Service design is one of the key strategies of information architecture and one of the best ways to provide value to customers and improve business relationships. A well-designed service or product provides an end-to-end experience that enhances the experience of the end users. The aim of an information architect is to create a comprehensive design for a customer’s business. It requires building a knowledge base, collection of requirements, creation of prototypes and designing business rules. There are three stages in every project life cycle – starting from requirement to designing, testing and finally maintenance and post-delivery service improvement.
Service design must start with defining service needs and identifying the most critical issues impacting on user experience. These are then converted into actual requirements and organized in a way that is more meaningful to the end users. Next is information architecture where the architect shares knowledge and insight into users’ problem solving processes. Knowledge sharing helps in improving collaboration between departments and developers. Service design thus involves designing solutions that enable organizations to achieve excellence in services delivery.
Service design is not a one-time process. It continues in the form of change and adaptation as technology and society evolves. As a result of constantly changing requirements, business owners, IT professionals, service managers, and executive staff need to be updated regularly about new practices and tools for making a better service experience. They need to know the current trends and practices in order to ensure that their organizations can continue to move forward and provide a better value to customers.
The purpose of using journey maps in service design is to create visual stories that describe service experiences from beginning to end.
Stories are designed to support service strategy by helping IT executives and other management to define and measure service improvements over the life of a project. Such tools are used in service strategy by defining success criteria and indicators that determine when a service is complete. This enables organizations to identify opportunities to improve their process, design, or offer improvement opportunities to their customers.
The process of designing journey mapping begins with defining the customer journey. This includes defining what the customer wants, why they want it, how they get it and how to have it. Based on the customer’s information, the team then creates a story that describes the journey the customer goes through from beginning to end. The team uses key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress on the journey and identify areas that require improvement or focus on. KPIs can include customer satisfaction metrics, return on investment metrics, and action plans to address issues.
Designing a service design story involves defining both the technical and business value of the solution. The service map is then created to show how the solutions satisfy the customer’s requirements and identify business risks. The final step involves the development of service plans to address any operational challenges and to provide training for staff. The purpose of this process is to not only define the solution, but also provide guidance on the steps required to successfully deliver it to the customer. Service design teams often use journey mappers to support this process.