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Service Design model


Introduction – What is this phase?


The main aim of this phase is to investigate the identified problem and gain insight about it. Once the root problem has been defined, gaining a better understanding about it will help identify the right tools for dealing with it in order to find a solution. Research also means establishing a connection with the customers and finding more about their needs. In this sense, research provides an opportunity to identify customer desires in order to make services more user-friendly, sustainable, and meaningful.

Why is it important for cultural and creative sector?


Gaining insight about the identified problem helps the cultural and creative sectors identify different elements and information linked to the problem which is vital for directing the service development process and solving the problem. The information may include how and why the service is used, who is linked to the service, information about the target groups, cultural dimensions, and usability issues. Besides stakeholders and customers, the research phase enables learning about their own organisation, internal processes and business procedures, the products and services they offer, and staff who are critical to the service's operation.

Case study

This phase encourages better understanding of the identified problem. The tools focus on different aspects from the broader context and reveal details that will help the cultural and creative businesses see their services from the perspective of their customers. For example, a rock band is performing at local clubs but gradually their requests for performances have decreased. Instead of having the usual three performances per week, they are now engaged for only one or two evenings. After identifying the problem, namely that fewer people go to the clubs on Thursday nights due to the financial crisis, the band can use one of the research tools to gain more insight about it. To this aim, they could make an empathy map and put themselves in the shoes of the usual club-goer so that they experience their situation better.  

End results of this phase

The research phase provides knowledge and insight to begin exploring ideas.

Tools of this phase

6 questions for gaining a comprehensive view of the issue.

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A visual model of the service for research.

Preliminary service blueprint.png

A map to gain insight into customers’ emotional and cognitive perceptions.

Empathy map.png

Interviewing with images to stimulate more spontaneous responses.

Image interview.png

A self-documentation method used for observation and reflection.


A map of all stakeholders, and their importance and relations.

Stakeholder map.png

Obtaining user experience information through observation.

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