Design a service in six hours

This was a full day workshop, on 21 March 2016 (from 9am-5pm). It was held at Stamford Plaza Melbourne.


Product designers and architects get the chance to sketch multiple variations of their concepts quickly and roughly. What is the equivalent of this for services that have multiple touchpoints and intangible concepts?

This hands-on workshop races participants through the entire process of conceiving, mapping out, storyboarding and creating the business model of a service. The proposed ideas will be full of assumptions, unknowns and holes, of course, but assumptions and unknowns are just things that need to be researched and verified and now we know what we have to do. Participants will end with a first 'sketch' of their idea, ready to be researched, refined, honed and polished.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the day participants will have learned:

  • How to generate and work through the first “sketch” blueprint of an entire service proposition
  • How to use the “hand” method and to be comfortable with assumptions in order to develop a broad outline and fill in the gaps later
  • How implementation detail affects the strategic whole and vice versa
  • How to align the back-stage business with the front-stage experience through service blueprinting
  • How to take user journeys to generate concepts, storyboards, scenarios and design specifications
  • How to map this onto a business model canvas

Description of the day

The day will start with a short introduction to service design and some points about designing for Living Services plus some real or pseudo insights data to kick off the problem.

Participants will be divided into teams of 3–5 people, depending on numbers, and will develop their first responses to the problem using The Hand technique of statement/thesis, questions, facts, stories, idea.

Once they have a basic point-of-view on the problem, they will use the Crazy 8s quick sketching approach to developing a service/business concept. Then they will use a quick-fire service blueprint sketch to map out the multichannel touchpoints of their proposition by walking through a use-case scenario. They will need to consider the backstage requirements and generate a business model. Some may want to map this across to a Business Model Canvas.

Finally, they will polish and revise this and explain it in a three-minute pitch with the aid of a storyboard or sketched/mockup touchpoints.

Throughout the workshop Andy will coach each team, pushing them to zoom back and forth between detail and the overall proposition. There will also be time at the end of the workshop for feedback and Q&A.

Take-away material

This workshop focuses mainly on the process of the developing a service value proposition connected to a business model, which can be done with anything from pens and sticky-notes to digital tools. We will supply digital handouts and cheat sheets as well as the relevant chapter from the book Service Design: from insight to implementation.

Target audience

The target audience is anyone working on user experience, service design, interaction design or customer experience projects - as a designer or a business person.