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With so many different customer service solutions available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to streamline and standardize your service experience, but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different service design tools with large teams and projects, with my picks of the best service design tools.

Different service design tools serve other purposes and can address specific pain points. The right tool can simplify complex processes, improve user research, and provide accurate testing results. Here are some tools that have helped me overcome common challenges in service design.

What are Service Design Tools?

Service design tools are platforms that user experience professionals use to optimize their service processes These digital resources facilitate various tasks, including mapping customer journeys, creating service blueprints, prototyping, and integrating customer experience data.

Essentially, service design tools enable CX professionals to understand and streamline the customers' journey, from their first contact through to their engagement process to their long-term relationship with the brand.

Overview Of The 12 Best Service Design Tools

1

Figma

Best for real-time collaboration and design prototyping

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.7
1039 reviews

Free plan available

From $15/editor/month

Figma is a cloud-based design tool facilitating real-time collaboration between design team members. As a versatile software, it provides prototyping functionalities that enhance teamwork and streamlines the design process. Figma's real-time collaboration features enable it to shine in areas where immediate team interaction and design prototyping are crucial.

Why I Picked Figma:

I chose Figma for its exceptional collaborative environment and strong prototyping capabilities. Its ability to allow multiple team members to work on a design simultaneously separates it from other tools in the field. Moreover, being a cloud-based solution, Figma simplifies access and sharing, encouraging collaborative creativity. Its best fit is with design teams needing a smooth blend of collaboration and prototyping.

Standout features & integrations:

Figma stands out with its multiuser design environment that enables real-time collaboration and a robust prototyping module that allows users to create interactive mockups. Another notable feature is its 'Design Systems,” a component library that ensures design consistency.

Figma's integration capabilities are equally impressive. It links well with platforms like Slack for communication and Jira for project tracking.

Pros

  • Cloud-based access makes it convenient for remote teams.
  • Robust prototyping features allow for interactive mockups.
  • Real-time collaboration fosters teamwork.

Cons

  • High-resolution designs may cause the application to lag.
  • It has limited offline capabilities.
  • It could be overwhelming for beginners due to the extensive feature set.
2

Xtensio

Best for creating and sharing beautiful living documents

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5
268 reviews

7-day free trial

From $15/month

Xtensio is a platform where teams can create, collaborate, and share stunning visual documents. It excels at producing beautifully crafted documents that can be adapted to various formats and needs. This aligns well with the 'best for' statement as it allows easy sharing of iterative service design process documents in a visually pleasing manner.

Why I Picked Xtensio:

In the course of my search for the best service design tools, Xtensio emerged as a top choice. Its unique appeal lies in its versatility for document creation, allowing users to input text and embed videos, graphs, and other visual aids. The user interface is intuitive, making the tool accessible to users with varying tech-savviness. I concluded that Xtensio was 'Best for creating and sharing beautiful living documents' due to its strength in combining ease of use, collaborative features, and high-quality visual outputs.

Standout features & integrations:

Xtensio shines with its diverse templates catering to many service design needs, including user personas, user journey maps, and more. Its collaboration feature is also a standout, allowing real-time edits from multiple team members.

Regarding integrations, Xtensio connects well with many tools that teams commonly use. It integrates with Slack for accessible communication, Google Drive for document storage and retrieval, and LinkedIn, aiding the collection of user research data.

Pros

  • Smooth integration with commonly used tools
  • Real-time collaboration for teams
  • Wide variety of templates for different service design needs

Cons

  • Limited customization options compared to some other tools on the market
  • While generally intuitive, the user interface may have a learning curve for some users.
  • Some important features are only available in higher-priced tiers.
3

Invision

Best for rapid prototyping and design collaboration

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
744 reviews

Free plan available

From $7.95/user/month

Why I Picked InVision:

I selected InVision for this list for a couple of significant reasons. First, its powerful prototyping capabilities allow for the rapid transformation of static designs into clickable, interactive prototypes. This feature distinguishes it from other tools in this category. Secondly, its collaboration features are top-notch, making it easy for teams to work together, exchange feedback, and iterate on designs in real time. These qualities make InVision a prime choice for the unique selling proposition of facilitating rapid prototyping and design collaboration.

