MBA – Innovating with Service Design

Posted Jul 02, 2020

Did you know it’s not enough to just provide a great product anymore? There is a customer attached to that product. A customer who is not only looking for a great product, but a great experience. How do we provide more than a great product? How do we provide an experience, a memorable exchange, or unforgettable service? We design a service that meets the customer’s expectations. We incorporate an innovative approach called “service design.”

According to Wikipedia, service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication, and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers.

The services sector is among the largest and fastest growing portions of the global economy.

Starting this summer, The Otterbein Graduate School/MBA Program welcomes a highly-talented design strategist, Merce’ Graell, to teach a course in service design. Graell is a former strategic design director at DesignIt and the former chair of the Master of Design in Innovation Design Strategies program at CCAD.

This course explores how innovative services are developed through systematic processes. Students learn how to identify potential areas of service, establish standards of delivery, define when and how to provide user interactions (channels, artifacts, and actors), and measure the impact to ensure value creation and profitability. Using a systems-thinking approach, the course is structured around hands-on, collaborative projects, applying the diverse methods, techniques and tools of service design to develop innovative customer experiences. Case studies from a wide variety of industries and contexts are explored.

There is more to come on the approach of human-centered design, along with our efforts to deliver design thinking to our MBA students, and the idea that companies need to consider the design of their organizations to continuously meet those ever-changing needs of the market. They need to adapt regularly.

Let us know what you think about service design. Would you be interested in this course and innovative work? Feel free to email me at

We continue to innovate the MBA Program at Otterbein.

MBA Graduate Director Eric Lloyd