Structuring the chaos of creativity!

Service innovation can either be the improvement of an existing service, or the development of a (concept of a) completely new service. The discipline ‘Service Design’ provides us with the structure and tools to achieve this, and makes us involve the end-user in every step of the way.

Our service innovation projects follow a highly effective process, that has been refined during our past 48 projects. The steps in the process have similarities to any other form of design approach, where you first analyse and brainstorm, before starting with your design. We have captured these phases in our ‘Seek, Shape, Factoryze’ methodology. Every phase has its distinct characteristics, tools and methods, providing a valuable framework for every team we work with. The three phases are divided over the course of 8-10 weeks.


What are the preconditions and input for the service?

An important first step of every project is the problem definition meeting. Together with the client, we set the goals and define limitations of the project. We bring together a team with the right expertise, existing of academics, professionals and students, guided by one of our experienced project leaders. During a first get-together with the team and the client, we share the problem definition, and get started with an initial brainstorm.

After the kick-off of a project, the team will deep-dive into anything related to the problem definition. This includes both desk and field research. Among others, the (potential) end-user will be interviewed, observed or surveyed, literature review is conducted and benchmarks of similar or related concepts are performed.


Come up with different ideas and test them.

During the second phase, the team analyses and filters all their initial findings. If needed, additional customer insights are gathered. At this point, the team uses a selection of service design tools to develop some first ideas and concepts. The most promising ideas are tested with the user, and further improved.

We often use personas during this phase, to keep track of the needs and wants of the user. Personas are a fictional characters that represent a part of the target audience of the service. They allow us to put a face on the user, even if we’re not in direct contact during some points of the process.


Finalize the service concept and make it come alive!

Factoryze is the last phase of the project, where everything comes together. Based on the research, customer insights and client feedback, the team will be working on a final (set of) concepts. An important feature of service design, is that outcomes are always tangible, or at least highly visual. In this phase the team develops these tangible develiverables, and validates them once more with the end-users. We usually capture the service in a service blueprint (a schematic representation of the service) and a customer journey (a graphical representation of the customer’s experience). We typically provide a cost estimation, ROI calculation and an implementation guideline, to ensure the concepts are easily adapted within the company.

The final presentation of these deliverables is usually quite an experience, as we believe the only way to learn about a new or improved service is to truly experience it. To give you an example, the final presentation for a media provider was a real-life ‘talk show of the future’, that showcased the effect of all developed ideas.

Example of a kick-off meeting

Example of a persona

Final presentation: Talk show of the future


What will you have in the end?

Because every SSF-project is a creative process, it is not (always) predictable what will be the final deliverables. Together with the client we always look for a format that captures the concept best, is understandable and creates a lasting impression with our customers. We believe that convincing the audience to embrace an idea is at least as important as the quality of the idea itself. In the end, an idea that is not used has no impact in real life…

Here is a short overview of different deliverables we have created for our customers:

  • Service blueprint
  • (Reenacted) Customer Journeys
  • Implementation manuals
  • Innovation tool
  • Mock-ups
  • Games
  • Concept branding (Name, logo, slogan & colors)
  • Real life personas
  • Business model canvas
  • Inspiration booklets
  • Reports
  • etc…

Please also have a look at our portfolio page.