An Introduction to Service Design

An Introduction to Service Design

Designing the Invisible

Lara Penin

The service blueprint is the quintessential service design tool. Different from the user journey map that focuses on the user perspective, the unique value of the service blueprint is showing the user actions in relation to the logistics and organizational actions by the service provider organization. The service blueprint breaks down all the service participants (users, staff, both frontline and back-office and supporting systems) and distinguishes the front-stage and back-stage parts of a service provision. The purpose of doing a service blueprint can vary. A current states service blueprint is used as a research and analysis tool to map existing service deliveries, and a future states service blueprint is used as an ideation tool. The main elements of the service blueprint include five lanes separated by four lines: •The first lane on the top shows the service touchpoints and is determined by the interface line. The touchpoints can be written, drawn, or shown through real pictures. •The second lane, immediately above the interaction line, captures the users’ actions. •The third lane, immediately below the interaction line, captures the actions by front-office staff. •The fourth lane captures the actions conducted by the back-office staff that are hidden from the user, behind the visibility line. •The fifth lane at the bottom, below the internal interaction line, shows the actions by supporting systems or subcontractors involved in the service delivery. In the horizontal axis, a service blueprint can be segmented in typical phases of the service delivery. For example, in a hotel scenario, the phases would be (1) booking a hotel, (2) arrival and check-in, (3) settling period, and (4) checking out.

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