Service design in the later phases : exploring user insights, handovers, and service design roadmapping in the transition from service concept to implemented service
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Human-centricity and user involvement have become increasingly emphasized in Norwegian legislation related to service development in the health and public sectors. At the same time, service design has emerged as a relevant and increasingly popular alternative to accommodate the requirements of user involvement. This article-based PhD thesis explores and contributes to how service designers’ processes and practices might be improved and supported in relation to the later phases of service design processes. The study is rooted in service design practice, and takes an expansive research through design approach. The main methods include participant observation in service development projects, interviews with service designers and clients, and design investigations with service design MA students and their external clients. Insights from these methods have been combined with theoretical perspectives in an iterative process to produce both practical and theoretical contributions. The study shows that thus far there has been an emphasis on the earlier phases of service development, both in service design research and practice, while the later phases have received less attention. Service designers are seldom involved in the later phases, and therefore a critical aspect of these phases is the final handover from service designers to the development team. Findings indicate a need for both an improvement in, and a harmonization of, service design handovers. One potential answer to this is embodied in what I call service design roadmapping, an approach explored and introduced in this thesis. While roadmapping is well-established in other disciplines, this is not the case in service design. The thesis contributes to a deeper understanding of the later phases through practical explorations and theoretical discussions of the phenomenon called user insight drift, the service design handover, and service design roadmapping. Service design roadmapping is a contribution to service design practice that can support service designers and their clients in the transition from a service concept to an implemented service. The approach might help to change the focus of service designers and their clients from the earlier phases toward considering the process as a whole by also focusing upon the later phases.