The job of an industrial designer is to consider the end-user's experience. Once upon a time that was as basic as making a chair supportive in the right places, making a handle chunky enough to grab or asking the graphics guys to make the numbers bigger for legibility. Nowadays it's getting more complicated.
A modern product like an iPhone works (or doesn't work--read: AT&T) not only because of its inherent industrial and interface design, but because of the ecosystem in which it "lives." In the case of the iPhone that ecosystem has been carefully designed, in the form of the iTunes Music/App Store, (among other things); providing consumers with an easy way to buy and use music and apps increases the phone's utility, improves the customer experience, and creates wealth for the record labels, musicians, and software companies.
In other words, as well-designed as the iPhone is as an individual object, it is the design of the services around it that makes it a game-changer.
An article in Korea's JoongAng Daily looks at the rise of Service Design and the notion that modern product designers need to look well beyond the physical form of their projects.
"The end goal for design is to provide customer convenience," Innodesign CEO Kim Young-se said. "[The industry] is undergoing an evolution. Companies' services and product designs change at the same time."
Kim Young-min, a CEO of Design Continuum Korea, Inc., agreed.
"Product design used to account for 80 percent of companies' requests," he said. "Now it has declined to about one-third of our total business. Design strategies and improving brands and services are becoming more important."
Read all about it here.