Applying the game to the real world
1. Introduction to service design with tips for studying topic further
1.1 Service design
1.2 Value creation
1.3 Methods: Persona, journey map, story board/rapid prototype
2. Workshop instructions
- Create a user persona
- Create a visual prototype of user journey, a service prototype
1. Introduction to service design with tips for studying topic further
In order to design great software or contextual games, you need to understand who your user is and
what is the context where the software is used and what is the value your software creates for the
user. These are some key elements for connecting your software to real world and to markets. This
material provides you with some service design background and practical approach with
participatory methods for innovative and interdisciplinary development process.
This study module consists of two parts. First part is introduction to service design and methods to
be studied before the event. Second part is instructions for a workshop during the event. It is for
early innovation and research phase when participants are creating the first ideas for the contextual
game, before first presentations.
1.1 Service design approach to user experience for creating software
What is service design? Watch a short introductory
Service design has background in industrial design, it has evolved over time from user centric service
development to also developing systemic levels as organizations and strategies.
Service design creates services that are useful, usable and desirable from the customers perspective
and efficient, effective and different from a provider perspective. - Birgit Mager 2004
Service design choreographs processes, tehnologies and interactions within complex systems in order
to co-create value for relevant stakeholders. - Birgit Mager 2010
Service design approach is about challenging people to find new perspectives and to co-create in a
multidisciplinary way. All the stakeholders of a service have relevant information and expertise of
the different stages, these views are needed in a development process. Main thing is to understand
who and how to participate, and in what stages of the development process. Too often in the
development focus is in internal processes or coding and the customer and user perspective come
along in a late stage. Especially in big organizations or complex ecosystems, this has led to
fragmented service offering or services that don’t work for all stakeholders. Business Model Canvas
(presented in Business Plan –didactic material module) is a useful tool used side by side with service
design methods to form an overall view of the service production process and it’s stakeholders.
With service design approach the aim is to:
- Achieve better understand of the user needs and their everyday life. In order to succeed most
of the products and services will have to be culturally excepted and fit to user’s everyday
life. Very few products will change the way people behave. For example mobile phones are
one of these few that have had a great impact in users lives, our daily life and working habits
have changed by using mobile phones.
Development of mobile devices and part of the impact they have had to our everyday life. - Cees
van Dok, TomTom Service Design Global Conference 2016 Picture: Johanna Hautamäki
- Observe new possibilities. It would be so easy to ask what the users want, but the challenge
is that they don’t know what is possible. It is designer’s role to gather information and bring
right stakeholders together to co-create new solutions, and use this to create the right
- Design useful services with iterative process, develop through trial and feedback. Just as
software, service is never ready. I has to keep improving to stay viable in order to meet
evolving user needs and service provider’s needs.
The service design process is iterative
- To implement plans into practice. This might sound like obvious thing, but sadly often good
ideas stay just that, good ideas. Successful implementation needs just as much attention and
planning as the developing phase.
Service design process can be viewed according the purpose:
- Innovating new services. How to come up with new ideas, concept, test and launch them.
- Develop existing services. How to explore and identify weaknesses and strengths, to improve
- Create service strategies. How to control and develop the whole service offering.
- Organizational development. How to develop complex interactions and ecosystems. Services
are produced as a result of organizations actions, it can’t be developed as a totally separate
part. You need some level of understanding of the context where it is produced.
Tips for studying the field further:
- Stickdorn, M., Schneider, J., Andrews, K., Belmonte, B., Beuker, R., Bisset, F., Widmark, E.
(2010). This is service design thinking: Basics - tools - cases. Amsterdam: BIS.
- Stickdorn, M. (2018). This is service design doing: Applying service design thinking in the real
world : a practitioner's handbook (First Edition.). Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, Inc.
- Free methods PDF related to This is Service Design Doing available:
- Service Design Network podcast https://www.service-design-network.org/podcast
- Miettinen, Satu. (2014) Service design in practice.
Understanding the value creation process is a way for understanding user needs and how your
product or service will meet them. Traditionally value of a product has been tied to the cost of
materials and manufacturing. The new value creation process takes a broader outlook on the
Value = product + service + interaction between service provider and customer
The product, in this case contextual game or software, is a means for achieving something to both
customer and service provider. An example of airlines demonstrates how value creation affects to
whole business model and company strategy. Different types of customers can have very different
needs. We have customers who want to travel as cheap as possible from one place to another as
other type of customers want to have a luxury experience while travelling and individual service. The
value creation process is very different in both cases, different airlines often target on different
types of customers, while they still both have a same core purpose to transport people. In these
cases, service and interaction with customer and what kind of planes are used to support the value
creation make the strategies and business plans totally different.
For understand the value creation process you need to know:
You need to understand your customer, define what the value you are proposing is and match it to
your customer’s needs. Then start making design decisions accordingly. Your contextual game or
software needs stakeholders, platforms, other operators etc. to function, this can be described as an
ecosystem. Your value creation may need support or interaction with partners or an ecosystem to
operate, so map these out in an early phase. In an ecosystem organization can offer customers more
complete solutions with co-operation.
- Who your customer is?
- What is customer’s world like?
- What happens in the situation where the contextual game or software is used?
- What needs your contextual game or software fulfills for the customer?
- What is your goal as developer and what needs this contextual game or software fulfills for
- What is your organizations strategy and how does the contextual game or software support
A perspective to value creation: Fjord Trends 2019: The search for value
Value proposition is also an element it the Business Model Canvas tool (presented in Business Plan –
didactic material module)
Personas are representations of different kinds of customer groups, segments, stakeholders or
employees etc.. They usually consist of pictures and information that is relevant for the
development case, to give a background story of the person. Persona is a way to visualize and sum
up for example a user research results, it will help a team to form shared understanding on the case
and to present findings to others. In development process, the purpose is also to give design team a
story to build the service idea on and test ideas.
