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Service Design model


Introduction – What is this phase?


The aim of this phase is to create different concepts and prototypes of the selected ideas. After generating ideas for the identified problem, it is now the time to select ideas to develop further into concepts and prototypes, and give them visual and tangible form to be tested at the next phase. First a limited number of ideas, usually 3-5, are selected and developed into concepts. These are short visual presentations of the idea that include some text, presenting, explaining and justifying it in a nutshell, and “selling” it to stakeholders. Prototypes are rough presentations of a service that are created from a selected concept for testing and development purposes. Visual prototypes which include functions reveal more about the selected solutions, and test their usability and user-orientation.

Alternative prototypes allow for testing the solution at different development phases, from rough, early, low-fidelity prototypes, through the final advanced prototypes. Different protypes are developed from the same concept to see which one would work the best. It is better no to concentrate all ideas into a single prototype only. Spreading ideas into different prototypes is encouraged in order to explore different materials and visual solutions. Besides sifting through ideas, it can also encourage inspiration and creativity, and suggest ways to combine the best elements from several alternative prototypes into one solution.

Why is it important for cultural and creative sector?


Creating alternative prototypes is important for businesses and organisations (such as museums, galleries, and theatres) in the cultural and creative sectors because they provide a visual representation of the solutions along with their functions. They are rapid and low-cost, but later in development can also be more advanced constructions. They bring chosen ideas into life, drawing attention to flaws and enabling further exploration, usability testing of solutions, and user-orientation and adaptation for the purpose, saving resources and lowering the service and product risk for companies and organisations. Sometimes an idea may look nice while it is still in an abstract form, but when transformed into a visual prototype, it is easier to see its flaws or that it will not work in the reality.

Case study

Emma runs a small handmade jewelry small business. She is the artist who makes the jewelry and her popularity has grown over the years. Her customers encourage her to increase her online presence in order to gain more visibility and upscale her business. Emma has the idea to set up a website where she will display her works and offer her clients individual designs. At this stage, she opts to create a low-fidelity prototype (a quick, easy way to translate concepts into tangible, testable artifacts), that includes sketches of her future website’s pages along with the website functions. This helps Emma visualize her idea and check how her new service will work.

End results of this phase

Service concepts and prototypes created from selected ideas to provide a viable solution to the issue at hand and to be tested at the next phase, Testing.

Tools of this phase

Transferring concepts into easy-to-understand visual form.

Concept visualization.png

Prototyping different services through roleplay.


A detailed evaluation of the service and its aspects.

Service blueprint.png

A visual tool for sorting and selecting ideas.

Affinity diagramming.png

Quick, simple, cheap and low-technology prototypes.

Low-fidelity prototype.png

Used to generate and iterate quick and easy prototypes.

Rapid experiments.png

Voting and selecting ideas with stickers.

Dot voting.png
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