Standout features & integrations:

Among InVision's most valuable features are its rapid prototyping capabilities, extensive design collaboration tools, and interactive functionalities like transitions and animations. The platform also integrates well with other popular design tools like Sketch and Adobe XD, making it convenient for teams using these tools.

Pros

  • Allows integration with popular design tools like Sketch and Adobe XD.
  • Facilitates collaboration with features like real-time comments and digital whiteboard.
  • Offers robust prototyping capabilities.

Cons

  • Limited features in the lower-priced tiers.
  • Advanced features might require a steep learning curve.
  • The interface might seem complex to some users.
4

Cadence

Best for digital design and signoff workflows

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5
69 reviews

Pricing upon request

Cadence is an efficient tool for electronic design automation (EDA) and semiconductor IP. It simplifies digital design and signoff workflows, enabling engineers to easily complete complex tasks. Cadence's collection of tools is tailored for IC, PCB, and SoC design, making it the perfect choice for digital design and signoff workflows.

Why I Picked Cadence:

Cadence was an obvious choice for me because of its robust tools explicitly built to facilitate digital design and signoff workflows. It also stands out from other tools' comprehensive coverage of the design process - from the conceptual phase to the sign-off. And also an ideal tool for businesses looking for an end-to-end solution for their digital design needs.

Standout features & integrations:

Cadence provides advanced EDA tools for IC, IP, and system design, as well as DFM tools for efficient manufacturing. It also integrates with multiple design and manufacturing software tools, including various semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Pros

  • Strong compatibility with a range of manufacturing equipment.
  • Effective DFM tools to ensure designs can be manufactured efficiently.
  • A comprehensive suite of design tools for IC, PCB, and SoC design.

Cons

  • Pricing upon request can make budgeting more difficult for some businesses.
  • The learning curve can be steep, particularly for less experienced designers.
  • Highly specialized tools that may not suit smaller businesses.
5

Smaply

Best for visualizing and sharing customer experience insights

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5
11 reviews

Free plan available

From $25/user/month

Smaply is a tool that allows businesses to create, visualize, and share customer journey maps, stakeholder maps, and personas. It excels in condensing complex customer data into clear, shareable insights, making it the top choice for disseminating customer experience findings.

Why I Picked Smaply:

In selecting tools, I found that Smaply stood out for its collaborative features and visual emphasis. The ability to create visually engaging and intuitive maps that can be easily shared across teams makes it distinctive. This alignment with visualization and sharing makes Smaply the ideal tool for those who need to communicate customer insights effectively within their organizations.

Standout features & integrations:

Critical features of Smaply include the generation of dynamic journey maps and stakeholder maps, digital persona creation, and the ability to share maps and gather feedback directly on the platform. As for integrations, Smaply can import data from spreadsheets and export data to PDF, providing flexibility with data management.

Pros

  • Data is imported from and exported to other tools.
  • Collaboration and sharing features for teams.
  • Intuitive and visually engaging journey mapping.

Cons

  • Higher price points may not be accessible for all businesses.
  • Requires some learning curve for optimal use.
  • Limited range of third-party integrations.
6

Canvanizer

Best for streamlined collaboration on canvas-based designs

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.3
4 reviews

Free plan available

From $25/year

Canvanizer is a tool that offers a canvas-based approach to designing services, products, and business models. It simplifies brainstorming and strategizing, making it best for projects requiring a unified collaboration platform.

Why I Picked Canvanizer:

I chose Canvanizer for its unique approach to collaboration. When comparing different tools, Canvanizer's canvas-based structure stood out as an efficient way to organize thoughts and ideas. Furthermore, it's designed to streamline design collaboration, making it ideal for team-based projects requiring everyone's input.

Standout features & integrations:

Canvanizer provides numerous templates for different business and design needs. These ready-made canvases, including the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas, speed up the ideation process. It also integrates well with project management tools such as Trello and Asana, enhancing team communication and coordination.

Pros

  • Integrates with popular project management tools.
  • Facilitates collaboration on designs.
  • Provides various templates for different business needs.