A persona can consist of:
- Portrait image
- Demographics, age, gender, geographics (be careful not to get stuck with stereotypes)
- A quote from the person
- Mood images
- A short story of everyday life
- Some specific information relevant for the case in hand
Creating personas. Picture: Johanna Hautamäki
When creating a persona, it is always important to reflect the development process at hand, the
purpose of creating the persona. What information is relevant to this case and how detailed
research will it be based on. A persona is a way to connect with everyday life situations of the user,
including a story it gives more information for the development process than mere list of facts.
Persona can be used as means to attempt reaching empathic perspective of the user, to understand
the user needs. Empathic perspective is about trying to understand how the other person is
experiencing things, trying to see the world through their eyes and how they feel.
More about the method:
Journey map is a visualization of customer or stakeholder experience over period of time, for
example the whole experience of using a service, before, during and after. It shows all the key steps
of the service, as well as how and when customer and service provider interact. A journey map can
help to see where there might be gaps or inconsistencies. The journey can describe an existing
service experience or be a tool for innovating a new one. You can get creative with how you make it,
it can be visual like a cartoon, made with post-it notes or even with Excel. You can choose a method
best suited for your team’s talents, working habits or needs for presentation.
An example of a customer journey created in a workshop. Picture: Johanna Hautamäki
More information about the method
Storyboard and rapid prototyping
Storyboards and rapid prototyping are used, in the following workshop material, for visualizing the
ideas at early stages in order to get feedback from pears, mentors or users. Idea is to be able to do
quick iterative development. When you get feedback fast and early, you can develop your idea
further before making decisions that limit your choices later on in the development process, for
example when you have already started coding. With storyboard you can describe the whole user or
Rapid paper prototype can be used for getting feedback of the user interface, or the functionality of
an app. Both storyboard and prototype can be as simple as rough paper sketch or Powerpoint, on
the other hand if needed even a digital mock-up, depending on how much time you have to spend
on it or what is the phase of your development process. Usually the earlier the stage, the rougher
and faster the sketch.
A rapid paper prototype of an app for children to use in library. This prototype was used for getting
feedback about the app idea by talking with children and parents, to get ideas and guidelines for
design and development choices. Picture: Johanna Hautamäki
More information about the methods:
- Duration of the Workshop can be adjusted, participants can choose to do either more quickly-dirty or more detailed and research based version, according to their needs and time at
- This is a quick-n-dirty process of designing a user experience and refine your idea about an
application/software in a multidisciplinary group.
- It is not a simple thing to get answers from a user. They don’t always know what kind of
application or software would bring solution to their needs or what is technically possible. It
is up to you to gather information and create innovative solutions based on information you
- Start by getting to know your target group and creating a persona of the user. Then create
ideas and based on your user and ideas, create a story of a one-time your customer uses the
software you are designing. A Story with visualization tells deeper information than just
listing facts or asking questions:
- What is the value created for the user, what is the person gaining from using this?
- Why would the person use this, how does it help them?
- What is the situation where she/he uses it?
Benefits for this kind of working:
- This workshop will help you to co-create shared level of understanding on the case and the
user within your team.
- The materials you create are useful for the milestone presentations to the mentors.
- This is a tool to empathize to the user’s point of view and understand the value of your
product in the real world. Result can be used as a protype of the software idea for getting
feedback from potential users and stakeholders in early stages.
- The results serve as bases for a user centered software design process. When you
understand the context of the product in the real world, you have a better starting point for
designing the contextual game /software and move on to phases such as the requirements
engineering and business planning.
- Enhance/learn communication between different field of professionals, multidisciplinary cooperation and co-creation
- Gain experience on user-based design
- Get a visualization on your contextual game/software idea for getting feedback and testing it
with users etc.
- Combining a service design approach to software development process
- Co-create and form shared level of understanding with your team of the customer and the
Timetable for a Workshop
It is for the organiser to ultimately decide on how long and how in-depth a workshop should be. The timing given below is as a guide only
Hours 1 and 2: Briefing the assignment and creating personas
- do research on your target group, on-line, quick interview etc.
- create the persona, you can use the given template or visualize the information your own
Hours 3 and 4: Create the customer journey and a story board of it
Create a post-it timeline of customer journey of your software
Create the storyboard by visualizing the frames or a paper prototype.
You can use any method suited for your teams skills, only your imagination, (budjet) and
time at hand are your limitations.
- 5min. silent writing. Start with everyone taking the time to write down all the first
ideas you have about the customer experience. How does the need rise? What
happens before, during and after using the software? What is the value for the user?
This way you get everyone’s ideas down and you don’t just start to follow the first
ideas. You can also write down questions that need to be answered.
- Share with each other’s what you have written. Don’t shut down anybody’s ideas at
this point. You can write down more based on discussing the ideas.
- Start forming timeline of the post-it notes, group together the notes that are similar
or about the same phase. Start making choices, what is relevant and what is not. Fill
in missing parts of the timeline to form a journey of the post-it notes.
- Form the key moments of the journey, if you would tell the journey as a cartoon,
what frames would you need to tell the whole story?
Hour 5: Presenting the results and get feedback
- Go and get some feedback about your idea, talk to people face to face or contact someone
on-line. Get feedback from potential users, stakeholders or peers. Develop idea further.
- Develop the storyboard futher based on the feedback.
- Presentations to other groups, test your ideas and get feedback
After workshop: Results are your prototype of the software idea. Go get some more feedback from
someone in your actual target group, develop your idea further
Materials you can use in workshop:
- Profile template
- Post-it notes
- Mobile layout templates (you can find these with Creative commons license picture search
- Phone for taking pictures