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Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a service design roadmap

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Abstract and Figures

Within practice and in academia, service design has placed a great focus on the early stages of the innovation process, while there has been limited focus on the later phases. This paper examines the later phases, focusing upon the handover from service design consultants, before leaving a project. This is identified as a critical aspect of the later phases and this paper critically examines what a service design handover is, and might be. Theoretical perspectives are combined with interviews of thirteen respondents on producing and receiving handovers, in the context of Norwegian service development projects in public and healthcare sectors. Findings indicate need for an improvement in, and a harmonization of, service design handovers; this is embodied in what I call a service design roadmap. Such roadmaps might support development teams receiving service design handovers, enabling them to better make use of the material during their later process phases.
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ServDes2018 - Service Design Proof of Concept
Politecnico di Milano
18th-19th-20th, June 2018
Service design in the later project phases:
Exploring the service design handover and
introducing a service design roadmap
Frida Almqvist
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Maridalsveien 29, 0175 Oslo, Norway
Within practice and in academia, service design has placed a great focus on the early stages
of the innovation process, while there has been limited focus on the later phases. This paper
examines the later phases, focusing upon the handover from service design consultants,
before leaving a project. This is identified as a critical aspect of the later phases and this
paper critically examines what a service design handover is, and might be. Theoretical
perspectives are combined with interviews of thirteen respondents on producing and
receiving handovers, in the context of Norwegian service development projects in public and
healthcare sectors. Findings indicate need for an improvement in, and a harmonization of,
service design handovers; this is embodied in what I call a service design roadmap. Such
roadmaps might support development teams receiving service design handovers, enabling
them to better make use of the material during their later process phases.
KEYWORDS: service design, the forgotten back-end, handover, service design roadmap,
user insight drift
The forgotten back-end and the service design handover
There are multiple challenges to design for in healthcare, such as an ageing population and
an increase in people living with chronic deceases, whilst the healthcare system is expected to
deliver more with fewer resources (Engström, 2014, p. 2). Within this landscape, I explore
the notion of patient and user involvement, described by Kujala (2003, p. 1) as “a general
term describing direct contact with users and covering many approaches.” The Norwegian
Ministry of Health and Care Services (HelseOmsorg21, 2014, p. 32) has expressed the view
User involvement can contribute to increased accuracy in the design and implementation of (…)
service offerings, but users are currently insufficiently involved in the design of healthcare services.
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
Several scholars have also expressed a concern about the gap between how user and patient
involvement is described in policy aims, and how it is interpreted in practice, in order for the
involvement to be more than symbolic (see Engström, 2014, p. 2; Morrison & Dearden,
2013, p. 127). During the last few years, the field of service design has emerged in “new and
influential roles” within healthcare services (Jones, 2013, p. xvi). Drawing on methods from
various disciplines, service designers aim to systematically involve and understand users
when developing services (Stickdorn & Schneider, 2011, p. 128). Hence, the discipline can be
seen as a relevant approach to the issue of user involvement in practice. Meanwhile, though
scholars such as Sanders and Stappers suggest that user involvement should happen
“...throughout the design process at all key moments of decision” (2008, p. 5) in order to
create successful services which satisfy user needs (Yu & Sangiorgi, 2014, p. 197), the
research of user involvement in the later phases is limited (Yu & Sangiorgi, 2014, p. 201).
In other words, many scholars have studied user involvement in the early process phases,
while the notion of user involvement in the later phases has received less attention. This
coincides with a general tendency in service design research, where the early phases of
service design development have been thoroughly explored by scholars (e.g. Alam, 2006;
Bruce & Cooper, 2000; Clatworthy; Koen et al., 2002), while the focus on the later phases
has been limited (Martins, 2016; Overkamp & Holmlid, 2017). In a previous publication, I
explore the later phases, hereafter referred to as the forgotten back-end (Almqvist, 2017). The
initial study identified the handover from service design consultants to the client as one critical
point in the later phases (Almqvist, 2017). Moreover, the initial study introduced the notion
of user insight drift, suggesting that a project might drift away from initially identified user
needs during the later process phases (Almqvist, 2017, p. 5).
My aim now is to contribute to the research of the forgotten back-end, through the
exploration of what a service design handover is, as seen from the perspective of service
design consultants and the perspective of receiving clients. The focus of this research is on
the handover delivered from service design consultants before leaving the development
team, when a service concept has been developed. In other words, the focus lies on instances
where consultants are involved in projects during longer periods of time. The main
contribution is the suggested concept of service design roadmaps, a concept I argue may support
clients’ work during the later development phases, when the service design consultants have
left the project.
The presented study is part of my doctoral work, where I explore the later service design
process phases, in the context of service development in Norwegian healthcare. The work
explores how service design handovers might support development teams to keep a user-
centered focus throughout a service development process. The work is supported by the
Norwegian Research Council and is part of Centre for Connected Care (C3).
The structure of this paper is as follows: a brief background concerning the service design
handover is given. The interview analysis approach of meaning condensation is made clear,
before the result categories of this analysis are presented. After discussing the findings, with
an emphasis on the service design roadmap, further research directions are suggested.