Cons

  • The pricing plan requires an annual commitment.
  • We have limited customization options for canvases.
  • Lacks advanced prototyping features.
7

LUMA Workplace

Best for implementing human-centered design methods

From $10/user/month

LUMA Workplace is a digital platform providing a comprehensive resource suite for practicing and learning human-centered design. This tool aids teams in solving problems creatively and collaboratively, making it an excellent choice for businesses that prioritize human-centered design methods.

Why I Picked LUMA Workplace:

I chose LUMA Workplace for its extensive focus on human-centered design and how well it supports these practices. The system is rich with resources and features that facilitate creative problem-solving. Integrating educational materials on human-centered design sets LUMA apart and makes it the prime choice for teams implementing such methodologies.

Standout features & integrations:

LUMA Workplace's standout features include an extensive library of human-centered design methods, a variety of templates for effective planning, and built-in project spaces for collaborative work. Regarding integrations, LUMA Workplace works well with video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, offering a smooth digital collaboration experience.

Pros

  • Integration with video conferencing tools for remote work.
  • Collaborative features for team projects.
  • A comprehensive library of human-centered design methods.

Cons

  • We have limited customization options for project spaces.
  • No built-in data analysis features.
  • The tool may be complex for beginners.
8

Axure RP

Best for wireframing and prototyping with interactive features

30-day free trial

From $29/user/month

Axure RP is a comprehensive tool for creating interactive wireframes and prototypes. This tool provides the ability to build highly detailed and interactive designs, which is why it's perfect for users who need to create intricate wireframes and prototypes with interactive features.

Why I Picked Axure RP:

In determining which tool to pick for interactive wireframing and prototyping, I selected Axure RP because of its unique combination of capabilities. It provides various tools for creating interactive elements, setting it apart from many other prototyping tools. In addition, its high-fidelity simulation of the final product makes it the best choice for those who need to create detailed and interactive prototypes.

Standout features & integrations:

Axure RP is well-regarded for its rich features like dynamic content, conditional logic, and adaptive views. It provides the ability to create low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes with interactive elements. Regarding integrations, Axure RP can smoothly work with Sketch to import designs and provide useful plugins for integration with other design tools.

Pros

  • Allows integration with Sketch and other design tools through plugins.
  • Offers a variety of features like dynamic content, conditional logic, and adaptive views.
  • Comprehensive tools for creating interactive wireframes and prototypes.

Cons

  • They limited collaboration features.
  • High cost compared to some other wireframing and prototyping tools.
  • It can be complex for beginners to learn.
9

TheyDo

Best for tracking customer journey progress in real-time

TheyDo is a customer journey mapping tool that enables businesses to visualize and track their customers' experiences in real time. By offering insights into customer behaviors, preferences, and pain points, TheyDo empowers teams to make informed, customer-centric decisions. The tool’s real-time tracking feature makes it an invaluable asset for businesses seeking to stay on top of their customer journey progress.

Why I Picked TheyDo:

I picked TheyDo for its stellar customer journey tracking. Its real-time tracking provides crucial insights into customer-business interactions, making it perfect for monitoring progress. What sets TheyDo apart is its ability to turn raw customer data into actionable insights, empowering teams to refine strategies based on real-time experiences.

Standout features & integrations:

TheyDo excels with its real-time customer journey tracking and visualization features. It provides a simple yet comprehensive interface that allows teams to map customer interactions and identify critical touchpoints. Additionally, the tool's segmentation feature allows for personalized customer journey mapping.

TheyDo integrate effectively with tools like Slack for team communication, making it easier for teams to share insights and act on them promptly.

Pros

  • An easy-to-use interface encourages team collaboration.
  • Segmentation feature provides personalized journey maps.
  • Real-time customer journey tracking allows for timely decision-making.

Cons

  • Limited third-party integrations could limit its functionality in some workflows.
  • Lacks robust analytics features for deeper data analysis.
  • Requires a minimum of 5 seats, which may not suit smaller teams.
10

Optimal Workshop

Best for user experience research with interactive tools

Free plan available

$166/user/month (billed annually)

Optimal Workshop is a suite of tools designed to elevate your user experience research. Its interactive tools transform UX research into a dynamic process, making it best for teams seeking to dive deeper into user behavior.

