Service design is not a buzzword – at least not for us. As a design studio, we have been living and breathing service design for more than 50 years. It is what we do every day as part of all our projects. Be it creating and developing or purely process-related, service design ensures the best possible outcome for our clients and their end users.
Service design is all about the people; user-centred approaches are its framework. While it can be exciting to create something great completely from scratch, service design is not always about creating something new.
Most of the time, it is about making something that already exists even better, or about making the service more visible. The starting points of a service design process can be a product, service, internal process, an online booking system, digitalisation of a system, innovation or generally an improvement of the user experience of an existing process or product. Placing the user at the centre ensures a change of perspective (compared to placing the product at the centre) and forms the basis for true innovation that reaches the end consumer.
What does this promising process look like that leaves our clients so satisfied?
Any service design process starts with a set of questions:
What is the trigger?
What is the goal?
What should be different after a successful service design process?
How will customers notice?
These questions sound simple, but discussions based on them typically reveal that the project challenge is completely different from what was originally assumed. Sometimes, the goals of those involved even turn out to be contradictory.
We therefore organise a workshop early on and have all project-relevant persons participate. Together, we clarify the assignment, define project goals and thus guarantee that all stakeholders have the same understanding of what our process will achieve. At the end of the identification phase, the order is phrased as a question, e.g. “How can the ordering process be redesigned?” This presents a very clear objective that invites creative, solution-focused thinking.
In everyday life, we are forced to make decisions and find solutions quickly, rather than sticking with a problem. With service design, however, we see problems as opportunities. The time that goes into identifying the roots of the task at hand and the people at its centre are seen as an investment that always pays off. Therefore, we take the time to “sit” with a problem to fully understand it from all perspectives.
For our in-depth analysis, we use different tools and methods. The most important ones are:
Stakeholder analysis: It is necessary to understand your users, but also your stakeholders.Stakeholder mapping » is a useful means to keeping track of your stakeholders as well as their interests and influence on the project. We analyse the stakeholder’s requirements, expectations and attitude towards the project. Decision-making competences and thematic priorities need to be defined and anything stakeholder-relevant has to be taken into account.
User analysis – personas & customer journeys: The question “Who are my users?” can be answered with the help of user personas. Personas are fictional users who have expectations, needs, problems, skills and goals just like real users. They serve as the basis for the creation of customer journeys, which lead to the definition of customer touchpoints.
Desk research and user observation: Real insights are gained from observing your customers while they are using your product, service, process or software. How are they actually using your product? Does it differ from how it was designed to be used? Did they fail to use the product at any point? What challenges and needs can be identified from their user behaviour? Which emotions can we recognise? These insights help us understand the usability of a product and, in parts, the user experience.
Interviews with stakeholders and clients: We are starting from a point of curiosity and with the mindset of wanting to know everything. Interviews encompass a range of formats such as contextual interviews or face-to-face client surveys.
Self-exploration: Self-exploration is about using a product or service yourself with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the circumstances and facts of the case. Self-exploration is essential as you can only improve a product or service for your end users if you have first-hand experience with the issues you have to face.
Key statements & creative challenges
Key statements & creative challenges
Strictly speaking, key statements are not a separate step; they are deducted progressively during the phase of in-depth analysis. At the end of the analysis phase, a reflection of all insights takes place and statements are narrowed down and prioritised. Once the final key statements have been established, they define the challenges to be mastered in the further process through concepts and design.
Development of solutions
Development of solutions
Core challenges require strong solutions. These require the creation and collection of ideas. Initial ideas are developed based on the key statements and can be derived by different means. These include:
Joint brainstorming sessions on a flip chart; PESCHKE and the client act as sparring partners
Defined small groups; e.g. each group focuses on a different need from the user journey
A group discussion moderated by PESCHKE
Picture and word stimuli
Change of perspective
For the collection of ideas, we make sure everyone has their say. The most important aspect of brainstorming is that all ideas are valid – no matter if feasible or not, out of the box or already tried and tested.
The result of the process is a collection of all ideas and materials, which are evaluated for feasibility and suitability at the very end of the process.
Mock-ups & prototyping
Mock-ups & prototyping
The ideas for the identified solutions are now translated into a rough first concept. The results can take the form of scribbles, a physical prototype or a service script. These mock-ups or prototypes serve as the means for testing the design and process structure.
In some cases, such as when the target group is very broad and diverse, it makes sense to set up multiple mock-ups that each focus on a very specific user need. The biggest advantages or gains of these mock-ups are then integrated into the final prototype.
Once we have developed a prototype, it is time to test and fine-tune it in iteration loops. This means that we adapt the prototype after each round of testing until we arrive at a satisfying final result.
An important aspect of testing are the test users. Ideally, they are independent and unbiased users who are not yet familiar with the product or service. External users reflect real-world conditions, making it possible to review the user-centred design of workflows and features.
For unbiased user testing, we assign tasks to our users which the product or service was designed to support. We then analyse how smoothly the tasks were carried out and if the required steps or element for completing the task were unclear for the user at any point. In case they were, we can then revise the functional setup for the relevant area before moving on to implementation.
Now that we have a final prototype, the service design process is finished. But we don’t have to stop here: The service design prototype opens the door for further design processes such as UX/UI design » or product design ». Our own experienced UX/UI and product designers are now ready to pick up the project and continue the process until we have a final digital or physical product ready for the end users.
Get in touch!
Do you have a process or product that could benefit from a service design overhaul or have a completely new product in mind that we can help you bring into the world? We’d love to partner up and make it truly great! Just send us message and we’ll get the collaboration started.
World market leader – the ultimate success! Such a big title wants to be earned. The Peschke product design team took on the challenge to overcome the design hurdles and helped ENGEL achieve exactly that.
Katja is the strategic addition to the creative team and keeps track of all relevant processes. In addition to PESCHKE’s financial matters, her passion is the topic of service design, as well as the associated intensive consultation with clients. The human component is always at the centre.
Alexander has passion for communication and strategy and excels at making data-driven, informed decisions. He is always on a mission to optimise internal processes and to squeeze out the last possible amount of quality and competitive edge for our clients. He is a driving force, true to his word and always has an open ear, even in intense phases.