In the public and healthcare sectors, service design has emerged as a relevant user-centered
approach for supporting service development (e.g. Sundby & Hansen, 2017). Meanwhile,
service designers have been criticized for a lack of implementation competence, which might
lead to concepts not leaving the drawing table (Mulgan, 2014, p. 4). Furthermore, a need for
more research into process support for service design implementation has been indicated by
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
several scholars (Almqvist, 2017; Martins, 2016; Overkamp & Holmlid, 2016, 2017; Yu &
Sangiorgi, 2014). By exploring the service design handover, this paper contributes to research
into the later development phases. The aim is also to contribute both to service designers
working on projects in public and healthcare service development, and to clients, which in
this work are civil servants running projects where service design consultants are involved.
In this section the service design handover is introduced, and aspects that might influence a
service design handover are discussed. Lastly, the works of two relevant service design
scholars are introduced, and the contribution of my research is discussed.
The service design handover
When involving service design consultants in development processes, a need for
communicating and transferring generated information, insights and results between
consultants and the rest of the team often occur, no matter how successful the collaboration
is. In an earlier study I found that service design consultants are mostly involved in the early
development process stages, and few have experience of participating in the later stages
(Almqvist, 2017, p. 5). This makes the handover an important output of a design process,
considering that this material can function as process support after the consultants have left.
There are few descriptions focusing specifically on service design handovers, though scholars
have thoroughly described an abundance of service design methods and tools, which can
generate handover material (e.g. Sanders & Stappers, 2013; Stickdorn & Schneider, 2011;
Tassi, 2009). The service design handover, hereafter mainly referred to as handover, is here
understood as something continuously taking place throughout the process, both as activities
and deliverables.
Activities. Presentations, meetings and informal discussions between consultants and the
development team, are typical handover activates, where information, insights and results are
both generated and transferred. Due to the nature of the gathered research data, this paper
focuses on handover deliverables.
Deliverables. In contrast to for instance product design, where most design material is
tangible, the service design discipline deals with much more intangible design material. The
challenge of conveying the intangible aspects of services, influence the handover
deliverables. One the most prominent approaches to communicate intangible aspects of
services is visualization, which is used to “depict the service being (re-)designed” (Segelström
& Holmlid, 2011, p. 2). Among several service design visualization techniques appraised by
Segelström and Holmlid, customer journeys (Parker & Heapy, 2006), also referred to as user
journeys, and storyboards (see Quesenbery & Brooks, 2010, p. 256) are considered highly
relevant for conveying service concepts. A third well-known technique is service blueprints
(Bitner, Ostrom, & Morgan, 2008; Shostack, 1982). All three are distinctive examples of
service design handover deliverables (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Three service design handover deliverables
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
Service design consultants, just as consultants from any field, can be hired during different
phases of a process. The phases in which service design consultants are involved, will inform
the content and format of the handover deliverables. Most handover deliverables are either
condensed summary of the project up until a specific date, hereafter referred to as
project documentation, or;
specification for a future solution, hereafter referred to as service concept (see Stickdorn
& Schneider, 2011, p. 134).
These types of handover deliverables can either be delivered during a process, or as a final
handover deliverable, before leaving a project. The physical format of such handover
deliverables is most typically a written report or a digital presentation, and often contains one
or more visualizations (see figure 1).
Two scholars studying the later phases
This paper presents findings from qualitative interviews, which are seen in light of the
research by Eun Yu (2014) and Tim Overkamp (2017).
Drawing on Johnson and colleagues (2000, p. 18) Yu divides service development into how
services are designed, and how services are implemented (2014, p. 197). Yu argues that if
these two stages are disconnected, it might lead to the “generation of service concepts that
cannot be actualized in current service delivery system[s]” (2014, p. 201) and argues that
research on the connection between these phases is needed in order to achieve more
successful implementation (2014, p. 202).
Drawing on Kindström and Kowalkowski (2009), Overkamp reasons that implementation
ought to be “on the agenda before the project arrives at the delivery and sales stages” (2017,
p. 4411). Overkamp introduces the notion of implementation during design, arguing that
implementation as a concept needs to be present continuously during the design process,
and that more research is needed on this topic (2017, p. 4418).
This paper contributes to an understanding of the transition from designing to implementation
described by Yu (2014). More specifically, by exploring the handover from service design
consultants to a client, before leaving a project. The paper also contributes to an exploration
of how implementation can be considered during a design process, by suggesting the concept
of service design roadmapping as a means to support clients in making use of handover
material after the service design consultants have left.
In order to explore the area of interest, data was gathered from interviews and observation.
Thirteen qualitative semi-structured interviews (Kvale, 1996) have been conducted, with four
civil servants, four service designers working in service design agencies, three service
designers working within public services and two consultants from other disciplines than
service design. The variety of respondents was deliberately chosen, to gain insights about the
topic from multiple perspectives. The chosen respondents all have experience from service
design projects in the Norwegian public sector and most have experience from service
design projects in healthcare. All are situated in Norway, and all have experience either of
producing or receiving a service design handover. Their background and experience are as
described in figure 2.