Why I Picked Optimal Workshop:

In my selection process, Optimal Workshop emerged as a robust set of tools for conducting in-depth user experience research. The interactive features make it shine, offering a dynamic approach to understanding user behavior. These capabilities make it best for UX research that requires interaction and engagement.

Standout features & integrations:

Optimal Workshop offers features that facilitate user experience research, including card sorting, tree testing, and first-click testing. These features make it easy to gather and analyze user behavior data. As for integrations, Optimal Workshop syncs with tools such as Slack for notifications and updates and Google Sheets for easy data export and analysis.

Pros

  • Integrates with popular productivity tools like Slack and Google Sheets
  • Provides a variety of testing methods
  • Offers interactive tools for UX research

Cons

  • The interface may be complex for beginners.
  • Limited options for real-time collaboration
  • Higher starting price compared to similar tools
11

Adobe XD

Best for integrating with Adobe's suite for a unified design workflow

7-day free trial

From $9.99/user/month

Adobe XD is a design and prototyping tool that allows designers to create interactive user interfaces for web and mobile applications. Its strength lies in its smooth integration with Adobe Suite, making it ideal for those looking to have a unified design workflow.

Why I Picked Adobe XD:

I chose Adobe XD for this list primarily because of its integration with the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, an asset that distinguishes it from other design tools. It allows designers to utilize other Adobe software like Photoshop and Illustrator directly within XD, fostering a unified workflow. This integration makes Adobe XD the perfect tool for creating a streamlined design process using the Adobe suite.

Standout features & integrations:

Adobe XD offers interactive prototyping, design systems, and auto-animate features to create immersive and functional UI/UX designs. As part of Adobe's ecosystem, it integrates perfectly with other software like Photoshop and Illustrator, allowing for a fluid design experience across different Adobe tools.

Pros

  • Auto-animate feature to create interactive designs.
  • Robust prototyping and design systems.
  • Flawless integration with Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.

Cons

  • Lacks some advanced features compared to other specialized UX tools.
  • The design interface might be intimidating to some.
  • It can be complex for new users.
12

Miro

Best for remote teams needing a digital whiteboard platform

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
3415 reviews

Free plan available

From $10/user/month

Miro is a digital whiteboard platform designed to foster collaboration and creativity among teams, especially those operating remotely. With a suite of tools and features to facilitate brainstorming, project planning, and idea sharing, Miro serves as a hub for virtual teamwork, which is why it's the best for remote teams needing a digital whiteboard platform.

Why I Picked Miro:

I selected Miro for its exceptional capabilities in fostering remote collaboration. The platform shines in its ability to recreate the dynamics of a physical whiteboard while providing the benefits of digital tools. Miro stands out due to its intuitive interface, range of templates, and scalability, making it the perfect solution for remote teams of varying sizes and needs.

Standout features & integrations:

Miro offers various features facilitating brainstorming, project mapping, and team collaboration. The platform covers multiple collaborative needs, from sticky notes and freehand drawing tools to pre-made templates for different project types.

Miro also integrates smoothly with various popular tools such as Slack, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, and Jira. This interoperability is vital to maintaining an efficient workflow across different platforms.

Pros

  • Scalable to accommodate teams of varying sizes.
  • Integrations with commonly used platforms.
  • Comprehensive collaboration tools perfect for remote teams.

Cons

  • It is more expensive than some competing whiteboard tools.
  • Occasional performance issues with larger boards.
  • More complex features may have a learning curve.

Other Noteworthy Service Design Tools

Below is a list of additional service design tools that I shortlisted, but did not make it to the top 12. Definitely worth checking them out.

  1. Adobe XD

    Best for integrating with Adobe's suite for a unified design workflow

  2. Miro

    Best for remote teams needing a digital whiteboard platform

  3. UXPressia

    Good for creating customer journey maps, personas, and impact maps

  4. Lean Service Creation

    Good for developing new services using a lean approach

  5. Microsoft Visio

    Good for creating professional diagrams in a familiar Office environment

Selection Criteria For Choosing the Best Service Design Tools

When selecting the right customer journey mapping tool, it's crucial to consider what factors can enhance the quality and efficiency of your work. I've tried and tested dozens of these tools, looking specifically for capabilities that can aid in creating accurate, insightful, and actionable customer journey maps.

