The Method’s Focus: Service Users

These methods help you to get more information about the certain components of the existing service, such us user, service, service process or touchpoints. In addition, they can also help you to understand, visualise or verify the service that you are developing. For example, to get more information about the service user you can use User Diaries, Bodymapping, Interview or Service User Journey. Then, to understand of service itself you can adapt for example Actors Map, Process Analysis or System Map. Furthermore, to get familiar with service processes you can employ Service Safari, Service Storyboard, Scenario or Roleplaying. And to explore touchpoints you cab use Evidencing, Service Blueprint, or Service Prototype among others.

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The user is asked to think out loud while performing a given set of tasks, so that the evaluators can listen to and record his thoughts. If this kind of evaluation takes place with two users interacting with the system simultaneously, the observers would gain a more natural thought narrative and process and therefore potentially […]

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In some cases, users will tell you exactly what their needs are. In others you might identify a need through observing their behaviour. Before attempting a needs map, you will need lots of information about your user. The more research and visual material you have, the better. Follow these two steps to create a needs […]

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The map should cover all the different stages of a service, from when a user first hears about it, through to signing up and eventually finishing with the service. It should show all the different touchpoints involved (e.g. people/ information/products/places). Touchpoints could include the people the user spoke to, information seen, products used and the […]

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The user diary should be made up of three main sections: 1. Background information This helps to compile a short description of the person completing the diary. It could include their name, age, occupation, their likes or dislikes and hobbies that they may have. 2. A diary of service use A diary of service use […]

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Storyboards often focus on a main character whom the audience will follow through the service, but the most important thing is to tell a story about how the service works. Use your service blueprint as a starting point, and think about explaining it in a story format. You will need to think about who your […]

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Before collecting stories make sure that your equipment is working (e.g. check that the dictaphone is sensitive enough to pick up voices and that your batteries are charged or you have spares). Try to start with an easy introductory question to ease the storyteller into the interview, for example ‘Have you travelled far?’ Ask the […]

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This group activity is usually conducted following Story sharing* with the people who shared their stories (service users and other stakeholders). Write all the important stages or touchpoints when someone uses a service across the top of a long sheet of paper. You may have this information if you have already created a System map […]

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Elements are used to represent the service components and to better explain an idea to other members of the team. Prototyping is a design activity supporting the visualisation of ideas and a way to ensure that all the members of the team are talking about the same thing. It also contributes to making the process […]

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This realistic simulation is certainly one of the best ways for visualising human behaviour and for sharing even its least describable qualities with the specific recipients. The prototypes could be a physical model of a specific touchpoint, a sketch or a sign. It could also be a role-play which focuses on the service’s interactions. The […]

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Create your blueprint on a large piece of paper or a wall. Map out all the main stages of the service journey as headings and use them as a guide. Start at the beginning of the service journey and imagine all the interactions and touchpoints which the user will encounter. Write these on post-it notes; […]

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Scenarios are imaginative stories that can be presented through a variety of media including texts, illustrated storyboards, videos, film, or short plays and can feature multiple characters to describe different service interactions. To create an effective scenario, first define a set of characters who will use the product or service you are designing. Consider the […]

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The Path to Participation normally takes the form of a series of moments which are drawn as a process.  This design activity can visualise different levels from an operational point of view to a representation of the customer journey. Therefore a well-designed service will consider all paths to participation. The path to participation mapping process […]

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A Persona is a character which is created to represent user research in an easily understandable way. Each persona should bring together lots of information about similar people into one character that represents a group of users. Personas can include the following useful information: name, age, occupation, where personas live, what personas do in their […]

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This activity enables design teams to analyse tasks and gain deeper insights through repeated viewing. It involves observing and filming service users and/or people involved in the service. It allows you to view the video recorded material and reflexively discuss it.  

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