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
Figure 2. Interview respondents
The interviews lasted between 2090 minutes and were conducted from FebruaryAugust
2017. All interviews were audio recorded and were later transcribed in verbatim. The
interviews were analyzed according to the method developed by Amadeo Giorgi in the
1970’s (e.g. 2012), which was further developed by Steinar Kvale, and referred to as meaning
condensation (see 1996, p. 192). The main themes emerging from this analysis where further
explored in the light of literature. All transcriptions were read with three main questions in
In which phases are service design consultants involved during service
What is a service design handover?
How are service design handovers produced, received and taken into use?
Meaning units were articulated using the systematic approach as described by Kvale (1996, p.
194). The meaning units were then gathered into a matrix consisting of thirteen interviews
and six themes. The themes were as follows:
The service design handover as continuous throughout a project
Project documentation
Service concepts
Service design roadmap
User involvement
The context of public and healthcare service development in Norway
The themes differ from the initial main questions, since they were refined during analysis.
This relates to Kvales reasoning, that analysis is not conducted as an isolated stage, but
rather continuously through an interview inquiry (1996, p. 205). Correspondences and
variations were examined across the material, studying experiences and conceptions across
individuals. This step had no interest in the individual and her answers but the focus was on
the whole material and aimed to depict the variations within meaning units.
Data has also been collected through participant and non-participant observation (Cooper,
Lewis, & Urquhart, 2004) in five service development projects within Norwegian healthcare.
My role in the projects varied from participating and non-participating service designer, to
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
participating and non-participating researcher. Furthermore, projects where external service
design consultants are hired on a project basis are in focus, considering that this is of the
most common modes of involving service designers in public or healthcare service
development today. These two factors also influenced the choice of interview respondents.
In this paper, a few observations are used to illustrate the results of the analyzed interviews.
This paper presents some central aspects of the study. Other aspects, such as user
involvement and the context of service development within Norwegian healthcare, will be
described further in later publications.
The main focus is on exploring what a service design handover is and might be. This section
presents the results of the meaning condensation analysis (Kvale, 1996) of the interviews.
The results are supplemented by a few examples from observations.
A service design handover may be perceived as continuous throughout a project, consisting
of both various activities and deliverables. Two interviewed consultants expressed the view that
ideally handovers should happen continuously, as long as the consultants are involved. As
phrased by one of the consultants:
The handovers I find most ideal (…) is when we've been working so close to the customer, that there's
hardly any handover [to deliver before we leave]. The [final handover] is just a formality, since
knowledge transfer has taken place continuously during the project.
The notion of the handover as redundant in successful projects, where collaboration is
continuous and well-functioning, is shared among some of the interviewed consultants, and
resonates with data from my previous study of the forgotten back-end (Almqvist, 2017, p. 5).
Though the notion of the handover as redundant might seem bold, one important quality of
this notion is that one cannot view a handover as an isolated entity.
The interviewees expressed few opinions regarding handover activities, but indicated several
challenges and opportunities relating to the handover deliverables that service designers
The following section present three central aspects of handover deliverables, each shedding
light on different qualities of the service design handover. The first category is project
documentation; the second service concepts; and the third service design roadmap. The last category
indicates a concept in need of further research.
1. Project documentation
Both interviewees with experience of producing or receiving service design handovers,
expressed several arguments for why project documentation is important, and described
challenges relating to lacking documentation. For example, one of the interviewed in-house
service designers had experienced that a project she wanted to learn from, but had not
participated in, had hardly been documented at all:
In that project the handover was verbal; it was a presentation. In other words, the knowledge
[generated in the project] is only present in the people who have been part of the process.
A few other interviewees also mentioned similar experiences of lacking project
documentation, where the lack of documentation made it hard to:
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
Explain to others what had been done in a project
Learn from the project experience if one had not participated in the project
Build on earlier project phases, especially in cases where a longer period of time had
passed between pre-project and the main project
Benefits of project documentation mentioned by the interviewees include the use of such
material to successfully embed a project within the organization, and for diffusion of a
project outside of the organization.
2. Service concepts
While project documentation captures what has been done during a process, service concepts
aim to depict the overarching goal and desired service that the service development process
is aiming for. The importance of service concepts was expressed by nearly all of the
interviewees, and this deliverable was described as highly relevant for dealing with the
challenges mentioned in the previous section.
Most interviewees who had received service design deliverables, had very few remarks
concerning how the deliverable content or format could be improved. Hence, there are few
indications of a need to focus on the deliverables per se. However, most had experienced
challenges related to receiving the deliverables. This challenge was mentioned by most
interviewees, and can be read in the statement by an in-house service designer:
I think there is something challenging about the process, maybe not the documentation, but perhaps
one should have a deliverable on how to use this information afterwards if you don’t have any service
designers onwards.
In other words, no matter how relevant service design concepts and deliverables might be
from the consultant’s point of view, the receiving stakeholders need appropriate support to
know how to take the deliverables into practical use. This leads to the following third
3. Service design roadmap
The third category service design roadmapping and service design roadmaps, relate to a gap I
have identified in service design research so far. Namely, how those receiving service design
handover deliverables can make use of the material in their further work. The term
roadmapping describes a visual strategic planning process (Phaal & Muller, 2009), while
roadmaps are the output of such planning processes (Garcia & Bray, 1997, p. 31). The
roadmapping approach has long traditions within technology and product development,
where it is commonly referred to as Technology roadmapping or TRM (see Hussain,
Tapinos, & Knight, 2017). According to Phaal and Muller, the three essential questions that a
technology roadmap ought to address are: Where are we now? Where do we want to go? and
How can we get there? (2009, p. 42).
