product design. More acutely that service design is the analog for services that product design is for products. I think that's right. Qualia is an experience design consultancy so we focus on three main areas: service experience design, user experience design, and branding. We have the pleasure of getting to cross from product design to service design both across clients and within projects where products and services are both essential offerings.

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

A large part of Qualia's offering is in applied cognitive and behavioral science and not in a superficial, pop-sci way. Our company produces original research in applying well-researched science to service experience design in a principled way. This is still a nascent field and we see no limit on the amount of research we can do in applied behavioral science for service design and experience design in general. As we produce more and more research each new client of our's will get more value from this body of research and expertise and we'll be able to deliver ever more demonstrably effective results. 

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

It's difficult to come up with widely applicable tips for such a broad and nuanced field as service design. But when designing for humans I think it's useful to keep in mind that (1) humans are not purely rational agents (2) researching and experimenting are invaluable tools but can lead you in the wrong direction if done improperly and (3) you should always question assumptions but don't let that block you from making improvements to your service.

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Robert J. Neal is a board member at service design consultancy Qualia where he serves as a consultant for applied behavioral sciences in service design and user experience design. He is an active researcher in applied cognitive science and is also a frequent speaker. 

Read Robert Neal 's full biography here.

And find out more about his SDGC16 workshop/talk "Why Our Customers’ Brains Fail and How to Design for It"  here.

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