Mastering Service Design & UX: Tackling the Top 4 Issues of 2024

6 min read
Evelina Molis
Marketing Manager
Service Design

With the continued adoption of generative AI (GAI), a tight economy, and ever-evolving customer expectations, most companies will experience several service design and UX issues in 2024. Ready to learn what you can do to fix them?

2023 was a year that brought rapid technological changes, time-saving (and sometimes job-eliminating) automation, shrinking budgets, and shifting customer priorities to virtually every industry.

So far, 2024 is set to continue these trends in a big way. 

Yet, despite these challenges, customers still crave user-centric experiences that provide convenience, support, and satisfaction. Whether you’re facing steep competition from an industry disruptor or need to find ways to retain existing customers, working on your UX and design methodology will be extremely important this year.

Here’s a look at 4 of the most common service design/UX issues that most companies will experience this year, including how you can address them before they become too disruptive. 

#1: Disruptions from Generative AI and Other Emerging Technologies

AI has been taking the world by storm ever since ChatGPT’s release in November 2022, and 2024 is set to take things to the next level. Generative AI has applications for practically every industry, from healthcare to finance and everything in between. 

However, AI is both helping and hindering industries simultaneously

In the healthcare space, facilities that have yet to adopt services like virtual patient care (with remote patient monitoring powered by AI) may have their business disrupted by competitors with more advanced capabilities. Patients have grown accustomed to telehealth services post-pandemic, enjoying the convenience and flexibility. This has raised patient expectations surrounding how healthcare experiences fit into their schedules, which many physician’s offices still need to adapt to. 

AI is also revolutionising the diagnosis process at a rapid pace. In fact, AI-assisted tools are already outperforming humans when it comes to diagnosing patients with certain conditions. The Mayo Clinic’s AI-powered screening tool can detect left ventricular dysfunction with 93% accuracy, shattering the mammogram’s previous record of 85%. As a result, healthcare facilities that are behind the times will have difficulty competing with their more advanced counterparts. 

What can be done about it?

Businesses facing disruption from AI and other emerging technologies must rethink their current offerings and business models to remain competitive. The best way to do that is with a robust service design strategy centred around adapting to these new technologies and finding original, customer-focused ways to implement them. 

Detailed customer journey maps and service blueprints will help you rethink your existing service offerings to better align with changing trends and audience demands without sacrificing your brand’s core identity. 

In other words, instead of playing copycat with emerging technologies like generative AI, proper service design helps you stand out from the crowd by developing services unique to your brand. 

#2: Dealing with Prominent Cybersecurity Threats 

Security is always a major issue in UX, and there’s no shortage of tricks hackers have up their sleeves to use in 2024. Regardless of your industry, your users expect (or, more realistically, demand) their data to stay encrypted and secure while interacting with your website. If your customers don’t feel safe entering their personal or financial information, your UX will take a nosedive, and it’ll be extremely difficult to generate leads and conversions. 

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise, and this trend will likely escalate in 2024. By using ransomware, cybercriminals can block access to computer systems until they receive a specific amount of money, effectively holding the system ‘hostage.’ Popular targets include corporations, financial institutions, and municipal services.  

The prominence of AI-powered tools and chatbots has also prompted a rise in cybercrime, as hackers use them to automate and expand their capabilities. Also, due to the increase of APIs and other web applications (like service portals and mobile apps), there’s a broader attack surface to cover. 

How can you fight back against cybersecurity issues?

Service design and cybersecurity actually have a lot in common. 

Both methodologies are all about identifying and assessing risks, establishing policies to mitigate them, and getting the proper support tools to prevent them from occurring in the first place. For this reason, cybersecurity goes hand-in-hand with service design, as security should be built into any service you provide. 

By implementing a well-thought-out service design strategy, you will optimise all your internal processes, significantly reducing cybersecurity risks along the way. 

#3: Strategising for the Long-Term Despite Rapidly Changing Trends 

Preparing for the future isn’t easy when you’re surrounded by volatility and ever-changing customer trends, but that’s the reality for most businesses in 2024. That’s especially true for organisations in healthcare, finance, and tech since they’re going through the most intense changes at the moment. 

For example, institutions in the financial sector are expected to value sustainable practices and ESG factors more than ever before. As such, many institutions will need help uncovering sustainable investing options like renewable energy and recycling. They’ll also need to revamp their decision-making process to consider their potential effects on the environment (both positive and negative). 

In the tech space, artificial intelligence will take centre stage this year, which also raises sustainability concerns. It’s no secret that AI tools use enormous amounts of energy, especially during the training process. Tech companies must find ways to integrate AI while maintaining sustainable practices and without degrading their core user experience. 

How do you prepare for an uncertain future?

With the power of speculative design, you’ll grow from not having a clue what the next week holds to being able to predict the future with the accuracy of a medium. 

It involves imagining alternative futures for your business by assessing current trends and understanding key user behaviours. Besides that, speculative design is also about envisioning a sustainable future for your company, which will be invaluable for tech and finance companies this year. 

#4: Maintaining User Engagement 

Lastly, retaining an engaged customer base will be a significant challenge this year, as users will have more options and distractions than ever. 

Search engines like Google and Bing have brought GAI into the mix, and it’s changing the way users search for information online. Instead of searching for a topic and clicking on a few results for information, AI-powered chatbots will answer user queries directly, so maintaining your online visibility will become more difficult. If you want to keep your customers coming back, you’ll need to understand how they think. 

How do you keep customers engaged with your brand?

Behavioural science is the best way to uncover the underlying factors that inspire customer loyalty. 

It’s the practice of understanding human behaviour, such as what makes your target audience act the way they do. The more you understand the ‘why’ behind your customer’s behaviour, the easier it will become to personalise your services, improve retention rates, and build loyalty. 

For example, healthcare facilities can use the MINDSPACE behaviour change framework to encourage healthy behaviours in patients, such as exercising regularly. Another use case would be a tech company using AB testing and randomised controlled trials to measure the impact of a new feature or policy on user behaviour. 

Implementing Thriving User Experiences and Services in 2024

If you want to stay ahead of the curve, it’s best to assess your user experience and service offerings sooner instead of later. 

As the adoption of AI rises and customers continue to tighten their belts due to a tough economy, outstanding services that solve problems, enlighten, and entertain will matter more than ever.  

For more on the effectiveness of service design, speculative design, and behavioural science, get in touch with our team.     

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