Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Wielding the soft (and hard) science of service design

Brandon  Schauer  (Adaptive Path at Capital One)
1:15pm–1:55pm Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Bridging design, technology, and business
Location: California East
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.14, 7 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Service designers, customer experience professionals, or anyone creating or managing a service

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with the trials and complexities of organizations that work to deliver a service experience across multiple touchpoints

What you'll learn

  • Learn the common patterns for improving journeys and the impacts of each
  • Understand the science of measuring and effecting an experience, both for the customers of the service and the business
  • Explore the honed practices of managing and planning complex services


Because we live in a service-based economy, more and more designers, teams, and firms are practicing service design. (The US actually enjoys a $195.3B trade surplus for services. Many of the products we spend the most on and spend the most time with are platforms for services.) And in a service-based economy, the experience—the totality of screens, products, environments, and human interactions—is the product customers buy.

Newly minted service designers invest in the core tools of customer journeys and service blueprints only to find that the challenges of effecting a service are more complicated than a diagram. Brandon Schauer, the head of arguably the largest internal service design team in the US, speaks from experience. He and his team have struggled with and learned from these challenges more than most. Brandon shares a set of five realizations that emerged from their road-tested practice. These realizations, based on both soft and hard evidence, explain how to progressively evolve from what a service is to what a service shall become.

If you’ve struggled with the lack of a common shared vocabulary of the service experience, the sense that every part of the service must change, or that the service is dysfunctional because the organization is, this is the session for you.

Photo of Brandon  Schauer 

Brandon  Schauer 

Adaptive Path at Capital One

Brandon Schauer is the head of influential experience design consultancy Adaptive Path and curator of annual design conferences, including UX Week, the Managing Experience Conference, and the Service Experience Conference. As of October 2014, Brandon and the Adaptive Path team are a part of Capital One, working to create great human experiences that change banking for good. Brandon has a love of Excel that is unnatural for a designer.