Stan: When we were in school, service design was this really fluffy thing that everyone was still really skeptical about in a lot of ways. I know I was very skeptical of it in the beginning. I was like, “What is service?” Like, that’s so fluffy. Let’s get to the pixels and interaction design, right?
Why did you decide to make that leap to service design back then, and ultimately move around the world to pursue it?
Marie: Well, we’ve already designed the chair so many times. Why do you need to design the chair again? I felt similarly about digital things. We had an abundance of apps. I thought, “Well, instead of just making new things, we should think about how do we improve and fix the old things and services that we use every day. What does it mean to do end-to-end service design and not just look at specific touchpoints?”
Stan: Was that a hard transition, coming right out of school where we focus on interactions and those specific touchpoints, to thinking about that spectrum of experiences?
Marie: I think it was definitely a learning curve, trying to work with people and companies in a way that’s not just focused on the product. I think at the program at Simon Fraser University, the skills that we did learn really helped help us in the way to apply multidisciplinary design.
Stan: Yeah. It’s one thing I did appreciate coming out of SFU was there was a lot of focus on the theory of what designing is about.
Marie: Definitely. How to use design to solve problems. No matter what your preferred medium is, you can apply your design philosophy and skills to solve problems. We didn’t call it interaction design, we didn’t call it user experience design. It’s just design. This is what it is.
What I was interested in was literally designing services. I wanted to apply design in making services better for people who use them and also for people who deliver them.