Making Product Design meet Service Design

A series of articles on the value of design in organisations

Lina Soufi
5 min readJan 19, 2022

The role of product design has had a rise in recent years: companies have been hiring more product designers, UX designers, and so on. This recent shift towards product design is great, but it isn’t enough. Design is more than just products. Is the French market mature enough to grasp the value of design in organisations?

At Devoteam Creative tech, we are convinced that the value of design should be included at all levels of organisations. To follow through on this conviction, we created a team of professionals who share a common vision of design. This team includes researchers, service designers, UX designers, product designers, and data managers. We called this team, Design Thinking Guild. Our goal is to collaboratively work together and reinforce the value of design in organisations. To do so, we decided to build on a common approach we all use called Design Thinking and we decided to share our learnings with you in a series of articles along our learning journey.

In the first article of this series, we explain the theme of our Guild: Making product design meet service design.

Products and Services in the digital era

We are currently in the digital era, where a chatbot, a website, or a bank application are digital products that users interact with to achieve their goals. Let’s call each one of these a touchpoint. Today each touchpoint has a specific team behind it to design an interface that works, that is intuitive, easy to use, accessible and functional for the users.

Now imagine that a touchpoint is a new digital product that is well thought out and ready to be implemented. Beyond the value of this specific touchpoint at the specific moment that it’s used, does the organisation has all that it takes to integrate it into the customer’s overall journey? How does this solution impact the experience of the customer and the company’s employees? How does it affect the front and the back of the organisation? How does this single interaction affect other interactions in the user and employee journey?

Those kinds of questions allow us to zoom out from our digital products and put them in a wider context. Why do that? Because, for one, it ensures that the new service we are proposing works and that we can provide it to our users. Secondly and most importantly, it ensures that any new solution meets a real need and solves a real problem. It is no longer enough to focus only on the digital product and its users. Digital products play a role in an entire system.

Case Study : Velib a public bicycle sharing system in Paris, France

Let’s take the example of Velib, a self-service bike-sharing system in Paris. This service has several touchpoints: the bikes, the stations, an application, a website, card passes, etc.

Velib customers have a different experience when interacting with each of those touchpoints. What a customer wants is to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.

Let’s zoom in on one of the moments of a customer’s journey: On the Velib application, there’s a feature that lets customers check whether there are enough bikes available at a nearby station and whether these bikes have enough charge so the customer can plan his journey. Nowadays, when the customer opens the app to check if there are any bikes available, he often finds that the nearby stations are full of bikes. But then he goes down to the station and unfortunately for him, he finds himself with zero bikes or with a few bikes that are all broken or otherwise unusable. That’s the peak of frustration in a customer’s relationship with an organisation: when the service fails them.

The Velib example shows us that one single interaction level, in this case, the Velib application, could be itself accessible, straight to the point, and easy to use, but the service behind it can be a failure. Connecting the dots between people and processes, and placing customer experience at the center of the organisation’s products and services is what we should be designing for.

The boundaries between a digital product and a service should be broken into an integrated experience. Digital products are services that help customers achieve something. Everything revolves around the customers: if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. It is as simple as that. What customers want nowadays is an experience that is simple, honest, with zero friction — no matter at what level or at what moment they find themselves in their relationship with the organisation. They want to be able to achieve something with the help of the organisation without having to come across disappointments. For this reason, applying a customer-centric approach in organisations is a must. At Devoteam Creative tech, we believe that the mindset and principles of Design Thinking can make a crucial contribution to this development.


We, designers tend to work to break silos in organisations. But we can be siloed ourselves. We at Devoteam Creative tech have decided to embark on a journey to de-silo ourselves as designers by making product design meet service design, and to start working on projects together with and for our clients. We are convinced that designers must intervene at all levels of the organisation to find answers and solutions for the benefit of the customer and the benefit of the organisation providing the solution. Design Thinking provides us with a mindset, a model and a set of tools to explore all those subjects. We will be using Design Thinking and all that it brings to the table to integrate design at every level of the organisation one step at a time.

Join us on this journey of making product design meet service design. Let’s continue the conversation !



Lina Soufi

Service Designer, humanist, world citizen, traveller, mountain lover. Relationships and ties between people, things and places fascinates me.