Service design is a process where a designer or group of designers take the role of the customer and heavily focus on the service that that customer interacts with. The tenants of service design are aimed at providing customers with a greater interaction with and satisfaction of products and services.
Service design works when the designer uses their understanding of the process the customer goes through in order to create a good experience for the customer. Service designers do a lot of storytelling and a lot of time-lining. A customer timeline consists of the process by which they interact with a company's product or service. Generally it consists of the first point a customer interacts with the product to the end of the product's life.
Service design is becoming increasingly popular as companies realize that numbers alone aren't good enough, and that to do well, a company needs to differentiate on service. The increasing number of ways that customers can communicate and spread information about bad experiences through the use of social media is a catalyst to an increase in focus on service design.