Service design tools for visualising and prototyping; A sustainable meal case

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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xii + 84 s.
Service design is a means for producing innovations by thoroughly exploring and understanding the problem space, and generating creative solutions. Though the literature describes a service design process and an accompanying set of tools to use in practice, the link between the two is not well-defined and affects the wider adoption of service design practices. This thesis studies the usage of service design tools to support the evolution of a service concept through visualising and prototyping. The study examines a multidisciplinary service design project that developed a solution for communicating the sustainability of meals. Adopting a design science approach, the usage of 14 service design tools are examined in terms of how the tools visualised and prototyped the service concept, as well as how the design process and interaction of these tools enabled the evolution of the idea throughout the project. Through the analysis of the tools and their characteristics, this study identifies and contributes several frameworks that can be useful for gaining a deeper understanding: the iconicity/time matrix for visualisations, the level of detail/enquiry for prototypes, and the innovation model for the entire design process. Based on the application of these frameworks to the tools used during the project, three strategies are recommended for the effective use of service design tools: 1) continuously and explicitly communicating the design process, using the innovation model, 2) utilising low-fidelity experiments to test hypotheses, and 3) creating and sharing a common long-term vision for the project. In particular, the study highlights the beneficial characteristics of some key service design tools: customer journey maps for their versatility and consideration of the customer's entire experience, videos for their storytelling value and ease to produce, and paper prototypes for the creativity they enable.
Kauppinen, Marjo
Thesis advisor
Raatikainen, Mikko
service design, visualisations, prototypes, design process, service design tools, innovation
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