FAQ MA Service Design

FAQ: What is Service Design? Service Design is a design-based, human centred discipline, which concerns itself with designing services in the public or private sector, working in a participative, iterative and qualitative manner with all stakeholders, and considering the wider systems at play.

At London College of Communication we are committed to working on projects that provide social value. We endeavour to give a voice in projects and outcomes not only to clients but also to a variety of stakeholders and users that are affected by the project. To do this we employ participatory and co-design methodologies, and embed ourselves in the projects we work on through ethnographic approaches. We take a very qualitative and in-depth approach to research, and often work on very complex situations to gain meaningful insights from multiple points of view. We particularly value an iterative approach and gaining feedback from partners, participants and experts in the projects. We use design to communicate our projects back to participants, stakeholders and a wider audience through accessible means, such as exhibitions, videos, and designed artefacts, in addition to in-depth reports.

We teach through live projects: We focus on collaboration for service design challenges facing the private, public and third sectors. Projects are live and taught with substantial involvement of multiple partners, clients, experts and stakeholders. This process builds the students’ professional and leadership skills, and gives students an experience of working on real challenges and researching and co-designing with actual users, developing strategies to effect change.
We are committed to ethical practices of design: We work on socially responsive design approaches applied to “wicked problems”, for example within healthcare, public services, local government, policy environments or technological developments. We use approaches that go from the micro aspects of individual user needs to the macro aspects of larger systems including humans, organisations, society and ecology.
We are at the forefront of new developments in service design: We work in innovative areas such as policy and science, and in collaboration with high profile and industry-leading service design research projects at LCC, UAL and beyond. We build on over a decade of teaching and boundary-pushing research in service design at LCC, and an extensive network of alumni. We apply design approaches to systemic challenges through speculative service design, research through design and design futures approaches.
We apply innovation processes: We engage with start-up and social entrepreneurship and use non-linear and agile ways of working. We engage critically with new technologies to identify opportunities for human-centred and socially beneficial applications.
We value making and design-based methods throughout the design process: We communicate service design processes and outputs to a wider public through designed artefacts, reports, videos, presentations and exhibitions. We make use of the design knowledge and technical facilities within the Design School and the Interaction and Visual Communication programme in our projects.

FAQ: What is the difference between UX, Service Design and Design Management ?
there isn’t a quick and easy or straightforward answer, and it’s not an easy question. Here is an attempt:

MA Service Design at LCC – http://www.arts.ac.uk/lcc/courses/postgraduate/ma-service-experience-design-innovation/
By exploring design at a strategic level, MA Service Design offers the opportunity to work collaboratively with experts from different fields. You will learn service design research methods and processes, offering opportunities for user-centred and co-designed innovation of services (digital and non-digital).

MA UXD at LCC – http://www.arts.ac.uk/lcc/courses/postgraduate/ma-user-experience-design/ 
MA User Experience Design focuses on the research, design and development of digital systems, and the social, political, personal and spatial contexts that surround them.

MA DMC at LCChttp://www.arts.ac.uk/lcc/courses/postgraduate/ma-design-management-and-cultures/
MA Design Management and Cultures examines the design process and its strategic role in business, society and culture, drawing on a range of interdisciplinary perspectives from business and the arts.  You will develop design research, management, communication and analytical skills enabling innovative and future facing design thinking.

How the three courses are different (and similar)

The MA Service Design has a strategic approach to designing services – briefs are quite wide and can be approached in a lot of different ways, so the design outcomes might fall within the area of UX and digital services, but are more likely to encompass a wider strategy affecting also for example physical spaces or management structures or other designed touchpoint. We look at the whole user experiences with a service. We also teach a critical view of project management and start-up entrepreneurship, as well as global future trends.

On MA UX you will be directly engaged in the design of experiences that centre on digital technologies, incorporating an understanding of how cognitive, embodied, and spatial perceptions contribute to human experience. You will do this using design methods in a working design studio, developing a critical awareness of the political and ethical dimensions of socio-technical systems through your practical work.

The MA DMC course is more concerned with how the design process is managed and how it fits with business goals, wider cultural contexts and how design may drive change. We look at a range of business models and related areas including service design, UX, sustainability and social enterprise. Briefs will challenge your critical design thinking and communications skills so that you may develop the ability to collaborate effectively with various stakeholders and audiences.

All three courses will teach you design research methods and processes, offering opportunities for user-centred and co-designed innovation. They are all very project focussed but also provide critical theory and context.

How the three fields are different (and similar)
Service Design is oriented towards the strategic provision of public services, as well as private and third sector services, focusing on innovation. This is similar to UX in the way they conceive of a range of outputs and the methods they bring to bear on the design process. They are dissimilar to the extent that UX design incorporates interaction design, interface design, and visual design. They are similar in the reading and focus on experience design. Design Management on the other hand, takes a broader holistic view of design, examining its correlation to business, society and culture, globally. Sharing of experiences and debating issues that arise are encouraged.

Articles you could look at:


A quick fun explanation of Service Design – https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/BusinessGoesSocial/what-is-service-design-cartoon-explanation?platform=hootsuite 

What you might expect to do upon graduating from each course.   

On graduating MA:UX students would expect to work as UX Designer, Experience Designer, Interaction Designer, Information Architect, Interactive Media Designer, Web Designer, Communication Designer, Digital Designer, Product Designer, Design researcher.

MA Service Design students would expect to work as Service Designers, Design Researchers, Experience Designers, Design Strategists, User Centred Consultants, Participatory Designers, UX Designers, in both private or public sectors.

MA DMC students would expect careers in sectors related to design, management, enterprise and culture, for example Design Manager, Brand Manager, Design Researcher, Design Strategist, Design Consultant, Service Designer, Curator, Design Journalism, Future Forecaster.

Do you have any more questions about the course? please email Silvia Grimaldi s.grimaldi@lcc.arts.ac.uk

(Updated November 2019)