On February 5, 2010, at Interaction10, I presented Service Design: an Interaction Design Perspective.

Since studying interaction design and service design at Carnegie Mellon University, I have wrestled with the relationship between the two. During an interview with Jeff Howard, a few days after graduating, I tried to address this relationship. It was both a great privilege and opportunity to share my thoughts at Interaction10 two years later.

Talking about service design at an interaction design conference had its challenges. I covered why I thought we should be talking about service design, what service design looks like, how it’s different from interaction design, and what interactions designers can do if they’re interested in service design. I was happy to get a lot of positive feedback after the talk. But going in, I didn’t know what people would make of it.

OH: “When I hear ‘service design’ I reach for my gun.”

This was tweeted from the conference the night before my talk. While no one shot at me, one audience member did say the talk rubbed him a bit the wrong way. And another person in the audience took issue with service design as an emerging field. He seemed to ignore that I said the design of services is not new. But the conscious application of design practice to services is new and emerging. Subtle but significant difference. I suppose this all supports some rumors I heard that my talk was controversial.

Good! I further heard that the talk generated a lot of good conversation. That’s what I hoped to do, so I am happy.

If you were there and have feedback, good or bad, I’d love to hear it. I spent a lot of time thinking about the relationship between interaction design and service design, but it’s definitely a work in progress.

Finally, I’d like to thank Jared Cole, Kip Lee, Imran Sobh, Carrie Chan, and Susan Dybbs for their feedback.