An Introduction to Service Design

An Introduction to Service Design

Designing the Invisible

Lara Penin

Conducting landscape analysis Landscape analysis involves secondary data, expert inputs, theoretical frameworks, and precedents. Secondary data include reports, white papers, academic papers, statistical reports, results from surveys and market research, and results from “big data” analytics showing behavior trends. Theoretical frameworks such as behavioral insights or historical analysis can help provide a rational structure for the research phase and beyond. Experts in the field who are not directly involved as project stakeholders may have critical information that could help designers gain important insights and perspectives. Also useful would be analyses of similar offerings, analyses of other organizations operating in the same fields or analogous case studies, and initiatives that may inform the current conditions. No project starts from zero. And often, a project proposal is built on the success or failure of previous initiatives. After entering a new problem space, service design teams first try to cover the horizons and understand the main indicators, history, conditions, and previous experiences relevant to the context. Understanding the landscape of a project is not a finite task within the process, however. This discovery process continues as a parallel action throughout the project development by revisiting the research question and the project goals. Secondary data may come from a myriad of sources. Research centers, census data, and governmental and other official documentation are the most reliable sources for data. Reading reports, theoretical texts, and other written sources and collating critical learnings and frameworks from them are important but not necessarily popular tasks for designers.

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