Design de Serviços

Design de Serviço – projetando interações entre pessoas

Design de serviço é projetar para uma boa experiência em jornadas de aquisição de produtos ou serviços.

Published on

June 27, 2023

June 27, 2023

Bruno Dinato

Bruno Dinato

What is service design?

Service, by definition, is the product of a human interaction aimed at meeting a need, without taking the form of a material good.

However, with technological transformation, we can say that products have transformed into avatars of services provided to people. Netflix and Spotify are clear examples of services that could be developed after the maturation of an emerging technology, streaming.

Therefore, it can be said that, in addition to (almost) everything being a service, it is technology that has accelerated the creation of better experiences in every consumer relationship.

We have already gone through the era of having and today we are in the era of feeling and experiencing.

Brands and companies have already realized that people are more concerned about solving their needs and obtaining better experiences than just consuming their products. In this context, service design studies these interactions between all people involved in a service, not just those who consume.

Observing the processes, journeys, spaces, and devices that result in services, the service designer designs for a good experience that the company wishes people to have, orchestrating all these touchpoints to possibly create new product journeys, new services, or suggest improvements for existing services - including digital products.

The term has come to the forefront recently, yet services have been designed and improved by someone since always. In other words, since service designers have always been around, what is making this activity so essential for large corporations?

The Era of Servitization: Products as Avatars of Services

Before I tell a few of my stories, I wanted to provide some context. We, in our daily lives, go through some changes and sometimes we don't even realize it.

When we stop to think, at least I do, I have gone through a few eras and can identify these differences.

from product to service

I really like this image. We can see that we have transitioned from an era focused on commoditization, on products, to one extremely focused on customers, on experience - on services. Going a little further, we can see that the product only generates value for us when it actually provides a service - when it serves a purpose. Hence this subtitle: products as avatars of service.

I, and also weme, believe that good services are designed - and here comes service design once again.

When Netflix released its 2018 balance analysis, many were surprised when the company referred to the online game Fortnite as its biggest competitor today. For the company, the purpose of entertaining people in their leisure moments is more relevant than just being a streaming platform. Consequently, some giants like Amazon Prime and HBO Go are no longer its main competitors.

Similarly, when the chocolate manufacturer and store Cacau Show understands that its products and sales channels are a way of providing services to its consumers, it will no longer consider only Kopenhagen as its main competitor; Boticário, Natura, and other brands that facilitate the gift purchasing moment will also be included in this list.

The central idea that companies, products, and brands are nothing more than an interaction between people who want to solve other people's problems will facilitate the understanding of the real purpose of their respective activities and how they can actually deliver more value to other people (customers).

It is with this approach that service designers seek to enhance the value delivered to those who consume: in a context where everything can configure as a service, it is necessary to truly know for which people companies want to be relevant and how the relationship between them will be, whether before, during, or after the provision of the service (or sale of your product).

I remember when I paid a thirty-real fine for two weeks of overdue to return a DVD of the movie MIB. That earned me a tremendous scolding. I also remember when I spent an entire afternoon filling out a form just to buy a cell phone and activate it. Or that time I missed the beginning of a Champions League game I wanted to watch because I had to pay a bill at the bank (I swear!).

In addition to all those bars and restaurants in which I swore not to return, but when I realized, there I was again, repeating a bad experience and still paying for it.

‍Probably, we will no longer have to worry about the frictions/pains I mentioned above, since services have been created and improved so that we do not have to go through situations that cause us this discomfort.

‍Until then, a few days ago, I found myself complaining about a mere 3-minute delay in the scheduled time for the delivery of a snack I ordered through an app. In other words, I realized that we are becoming more demanding. And more and more complex services appear, present on different devices and environments, interacting with us even before we realize it. This complex interaction environment between companies and customers, full of touchpoints, requires that the company-customer journey be very well designed and executed, thought through in small details, by someone who knows the business and its challenges very well, but who puts the user ahead of all their decisions.

This is the role of the service designer: to materialize touchpoints present in a fluent journey, so that companies really deliver the planned value to those who consume. But how to continue creating unique and relevant experiences for customers with increasingly high expectations?

4 Characteristics of Services

According to Kotler and Keller (2006), services have 4 common characteristics.


They are not tangible and often go unnoticed by the user.


Since services would not exist without the interaction between the provider and the consumer; it would be like a classroom without students or a flight without travelers.


Just because it depends on co-construction between the provider and the consumer. Services can generate completely different experiences, becoming a challenge for brands to establish a standard.


They cannot be stored, in addition to having a beginning, middle, and end of their use.

For example, let's think about a hotel stay. The check-in and check-out moments are the beginning and end of the experience, and the services provided occur between these two moments.

With these characteristics in mind, Marc Stickdorn and Jakob Schneider released the book