THIS PROGRAM IS TAUGHT IN ENGLISH

The Master in Service Design aims to build-up and to repurpose the abilities that designers already have, and support them in developing complementary skills that back their work with strategic and human complexity within a service context.

What does designing for service mean? So far, academics and practitioners in service design have defined it from three major perspectives. The first focus in the field lied in orchestrating delightful and smooth online and offline experiences. This has now expanded to sensing opportunities and developing them into new arrangements for creating value with users —and multiple stakeholders. Even further, to ensure that all stakeholders participate actively in defining new practices and narratives about what is valuable. Each of those perspectives implies different mindsets, tools, and practices; that is, different skills, some of which are at the forefront of service design.

Content in the Service Design Master course follows an iterative structure, that goes over the three perspectives of service design by applying them to consecutive projects in small teams. Projects follow the same design stages —a collection of data, creative synthesis, iterative development and preparation to implement—, but are progressively longer, and approached from richer and more complex perspectives. In this way, students are expected to get used to the inherent uncertainty of designing for service. And at the same time become able to face increasingly harder challenges.

General objectives of the course

This course aims to build-up and to repurpose the abilities that designers already have, and support them in developing complementary skills that back their work with strategic and human complexity within a service context. Namely:

  • To understand the diverse conceptual perspectives of service design and the criteria for deciding which of them is the best fit for each design intervention.
  • To practice specific approaches, methods, and tools for creating new services, evaluating and transforming existing services and implementing change in service organizations.
  • To encourage an exploratory attitude, self-organization, and abilities to collaborate in multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary teams, as well as with multiple users and other stakeholders.
  • To foster sensitivity and critical sense towards the latest developments in service design, and socio-technical developments that have an impact on the service economy.

Methodology

The learning experience of this course is based upon:

  • Working hands-on in a highly experimental manner on several real projects for companies selected by IED Master.
  • Understanding the theoretical framework and foundations of service design, as guiding principles for decision-making.
  • Active listening to cases by the teaching staff and visiting lecturers.

Content in the course follows an iterative structure, that goes over the three perspectives of service design by applying them to consecutive projects in small teams. Projects follow the same design stages —a collection of data, creative synthesis, iterative development and preparation to implement—, but are progressively longer, and approached from richer and more complex perspectives. In this way, students are expected to get used to the inherent uncertainty of designing for service. And at the same time become able to face increasingly harder challenges.

For example:

  • From deciding for themselves what is the main opportunity and the appropriate way of intervening, to involving others and facilitating the decision-making process.
  • From participating in activities fully designed and facilitated by the teaching staff, to becoming progressively self-organized and managing their own teamwork.
  • From working in a micro perspective of interactions between a user and a provider to a meso perspective of relationships in a service ecosystem, and finally to a macro perspective of intended and unintended consequences of introducing new values and social practices.

Student's profile

Professionals and recent graduates who are interested in continuing their studies to acquire skills in the different perspectives of design for service and become involved in service evaluation, redesign and innovation projects from a multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspective.

Product, digital, graphic and interior designers, as well as management/ marketing, sociology, anthropology, and research professionals, among others, will be able to update their knowledge and acquire new skills in service logic and service design that are not part of their expertise.

Admission requirements

Students must provide the following information:

  • Copy of DNI (Spanish students) or passport (foreign students).
  • Copy of university degree (bachelor’s, degree or equivalent).
  • Letter of motivation in the language of the Master’s degree course.
  • CV in the language of the Master’s degree course specifying language and IT skills.
  • Language certificate: Courses in English require an intermediate level, corresponding to TOEFL or IELTS 6.5. Courses in Spanish require a B2 language level. If a prospective student has neither of these certificates, his or her language skills will be assessed in a face-to-face interview or via a Skype call.
  • Portfolio for creative Master’s degree courses and/or admission exercise if required.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are qualified to join different kinds of projects in service innovation and transformation. They approach them from different perspectives and with the relevant tools to interpret and intervene from an overall understanding of service and design. They face the challenges posed by current and future changes in service systems within multidisciplinary self-organized teams and with the active contribution of users and other stakeholders.

Depending on each student’s profile and prior experience, they will be able to work as consultants or in-house for private, non-profit and public organizations in some of the following areas or functions:

  • Service designer.
  • Strategic designer.
  • Service experience researcher.
  • Design Researcher.
  • User experience strategist.
  • Design thinker or design thinking consultant.
  • Customer experience designer.
  • Conduct studies related to sensing new service opportunities.
  • Conduct studies linked to evaluating existing services.
  • Lead or facilitate collaborative new service development processes.
  • Lead or facilitate transformation in existing services and service providers’ teams.

Coordinator

Itziar Pobes

Service designer and co-founder of We Question Our Project, a service design studio based in Barcelona. She works for businesses and public organizations at a local and a European level in areas such as health and aging, education, local development, customer service and business collaboration within service ecosystems. Her previous background lies in user experience research and content design. She studied a degree in Philosophy, and a degree in Translation and Interpreting, a postgraduate degree in Design Thinking and Innovation in Elisava, and she is currently studying an MBA in Service Innovation and Design in Laurea Polytechnical University in Finland.

She is also a regular lecturer or visiting lecturer on service design, service prototyping and co-creation in several design schools, universities —like Barcelona University or Pompeu Fabra University—, business schools —like IESE— and in-house training services in government.

Duration and frequency

  • Timetable: full time
  • Frequency: 6 months
Program taught in:
English

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Last updated June 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Jan 16, 2020
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Start Date
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