Service design methods in the development of digital services

Knowledge of service design methods is helpful in the process of service design. When your development partner knows the methods, you do not need to study them in detail beforehand. In Mtech, we use the LEAD framework in the development of digital services. It also gives service design a good framework.

What is service design? Read our earlier post to see how the methods of service design can be used to make business and customer experience better. What is service design? By methods of service design, we describe the means used in a development process at its different phases. You can use them e.g. to find out how to design an order form for a mobile app, so that it would be as easy as possible to fill in and send.

Service design methods – how to get going?

There are so many service design methods that they are impossible to list in one blog post. When developing a digital service, compared with a physical service, we have the advantage of data monitoring. If you are already using a digital service that you want to develop, you can use different tools to monitor how it works and use them to find points to develop. It is often useful to find the solutions completely outside the box and not take the old system as a model, but you can always learn from the problems in the old system.

Probably the simplest service design method is asking the present users about the problem points and their development wishes. These persons can include customers and people inside your company such as employees in tech support and order handling etc. This method is useful in several phases of the service design process. The users can be interviewed directly or by using different questionnaires.

User experience can also be analysed by many other methods. We can e.g. create customer paths, customer segments, or search for value promises. The tools available for this include questionnaires/ canvases that Mtech then supplements together with the customer in a shared Digital workshop.

The idea of a Digital Workshop includes that it should gather a maximally large sample of people from the customer’s side so that all problem areas of the digital service and the related ideas and wishes can be heard from different points of view. The thoughts can first be gathered in a brainstorming session by writing them down on adhesive labels and attaching them on an idea board, and then select the best ones for testing.

Service design methods later in the process

When the process is already running after the initial phase, the next phases with us would be specification, development and delivery. There are methods for each one of these phases, but it is always possible to return to the earlier phases and methods if necessary.

At the specification phase, we proceed from hearing opinions to looking for shared goals. The idea is to specify the present situation and the target digital service. What do we need to do to reach the goals from the starting point? In this work, the service design methods used can be value package definition (MVP) and road maps. It is important to model the systems, processes and roles clearly; that makes the work more tangible.

At the development phase, the work is specified further. At this point, the service design methods may include different mock-ups and self-explanatory models. The delivery phase, on the other hand, is where the core of the agile implementation lies. So far, we have mainly been busy with planning work, but now we step into real work by means of agile portfolio management.

The agile model of developing digital services guarantees that if you in some phase of the project notice that the chosen path is not right, you can change it with short notice. The development phases do not necessarily follow an order, but you can return to earlier phases even several times if need be.

Service design puts people first

Some of the service design methods may sound strange, but with a competent partner they become clarified during the process. We also explain the methods thoroughly and present the results in an understandable way, ideally with visualisation. Cooperation with the users and developers of the digital service is crucial both during development and after implementation. The development work never ends in practice, so it is worth to choose your partner carefully.

Mtech is a reliable development companion in digital business development, and we also know how to do service design. Contact us, so we can look at your development needs together!