This workshop studies the intersection of UX and service design. While both UX design and Service design claim to be human- and experience-centered, these fields seem surprisingly far from each other. One evidence of this is that few publications at CHI have addressed service design (Table 1). UX designers and researchers are not aware of service design methods, but tend to use term ‘service design’ interchangeably with ‘UX design’. UX design and service design are different fields, however (Zimmerman et al. 2011). The origins are different, the design goals are different, the methods are different, and the publication venues are different.

UX design originates from HCI with product and interaction design focus. Service design originates from marketing and operations with focus on service business emphasizing value creation in service encounters. While UX design starts from user needs, service design addresses the service user, the service provider, and other stakeholders. When UX designers talk about service design, they typically mean developing a self-service application. Service designers design everything from brand to print to environments to scripts for workers to follow. To make things even more interesting, marketing people talk about omnichannel retail design when they combine information technology with the physical world marketing (Lazaris & Vrechopoulos 2014). Our workshop aims to bring these fields closer by focusing on the intersection of UX design and service design, and also welcomes contributions on Omnichannel design.

Better understanding of the intersection of the three fields is getting increasingly important, because companies continue moving from product to service business, digitalization trend continues moving services online, and a holistic view to service design improves both company’s performance and service user’s experience. Therefore, UX teams design more services than products today. Both UX and service designers need to be able to improve user[1] experience along the whole service journey through several points of interaction with one or more applications, devices, and face-to-face encounters. We have called this activity ‘Multi-touchpoint experience design’ (Roto et al. 2016), since it emphasizes that designing for experiences needs to move from single product focus to multiple customer touchpoints and channels. To clarify the intersection of the fields, an overview of the three relevant fields for this worskhop is described below.


User experience design

UX design traditionally focuses on a single digital product or software application. When people started to view the same content on several devices, such as a website through a laptop and a mobile phone, responsive design came in to solve the challenge of providing the same look and feel supported by different screen sizes and resolutions. Multi-touchpoint experience design, however, does not focus on solving technical challenges on user interface level, but aims at addressing more holistic and in-depth values and needs of users. Experience design research guides us to design for meaningful experiences by providing certain functionalities rather than a usable user interface alone (Hassenzahl 2010, Wright & McCarthy 2010).  When considering prior UX research, works that address the temporal aspects of UX can serve as examples of addressing multiple customer touchpoints. UX over time (Karapanos et al. 2010) and Service UX lifecycle (Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila & Väätäjä 2008)  are relevant frameworks for understanding the journeys customers take through multiple touchpoints.

Service design

The origin of service design is in marketing and operations, but the current service design community comes largely from design schools. Shostack (1982) introduced Service Blueprint as the method to integrate design of products and services. A related method for understanding customer experiences is customer journey map, which is a chronological description of interaction points that a customer goes through in the service. These points are called service moments or touchpoints and at each touchpoint, there may be a set of channels, which can be used for completing the needed action (Segelström 2013). Digitalization can make many of these service moments happen online, which calls for UX design and service designers’ understanding of the customer experiences throughout the whole customer journey. In a more holistic notion of service design, user experience is not only concerned with end users’ experiences but experiences of various stakeholders and intermediaries in a service network.

Omnichannel design

Marketing is also the origin for omnichannel design, but this field studies how information and communication technologies (ICT) change consumer practices (Lazaris & Vrechopoulos 2014). The focus of omnichannel research is on retail domain and on coordinating the brand experience across multiple channels, such as a printed ad, a physical shop, and an e-store.

[1] Service and Omnichannel designers use term ’customer’ instead of ’user’, but we chose to use ’user’ in this workshop description.

  1. Hassenzahl, M. (2010). Experience design: Technology for all the right reasons. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, Morgan Claypool.
  2. Karapanos, E., Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J., & Martens, J. B. (2010). Measuring the dynamics of remembered experience over time. Interacting with Computers, 22(5), 328-335.
  3. Lazaris, C., & Vrechopoulos, A. (2014). From multi-channel to “omnichannel” retailing: review of the literature and calls for research. In 2nd International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues (ICCMI).
  4. Roto, V., Väätäjä, H., Law, E., & Powers, R. (2016, October). Experience Design for Multiple Customer Touchpoints. In Proc. The 9th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (p. 146). ACM.
  5. Segelström, F. (2013). Stakeholder Engagement for Service Design: How service designers identify and communicate insights. PhD thesis. Linköping University Electronic Press, Sweden.
  6. Wright, P., & McCarthy, J. (2010). Experience-centred design. Designers, Users, and Communities in Dialogue. Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics, Morgan Claypool.
  7. Zimmerman, J., Tomasic, A., Garrod, C., Yoo, D., Hiruncharoenvate, C., Aziz, R., … & Steinfeld, A. (2011, May). Field trial of tiramisu: crowd-sourcing bus arrival times to spur co-design. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1677-1686). ACM.