Though roadmapping and roadmaps are well established and described in other disciplines,
this is so far not the case in service design. A brief search on Google and Google Scholar for
“service design roadmap” and “service design roadmapping” presents no results describing a
service design roadmap or a service design roadmapping approach. A few studies mention
roadmaps, such as Farmer and colleagues describing the development of a “summary map
to assist managers with participation during a project (2017). However, I find no studies
related to my focus on service design roadmaps for supporting development teams to make
use of service design material, after the service design consultants have left.
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
In my interview material, only two interviewees use the term roadmap. Those two
respondents are service design consultants, describing how to prepare the development team
for the phase after the consultants have left. Meanwhile, almost all respondents expressed
that there is a need for “recommendations, activities, instructions, guidelines or plans” when
receiving service design handovers. This relates to the need for being able to use the material
and know where to start, when working towards implementing a service and reaching for a
visionary goal. This need was expressed by both interviewees with experience of receiving
service design handover deliverables, hereafter referred to as receivers, and interviewees with
experience of producing service design handovers, hereafter referred to as producers.
I propose to further explore the correlation between the TRM approach and the
interviewees’ perceptions of what is needed, which may result in a roadmapping approach
specifically for service design. Furthermore, I argue that this concept might contribute to a
better understanding of the later phases of service design development, which has not been
much studied so far (Almqvist, 2017; Martins, 2016; Overkamp & Holmlid, 2017; Yu &
Sangiorgi, 2014).
3.1 Receivers. Interviewees who had received service design handovers described various
experiences that indicate a need for what I’m calling a service design roadmap. Many
expressed the view that service designers have a tendency to deliver visionary concepts that
are seldom supplemented by pragmatic recommendations for operationalization. However,
some interviewees described handover deliverables as easy to take into use when the project
was not very complex, few stakeholders where involved, and when the service concept was
of an incremental, rather than visionary and innovative nature. On the other hand, some
expressed the view that there was a need for more practical and systematical deliverables in
complex projects with many stakeholders, and visionary service concepts.
The challenge of receiving deliverables without pragmatic ‘how to’ recommendations, was
also the case in one of the projects I observed. The leader of this project, who had previously
hired service design consultants, expressed the view that:
In retrospect, I think (...) [that the designers] should have delivered a much more concrete solution,
which considered the economical resources available.
One consequence of this overarching and visionary service concept was that the
development team had difficulties knowing where to start after having received the service
concept deliverables. As phrased by the same project leader:
We didn’t have any tools to make even one little thing, since we didn’t have anything concrete.
Several interviewees shared similar experiences. A civil servant with service design
background, described receiving a handover from a service design consultancy, not knowing
how to use the material in her further process. She suggested that:
There haven’t been any [discussions on] what we are going to use this [material] for? There has been
nothing like that.
The interviewees expressed many different challenges related to receiving service design
handover deliverables. At the same time, they had experienced very few projects where
expectations or requirements in regard to the handover had been explicitly formulated.
3.2 Producers. Several of the interviewed service design consultants argued that it is
important to develop a plan for how receivers can make use of handover deliverables in their
further process. A service design consultant explained:
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
Ultimately, ‘how’ we deliver things becomes quite important. We think, at least for now, that
delivering a sort of roadmap, a plan, is more [important] than [saying] Yes, here you have the
concept, we got this result, it worked like that. Rather, [we] try to use time to draw the road ahead.
Furthermore, the interviewees emphasized the importance of contextualizing the handover
deliverables, as expressed by another service design consultant:
The people who are left when we leave, are the most important. (...) [We must] strengthen the plans
[receivers] have in their continuous work, (...) our job is to provide [them with] the tools they need to
get their plans done.
While the analyzed interview material indicates that producers express the importance of a
planning the road ahead, the material also indicate that:
Not many service design consultancies have defined approaches for developing
plans for implementation;
Not many service design handovers contain plans for implementation;
Expertise and experiences regarding service design handovers and implementation
plans are seldom shared among consultancies.
To sum up, this section highlights the following aspects of the service design handover: a
handover may contain both activities and deliverables and can be seen as continuously taking
place as long as consultants are involved. The interviewees had few comments regarding
handover activities but had experienced challenges regarding handover deliverables. Three
categories of deliverables were described; project documentation, service concepts and the
service design roadmap.
This section discusses some implications of the findings presented in the previous section,
with an emphasis on the suggested concept of service design roadmaps. The following
aspects of service design roadmaps are discussed; firstly, there seems to be a need for more
research regarding the service design handover. Secondly, the distinction between a service
design handover and the concept of a service design roadmap is suggested. The third aspect
describes differences between a service design roadmap and a service blueprint.
a. The handover is critical and requires further investigation
The analyzed interview material identifies the handover from service design consultants to
the receiving stakeholders as a critical point in the later development phases. Neither the
later phases of development nor the service design handover have been explored sufficiently
in service design research. Furthermore, this study suggests that a service design roadmap
has potential to be an important element of a handover.
