Stakeholder Engagement for Service Design How service designers identify and communicate insights

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: Service design is a field emerging from the new-found interest in services as a design material by practitioners and academics of the human-centred design tradition. As such, the field can build on the knowledge from previous work in design as well as in service research. Introducing a new design material may however also introduce new challenges to practice. The research presented in this thesis investigates how the design research phase of the human-centred design process is affected by making services a design material. How users, staff and other stakeholders are involved in service design projects was studied in four studies. Two studies focused on getting a holistic view of how service designers engage stakeholders in their design research. The methods used for these two studies were interviews in one case and participatory observation in the other. The two remaining studies focused on specific aspects of the stakeholder engagement process. One compared how designers and anthropologists approach ethnography, whereas the second investigated the communicative qualities of service design visualisations. It is argued that service design is a stakeholder-centred design discipline. The tools used in service design are to a large extent borrowed from other qualitative research traditions, but design-specific tools do exist. The information gathered with the tools for stakeholder engagement is then transformed into insights through analysis and synthesis. These insights are visualised to provide easily accessible representations of service situations. The final section of the thesis identifies challenges ahead for service design practice, based on the findings of the thesis and based on existing theoretical frameworks for the discipline.

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