Service Design model
CRUISING THE PROBLEM AREA
Introduction – What is this phase?
The aim of this phase is to ‘identify the real problem’, the root problem, that often hides behind the blurriness of the problem phenomenon and more obvious problems. For instance, weak product sales may not be caused by the product being unappealing, but rather by cultural or practical aspects, such as a product being the wrong size for apartments in the country. Therefore, it is important to find the real problem, the fundamental problem in the issue. It is equally important to establish the starting situation of the project, the current state with all its challenges as this helps in planning the direction for problem identification.
Often a problem phenomenon is broad, ill-defined and blurry, and multiple problems and emerging issues can be identified during this phase. Once identified, these can be analysed and prioritised to select the most essential problem to solve. Finding the right problem saves money, time and other resources. It allows for finding new opportunities, and answering to and working on the right issue. This is why the service design process starts here, identifying the real problem.
Why is it important for cultural and creative sector?
Finding the right problem gives a starting point for developing and innovating services. It helps form an overview of the problem, and opportunities and possibilities for innovation. This helps ensure effort is made in the right direction, which is especially important when working with limited resources.
This phase kicks off the innovation and design process. The tools of this phase help to identify the areas and direction for the design and innovation process. For example, when fewer people than before are participating in a dance class, reasons for this could be anything from demographic and age distribution changes in the area, increased unemployment causing families to cut expenses for hobbies, customer dissatisfaction with the class, or a decreased uptake of healthy habits in the region. In this case, for example, the customer journey map tool can help mapping customers’ current experience with the product and find where in the journey innovation is needed. The media and trend study tool, instead, can be used for spotting trends in the society (for example increased unemployment) or to study the market and innovation taking place in the sector.
End results of this phase
At the end of this phase the real/root problem to work on has been identified. The design brief tool can be used to define what the goal of the project is in more detail.
Tools of this phase
Listening to existing customers and analysing this feedback.