As argued for by Yu, there is a need for research on how Service Design processes and
outcomes can be better linked with and integrated within the development stages of services
to enhance more effective implementation” (2014, p. 202). Drawing on Yu’s reasoning and
the coinciding analyzed interview results, I argue that there is a need for further exploration
of the handover, and of the concept of service design roadmapping, as contributions to
research of the later service development phases.
b. A service design roadmap can be an important component of a handover
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
In order to clarify the concept of a service design roadmap, this paragraph describes its
distinction from service design handovers. The service design handover is an overarching
concept, describing all interactions of knowledge transfer, continuously through a process, to
the point when the consultants leave. By knowledge, I mean generated information, insights
and results. The handover consists of both activities and deliverables. The concept of service
design roadmapping on the other hand, can be seen as a strategic planning process aiming to
prepare the receiver for the process after the consultants have left. The outcome of this
process is the service design roadmap, which might support clients to use handover
deliverables further, after the service design consultants have left. In other words, a service
design roadmap can be one of several service design handovers, while a service design
handover does not have to contain a service design roadmap.
c. Service design roadmaps and service blueprints
A service blueprint typically specifies the currently offered service or a desired service
process, and the focus lies on making the service concept as concrete as possible (Bitner et
al., 2008). Bitner et al. suggests that the final challenge of a service blueprinting process is
translating the blueprint into detailed implementation plans (2008, p. 5). I argue that a service
design roadmapping approach may support this transition. I am suggesting that a service
design roadmap might function as a detailed implementation plan, by depicting not only the
desired service, but also recommending how to get there. To sum up, while the focus of
service blueprints is the desired service, the focus of a service design roadmap is the
implementation process.
Conclusions and further work
By focusing on the service design handover, this paper contributes to an understanding of
the later service development phases, where there is still much room for service design
research. The inquiry of the handover led to the question: How can one
support development teams receiving service design handovers, to make use of this material
in the later process phases? Based on the findings from the analyzed interview and
observation material, I suggest that the concept of a service design roadmap, which might
have potential to support development teams in the later phases. Two relevant directions for
future work related to the concept of service design roadmaps are:
a.) exploring the taxonomy of a service design roadmap. My suggestion of a service design
roadmapping approach opens up further new questions: which steps and activities should a
service design roadmapping contain, in order to develop a relevant service design roadmap?
Which elements should a service design roadmap contain? When exploring these areas, it is
highly relevant to draw on expertise from design consultancies in combination with relevant
theory from other disciplines, such as the technology roadmapping approach (Phaal &
Muller, 2009);
b.) exploring the relationships between a service design roadmap and user insight drift (Almqvist, 2017).
Research studying user involvement in the later phases is so far limited. Drawing on this I
argue for the importance of exploring the representation of user insights in service design
roadmaps, as a means to support keeping a user centered focus throughout the process.
Moreover, exploring how service design roadmaps might support development teams to
avoid drifting away from identified user needs during later process stages, a notion I describe
in a previous study as user insight drift (Almqvist, 2017).
Frida Almqvist
Service design in the later project phases: Exploring the service design handover and introducing a
service design roadmap
Linköping University Electronic Press
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... 1). As a result, research highlights actors' struggles around fully realizing the benefits of service design in practice (Almqvist, 2018;Hillgren et al., 2011;Overkamp & Holmlid, 2016;Stuart, 1998). Scholars suggest that realizing change through service design is often more complex and nuanced than it tends to be portrayed, as practitioners face significant contextual constraints (Junginger, 2015;Kurtmollaiev et al., 2018). ...
... Furthermore, while service design was initially applied to touchpoints at the organizational-level, there has since been a broadening of scope as service design is now regularly applied to service ecosystems (Patrício et al., 2018a). Without any significant adjustment in the understanding of service design, there continues to be major challenges around realizing the benefits of service design in service systems (Almqvist, 2018;Hillgren et al., 2011;Overkamp & Holmlid, 2016;Stuart, 1998). Through the integration of multiple theories using a service ecosystems perspective, an extended understanding of service design has been developed, in which the shaping of social structures is recognized as the very core of service design. ...
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This thesis explores and advances the evolving understanding of service design in service research. The study problematizes the prevailing view of service design as the design of service offerings to improve customer experiences. My work shows that this popular narrative does not adequately account for the situated struggles of actors when doing service design. As such, a more processual, embedded, systemic, and embodied perspective of service design is needed. In response, this thesis draws from the service ecosystems perspective of service-dominant logic, integrating insights from institutional theory, systems theory and design theory, to examine service design from an alternative perspective. This inquiry is supported through empirical inputs from a paraethnographic study of Experio Lab in Sweden, a qualitative analysis of service design methods, and ‘research through design’ experiments. Through systematically combining these empirical and theoretical inputs, this work challenges the underlying assumptions about service design. Based on the development of alternative assumptions, this thesis builds an extended understanding of service design that unabashedly situates actors and their bodies within the dynamic service ecosystems they seek to design. Through this study, I formulate an extended understanding of service design that is referred to as service ecosystem design. Service ecosystem design is defined as the intentional and collective shaping of social structures, and their physical enactments, in order to facilitate the emergence of cocreated value-in-context. This thesis presents a process model for service ecosystem design that reframes service design from an iterative, linear, and phased process, to an embedded and ongoing feedback loop. This feedback loop involves the processes of reflexivity, through which actors build awareness of existing social structures, and reformation, through which actors’ intentionally reshape social structures toward preferred value cocreation configurations. Based on this alternative view of service design, this research offers a set of design principles and experimental approaches to help practitioners acknowledge and leverage the situated nature of their practice. By extending the understanding of service design, this thesis has implications for broader conversations about design, service, and systems change, and provides a foundation for future research at this intersection.
