3 Tiers of Design



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What is Design?

Design seeks to identify problems and hidden needs in people’s lives that can be used to inspire creative generation of products and solutions. In other words, design is not only about an end product, but rather a systematic process of identifying problems, then researching, creating, testing and implementing solutions. [1]

Three Different Approaches of Design

With the rise of digital services, the boundaries between the disciplines are becoming increasingly blurred: Service Design is becoming more digitally focused and User Experience (UX) projects are becoming more and more service oriented. Below I will try to list some common design methodologies and their relationship with each other.

  • Service Design generally involves designing the complete customer experience: it considers every touchpoint between an organization and its customer, regardless of it being physical or digital.
  • User Experience (UX) Design is about all interactions between a user and a specific (typically digital) product. Its goal is to create a product that provides meaningful and relevant experiences to users.
  • User Interface (UI) Design is more about the look and feel of digital interfaces. It focuses on ensuring interactions with the product are simple and efficient, and that the product is pleasing to the eye. (This part is covered under ‘Surface’ in the Insight on User Experience Design).

What Influences User Experience?

  • The 7 Factors that Influence User Experience. One way to understand the factors that influence user experience is to use the ‘User Experience Honeycomb’. This model was created by Peter Morville. He arranged seven factors that influence user experience into this model, and it became a well-known tool to help understand user experience design.

Common Design Tools

  • Common Customer Experience and Service Design Tools. Some common customer experience and service design tools are personas, lifecycles and journeys, business model canvas, and roadmaps. In addition, proof of concepts (POC), prototypes, pilots, and minimum valuable products (MVP) are often used methods for testing and developing solutions.

Design Systems

  • Design Systems provide a single source of truth for design components. It is a collection of the reusable assets and components you use to build a digital product, and it also guides on why and how to use the design components. A design system assists a consistent and accessible user experience and enables time-saving features and better, faster output.

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  1. Stickdorn, Marc and Schneider, Jakob (2012). This is Service Design Thinking: Basics-Tools-Cases. The Netherlands: BIS Publishers.