Trends in Experience Design


Experience Design discussion with Yong Se Kim, Director of Creative Design Institute, Sungkyunkwan University

At a recent visit from Yong Se Kim, Director of Creative Design Institute at Sungkyunkwan University, we discussed the latest trends in Service and Experience Design. We talked about Product Service Systems (PSS) and how these systems started as mainly products with some services attached to them. These systems have exited for quite a while now -think iTunes and iPod– but as many products are commoditized greater focus on unique and value-adding services are needed to set yourself apart from the competitors.


Professor Kim made an interesting point that Service-Dominant Logic –people-first or human-centric approach – should guide every design process. He talked about experience value and how companies still pay too little attention to it. Companies that focus on the experience value can vastly improve the performance of their PSS and really stand out from the customers’ perspective. We explored the tools and methods that can be used to guide Experience Design, focusing on the needs of various stakeholders, and creating value on all levels.


We’ve seen first hand how quickly Chinese companies in the manufacturing sector have moved to Product Servitization (adding services to product). In 2007, according to a study conducted by University of Cambridge, less than 1% of Chinese manufacturing firms had servitized, but by 2011 over 19% offered services along with their products. These companies are offering services such as:


Financial Services – helping customers finance expensive equipment, allowing more customers to afford their products and gain value from it.

Installation and implementation - for complex products, assuring that customers can generate value from the product soon and as effectively as possible.

Leasing, maintenance and support – removing the headache of worrying about maintaining the purchased equipment and lowering the cost-of-entry.


Based on our experience the amount of companies that offered services along with their products is even higher now, and acts as a clear indication that these companies are moving up in the value chain. This shift creates higher value for both companies and their customers. It also proves that the market is becoming competitive, forcing companies to innovate faster, targeting the right areas, than their competitors.  Focusing on creating greater experience for the customers will continue to play a large role in differentiation and companies that don’t have strong internal (or outsourced) innovation engines will find themselves falling further and further behind.


Have you thought how you can improve the experience your customers have with your product, service, or brand?

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