... Within the literature on SD and SPD, there has been a strong emphasis on practice (Hanna, 2019;Karpen et al., 2017). In SD, there are practical methods and tools like service blueprint and service roadmap (Almqvist, 2018;Bitner et al., 2007). However, most subjects intend SPD as an exploratory approach, more than a formal methodology, to bring together multiple disciplines, competencies, methods, and cultures, and have flexibility during the practice (Iaconesi, 2019). ...
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Social exclusion needs to be studied from a comprehensive and exploratory perspective as a complex and systemic social problem, and there is an urgent need to promote social transformation towards an inclusive society. Over the past decade, Speculative Design has shown great potential as a critical approach to exploring the future and dealing with social issues. Also, there has been growing discussion about the approaches and applications of Service Design and Systemic Design to social issues and complex system problems. Complexity is a keyword in common for coping with social transformation and these three approaches. Further, to reach an inclusive society, designers have to face complex systems and wicked problems at different scales, from government, organizations, and communities to final users, even including a non-human perspective. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to build a more comprehensive understanding of Speculative Design, Service Design, and Systemic De-sign themselves and the relationships between them by drawing together discussions from existing literature. This paper aims to support the startup of new research exploring whether integrating these three design approaches can support the systemic inclusive social transformation.
... Within the literature on SD and SPD, there has been a strong emphasis on practice (Hanna, 2019;Karpen et al., 2017). In SD, there are practical methods and tools like service blueprint and service roadmap (Almqvist, 2018;Bitner et al., 2007). However, most subjects intend SPD as an exploratory approach, more than a formal methodology, to bring together multiple disciplines, competencies, methods, and cultures, and have flexibility during the practice (Iaconesi, 2019). ...
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Editorial The RSD10 symposium was held at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2nd-6th November 2021. After a successful (yet unforeseen) online version of the RSD 9 symposium, RSD10 was designed as a hybrid conference. How can we facilitate the physical encounters that inspire our work, yet ensure a global easy access for joining the conference, while dealing well with the ongoing uncertainties of the global COVID pandemic at the same time? In hindsight, the theme of RSD10 could not have been a better fit with the conditions in which it had to be organized: “Playing with Tensions: Embracing new complexity, collaboration and contexts in systemic design”. Playing with Tensions Complex systems do not lend themselves for simplification. Systemic designers have no choice but to embrace complexity, and in doing so, embrace opposing concepts and the resulting paradoxes. It is at the interplay of these ideas that they find the most fruitful regions of exploration. The main conference theme explored design and systems thinking practices as mediators to deal fruitfully with tensions. Our human tendency is to relieve the tensions, and in design, to resolve the so-called “pain points.” But tensions reveal paradoxes, the sites of connection, breaks in scale, emergence of complexity. Can we embrace the tension and paradoxes as valuable social feedback in our path to just and sustainable futures? The symposium took off with two days of well-attended workshops on campus and online. One could sense tensions through embodied experiences in one of the workshops, while reframing systemic paradoxes as fruitful design starting points in another. In the tradition of RSD, a Gigamap Exhibition was organized. The exhibition showcased mind-blowing visuals that reveal the tension between our own desire for order and structure and our desire to capture real-life dynamics and contradicting perspectives. Many of us enjoyed the high quality and diversity in the keynotes throughout the symposium. As chair of the SDA, Dr. Silvia Barbero opened in her keynote with a reflection on the start and impressive evolution of the Relating Systems thinking and Design symposia. Prof.Dr. Derk Loorbach showed us how transition research conceptualizes shifts in societal systems and gave us a glimpse into their efforts to foster desired ones. Prof.Dr. Elisa Giaccardi took us along a journey of technologically mediated agency. She advocated for a radical shift in design to deal with this complex web of relationships between things and humans. Indy Johar talked about the need to reimagine our relationship with the world as one based on fundamental interdependence. And finally, Prof.Dr. Klaus Krippendorf systematically unpacked the systemic consequences of design decisions. Together these keynote speakers provided important insights into the role of design in embracing systemic complexity, from the micro-scale of our material contexts to the macro-scale of globally connected societies. And of course, RSD10 would not be an RSD symposium if it did not offer a place to connect around practical case examples and discuss how knowledge could improve practice and how practice could inform and guide research. Proceedings RSD10 has been the first symposium in which contributors were asked to submit a full paper: either a short one that presented work-in-progress, or a long one presenting finished work. With the help of an excellent list of reviewers, this set-up allowed us to shape a symposium that offered stage for high-quality research, providing a platform for critical and fruitful conversations. Short papers were combined around a research approach or methodology, aiming for peer-learning on how to increase the rigour and relevance of our studies. Long papers were combined around commonalities in the phenomena under study, offering state-of-the-art research. The moderation of engaged and knowledgeable chairs and audience lifted the quality of our discussions. In total, these proceedings cover 33 short papers and 19 long papers from all over the world. From India to the United States, and Australia to Italy. In the table of contents, each paper is represented under its RSD 10 symposium track as well as a list of authors ordered alphabetically. The RSD10 proceedings capture the great variety of high-quality papers yet is limited to only textual contributions. We invite any reader to visit the website to browse through slide-decks, video recordings, drawing notes and the exhibition to get the full experience of RSD10 and witness how great minds and insights have been beautifully captured! Word of thanks Let us close off with a word of thanks to our dean and colleagues for supporting us in hosting this conference, the SDA for their trust and guidance, Dr. Peter Jones and Dr. Silvia Barbero for being part of the RSD10 scientific committee, but especially everyone who contributed to the content of the symposium: workshop moderators, presenters, and anyone who participated in the RSD 10 conversation. It is only in this complex web of (friction-full) relationships that we can further our knowledge on systemic design: thanks for being part of it! Dr. JC Diehl, Dr. Nynke Tromp, and Dr. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer Editors RSD10