Core Functionality:

A customer journey mapping tool should enable you to:

  • Construct detailed customer personas.
  • Map out each touchpoint in the customer's journey.
  • Analyze and understand customer behaviors, motivations, and pain points.
  • Visualize the customer's journey across multiple channels.
  • Share and collaborate on the journey maps with your team.

Key Features:

A few critical features of a customer journey mapping tool include:

  • User-friendly design editor: To allow easy creation and customization of maps.
  • Collaboration capabilities: So that team members can simultaneously view and edit maps.
  • Integration with analytics tools: To provide real-time data and insights about the customer's journey.
  • Templates and examples: To kickstart your mapping process with industry-standard formats.

Usability:

When it comes to the user experience of a customer journey mapping tool, certain aspects are fundamental:

  • An intuitive design interface: The tool should be easy to navigate and understand, even for first-time users.
  • Quick onboarding process: Comprehensive guides or walkthroughs are essential to get new users up to speed.
  • Adequate customer support: In case of any issues or questions, users should be able to access prompt and helpful support.
  • Accessibility: The tool should be easy to access and use from various devices, including mobiles, for on-the-go updates.
  • Scalability: As your company grows, the tool should be able to handle an increased workload and more complex journey maps without compromising performance.

In conclusion, the best customer journey mapping tools should combine powerful functionality, critical features, and exceptional usability to offer a comprehensive solution for understanding and improving the customer journey.

Most Common Questions Regarding Service Design Tools (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using service design tools?

Service design tools provide a myriad of benefits, such as:

  • Streamlining Processes: These tools help identify inefficiencies and areas of improvement in your current service delivery, thereby streamlining your processes.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience: By mapping out customer journeys and touchpoints, you can better understand your customers’ needs and improve their overall experience.
  • Facilitating Collaboration: Many service design tools have features that allow multiple team members to work together, encouraging collaboration and communication.
  • Providing Valuable Insights: These tools can integrate with analytics platforms to provide real-time data and insights, aiding in better decision-making.
  • Improving Service Delivery: With a comprehensive view of the customer journey and service processes, you can better identify areas for improvement and optimize service delivery.

How much do service design tools typically cost?

The pricing for service design tools can vary significantly based on the functionality, number of users, and the level of customer support provided. Prices can range anywhere from $10/user/month to over $100/user/month.

What are the standard pricing models for service design tools?

Most service design tools follow a subscription-based pricing model where you pay a monthly or yearly fee for access. This fee can be on a per-user basis or for a set number of users. Some providers also offer tiered pricing, where the cost varies based on the features included in the plan.

What are some of the least and most expensive service design tools?

The least expensive service design tools, like Lean Service Creation, can start at $10/user/month. On the other hand, more premium tools like UXPressia can cost upwards of $100/user/month for their more advanced plans.

Are there any free service design tools?

Free options are available, although they often come with limited features. For example, Miro offers a free plan with basic features suitable for individuals or small teams. However, a paid plan would be necessary for more advanced features or larger units.

Summary

Navigating the landscape of service design tools can be challenging, given the myriad options available. However, this guide should provide a solid foundation for understanding the core functions, key features, and usability factors that matter most when selecting such tools.

Key takeaways from this guide are:

  1. Understand Your Requirements: The first step is to define the core functionality required from a service design tool. Whether you need advanced customer journey mapping, robust collaboration features, or integration with other software, your specific needs will guide your choice.
  2. Evaluate Key Features and Usability: The best tool is the one that meets your needs and is also user-friendly. Consider the user interface, onboarding process, and availability of customer support in your evaluation process.
  3. Consider Pricing Models: Pricing varies significantly across different service design tools. You should be clear on your budget and understand the pricing model of each device, be it per-user, tier-based, or offering annual subscriptions.

With these considerations in mind, you can make an informed decision when selecting a service design tool that best aligns with your business requirements.

What do you think?

New and innovative options are constantly emerging in the ever-evolving landscape of service design tools. While this guide aims to be comprehensive, there may be some outstanding tools that I still need to include. If you have any suggestions or know of any other service design tools you believe deserve a spot on this list, please don't hesitate to share them in the comments below. Your insights can help this resource and help others in their search for the perfect tool.