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Service Design and the Role of User Journey

Birgit Pulk

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” –Ralf Spet


Services are everywhere around us. Every day we use public transport, go to cafés, use postal services etc. The services are created to satisfy the needs of people and are targeted for certain people who need these services. Although there are many services available, only a handful of them are good. A survey conducted by an international consulting company Bain & Company found that 80% of businesses believe that they provide their clients with good services but only 8% of these clients agree with them.


But what is a good service?

A good service is easily accessible, accredited by the clients, and creates value for the company providing it. Service design makes it possible to provide good services and create value for the company. It also uses methodological processes to provide what users actually need and want. Following certain methodologies helps to build a service that always focuses on users or clients, and will have a positive impact.


But one should never forget that a service is made of many small parts and is not limited to the company providing a certain service (picture below).

Teenus koosneb mitmetest sammudest

A service consists of many small parts.


Therefore, the goal of a good service is to create positive memories in its users – to make people need the service and to make them recommend it to others. Although we use many of the services because we have some kind of a problem (shops, dentists etc.), we always have the possibility to get the service from someone else, a competitor. That is why it is so important to thoroughly think through and focus on the main aspects of every service.


Although, before I mentioned everyday services, service design methodologies are also used in other fields, for example, retail, IT, accommodation, public sector etc. Therefore, services can be designed by any organisation that does provide some sort of service. It does not matter to whom and how the service is targeted.


User journey and why do we map it?

One of the tools of service design is the user journey mapping. A user journey gives an overview of how users use the service and what are their problems, thoughts, feelings, needs, wants etc.

A user journey includes a scenario of how a user(s) use different parts of the service and why. Usually, the user journey is drawn onto a wall or paper so it could be later analysed. It is important that there will be left some space between the parts of the journey so that any comments, additions, and corrections could be added when needed.


A user journey is usually drawn because an already existing service has some problems that need to be fixed or a new service is being developed.


Mapping the user journey

To create a good user journey, an organisation has to know their users – how people reach their service, how do they use it, what are their thoughts and feelings, and what are their problems and dislikes. When this information is gathered, it is possible to create a user journey based on each of the different user groups.


1. User journeys are important as they help to understand how users use services and what are their problems. Mapping a user journey creates many benefits.


2. The organisation becomes more user centred. To help organisations not to rely only on their own intuitions, user journey mapping is used to understand the external components.


3. User journey mapping helps to manage organisation-wide client strategy. As the user journey map describes main users, the organisation can work together to create a service directly for certain user groups.


Kasutajateekonna joonistamine


When problems occur, it is easy to divide tasks between different people. If a certain team or teammate is responsible for fixing a certain problem then there will not be any shared responsibilities. This helps to manage problems more quickly and efficiently because everyone knows what they need to do and what they are responsible for.


User journey maps focus on certain user groups and therefore, the services created are more specific to the user groups’ needs and wants. It is very important that an organisation knows their clients. As the mapping process needs a thorough analysis of users, it is also a good way to get to know your users, listen to their thoughts, and help them get more out of your service.


It also enables the analysis of quantitative statistics. If statistics and numbers show that an organisation or its processes do not meet the objectives, then the user journey mapping could identify the causes of these problems.


In conclusion, service design and mapping of the user journey is very important for creating a link between a company and its clients. These processes are crucial for identifying problems in already existing services and creating new ones. If service design and the user journey mapping have been done correctly, only then it is possible to create long-lasting client-provider relationships.


If you need any help with designing a service or mapping a user journey, then our specialists can help you with that.

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