... This story, inspired by real-life examples from service design practice, helps to highlight some of the challenges faced by actors when employing a traditional approach to service design. While service design has been put forward as a promising approach for catalyzing innovation (Ostrom et al. 2015), there are often struggles around how the newly developed services can be implemented in practice (Almqvist 2018;Overkamp 2019). Despite promising outcomes during prototyping, new service concepts are all too often left collecting dust on a shelf or, when these concepts are implemented, the original intention is slowly eroded over time by conventional ways of working. ...
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While service design has been highlighted as a promising approach for driving innovation, there are often struggles in realizing lasting change in practice. The issues with long-term implementation reveal a reductionist view of service design that ignores the institutional arrangements and other interdependencies that influence design efforts within multi-actor service systems. The purpose of this article is to build a systemic understanding of service design to inform actors' efforts aimed at intentional, long-term change in service systems. To achieve this aim, we inform the conceptual building blocks of service design by applying service-dominant logic's service ecosystems perspective. Through this process, we develop four core propositions and a multi-level process model of service ecosystem design. The conceptualization of service ecosystem design advances service design theory by illuminating previously taken for granted aspects; explaining how intentional, long-term change emerges; and expanding the scope of service design beyond projects. Furthermore, this research offers a foundation for future research on service design that involves extending the systemic conceptualization of service design, conducting more holistic empirical investigations, and developing practical methods and approaches for the embedded, collective processes of designing.
Well implemented services can have a transformative impact on any organisation. The implementing team receives service design specifications once the design phase is complete. These specifications include blueprints, storyboards, touchpoint guidelines, among many other custom artefacts. Implementation of technical touchpoints, as envisaged by the designer, will bring the experience alive not only for service users but also for all stakeholders, including those from the service provider. However, after the handover, inconsistencies may often be introduced during the development of touchpoints. The touchpoints may differ from the designers’ original vision and affect the stakeholders’ unified experience. The place where touchpoints’ implementation went wrong is hard to trace. Hence, the long-term involvement of the designers with the development effort is recommended but may not always be feasible. The handover process, and the form and content of the service specifications are critical to reducing the strong dependency on the designers post-handover. In this paper, we propose a framework to map service specification to technical specifications, focusing on traceability and completeness. After scrutinising various technical specification templates to find the essential components, these components were mapped directly or indirectly, by diving deep into multiple artefacts of service specifications. Mapping this extensive technical specification with design specifications early in implementation makes it comprehensive and complete. They are hence reducing the dependency later in the implementation cycle. Such a technical specification document leads to seamless implementation.
User centricity and user involvement is increasingly emphasized in Norwegian legislations related to service development in the health and public sectors. The service design discipline has emerged as a relevant and popular alternative to accommodate the requirements of user involvement. At the same time, the service design discipline has been criticized for lacking implementation competence. So far, there has been a focus on the earlier phases of service development both in service design practice and academia, while the later phases have received less attention. This chapter focuses upon the later development phases, in other words implementation and the transition from testing and piloting to an operationalized service. In this transition, the focus lies on the handover from service design consultants to the client. The topic of service design handovers is explored through an interview study with Norwegian service designers and civil servants. The interviews point toward a key challenge related to handovers, namely, how the clients can be supported in their further work, after the service design consultants have left, more specifically, how clients can make use of the service design material during implementation. This chapter presents a promising direction for service design handovers, by introducing the concept of roadmapping for service design. By combining findings from the interviews and technology roadmapping (TRM) research, the chapter introduces an approach I call service design roadmapping. Lastly, issues that are important to consider when further exploring service design roadmapping are discussed.
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The early design phases, often referred to as the “fuzzy front-end”, have been closely examined by scholars and have a tendency to dominate the content of service design handbooks. However, there has been less focus on the back-end of the development process, both in practice and in academia. By combining theoretical perspectives with interviews of five service design practitioners and researchers, and observations of service design projects in healthcare, this work contributes to an initial exploration of the later phases. Findings indicate that service designers often have the deepest user insight knowledge in a team; hence, knowledge is lost when the designer leaves the project. This can make the project drift away from initially identified user needs, here called “user insight drift”. Drift can lead to an unintended mismatch between user needs and the service experience, due to decision-making in the later phases with limited consideration of user needs.
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This paper presents a novel method for using scenarios for technology foresight. Technology foresight is a well-established discipline, practised with popular foresight methods such as roadmapping and scenario planning. Applying each foresight method reveals limitations in practice, some of which can be addressed by combining methods. Following calls for combining foresight methods, and past attempts to integrate scenario planning and technology roadmapping, we propose a novel method for their combination. The resulting method — ‘scenario-driven roadmapping’ differs in: i) using scenario planning first to identify plausible images of the general environment and then using the scenarios for technology roadmapping; and ii) taking advantage of ‘flex points’ – critical developments which would signal transitions along particular pathways – to create a ‘radar’ to support effective monitoring of the environment over time. This new combined method takes advantage of the strengths of both methods, while addressing their limitations. A case study vignette centred on the work of a special interest group for Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology adoption in the English National Health Service is presented to illustrate and reflect upon the use in practice of the ‘scenario-driven roadmapping’ method. Participants were able to develop a detailed technology roadmap with clear ‘flex points’ helping to connect present circumstances with pathways towards future scenarios. We report on how participants engaged with the scenario-driven method and outcomes achieved were recorded.
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Although service designers have proven their abilities in the fuzzy front end of service development, their skills regarding implementation have been criticised and many service designs are not implemented successfully. So far, there has been little discussion concerning service implementation in service design research and there is potential for further development of this aspect of the design of services. This paper intends to contribute to this development by presenting different views on implementation from fields that are related to service design, such as product and interaction design. These fields mostly see implementation as the delivery of generic resources and process models, whereas service implementation (also) involves development and change of the (service) organisation as well as adaptation in use of resources and service processes models. Still, if discussions on implementation in these related fields are translated to a service context, they can provide inspiration for (future research on) service implementation.
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Primary healthcare managers are required to include citizens in service co-design and co-production. Health policy guidance appears deceptively simple and largely outlines how people could participate in a range of health services activities. Policy tends to neglect outcomes assessment, and a multidisciplinary academic literature corpus is large and complex to navigate for practical, time-poor managers. In this paper, we set out to provide a summary 'map' of key concepts in participation to assist managers in aligning participants, activities, expected outcomes and outcome indicators, and to consider contextual factors that could affect participation processes and outcomes. The intention is a practical tool for planning and evaluation of participation. The map is built drawing on policy guidance, literature and authors' experiences of implementing and researching health services participation.
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This paper illustrates how, although Service Design has been described as evolving from a narrow description of a phase in New Service Development (NSD) to an approach to Service Innovation, the current Service Design research is still focused on the initial stages of NSD. Comparing existing Service Design research with foundational knowledge on NSD, the authors have proposed two complementary directions for future Service Design studies: 1) the expansion of 'service design as a phase' to investigate how Service Design processes and outcomes can be better linked with and integrated within the development and implementation stages of NSD; and 2) the application of 'Service Design as an approach' studying how current human-centred design methods could be extended and adapted for service system development and delivery, and how 'designerly' ways of innovating could inform the overall NSD process.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a service development process that is adapted to manufacturing companies and to discuss its implications for companies with a traditional focus on product development and product sales. Design/methodology/approach – The paper looks at new service development (NSD) literature and argues for a rationale to study NSD processes in a manufacturing context. Next, a generic NSD framework for manufacturing companies is presented. Examples are given based on an explorative multiple case study (ten companies) with in-depth interviews and focus groups. The analysis reveals organizational requirements and other critical factors related to each stage of the NSD process. Findings – A four-stage service offering development framework is presented. Critical aspects of NSD in a manufacturing context are highlighted. The importance of considering both NSD and new product development (NPD) together is also emphasized. Research limitations/implications – The limitations are based primarily on methodology; the case studies focused only on the service organizations of the manufacturing companies studied. Practical implications – Managers need to be aware of the inter-relationship that exists between NSD and NPD and on the specificities of service development in companies where an industrial logic dominates. A number of managerial implications are proposed and discussed. Originality/value – The paper emphasizes the importance of latter stages in NSD, something that has not previously been extensively studied or addressed. In addition, to explicitly discuss NSD in a manufacturing context is novel.
We all use stories to communicate, explore, persuade, and inspire. In user experience, stories help us to understand our users, learn about their goals, explain our research, and demonstrate our design ideas. In this book, Quesenbery and Brooks teach you how to craft and tell your own unique stories to improve your designs.
A critical evaluation of the new service development process: Integrating service innovation and service design Two dramatic developments in the business environment have changed the competitive landscape for most businesses during the past several decades. First, the service sector has emerged as modern Western economies have shifted from product-driven markets to information-based, service-driven markets. This emergence is further illustrated through the entry of manufacturing organizations such as IBM, General Electric, and General Motors into business and financing services. Second, we recognize that the ongoing development of new products and services is critical for competitive survival. These developments, in particular, are now prompting research on how to optimize the new service development (NSD) process and addressing questions such as how new services come about and what processes are deployed. Clearly, the market dynamics that have driven these developments are creating the need for a more thorough understanding of NSD. In this ...