strategy, theory

Service Blueprinting

The service blueprints are a collaboratively produced conceptual map of a customer journey and the 'things' the business does to support the customer through their journey.

A business' service is a reflection of their internal organisation

When a user interfaces with a product whether it be physical or digital what they are experiencing is a culmination of the organisation's parts. An organisation's service will broadly reflect that of its internal structure.

This theory of mine is inspired by my observations and another parralel observation coined as Conway's Law which states…

Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization's communication structure.

Service blueprinting is a fantastic tool for mapping out those internal processes and idenitifying opportunities to change business practices to improve the customer experience.

Some might see this as a far stretch from UIs and micro-interactions but that couldn't be further from the truth and is why product designer should be fluent in business theory.

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Case study

This financial services company, that won't be named, is an organisation that has in place lots of levels of management, committees to approve deployments to production and lots and lots of up front planning. Things move slowly here and work gets bundled up to reduce the frequency of red tape. Users are leaving, going to products just seem to work better, with more modern UX and less technical issues. The competition is leaner, continousually releasing into their production environment. They are practicing straight to live deployments, users receive a continuous stream of small improvements. Our company however has long feedback loops, the velocity of ultimate truth (see Constable Curve) is as expensive as it can possibly be, no amount of 'great ux' can fix this, if the UX doesn't include how the business fundamentally operates.

TYIT Ltd provides a full-stack UX consultancy that designs accessible digital services. We've helped complex organisations like BEIS and DfE achieve digital transformation by running Lean and Agile discovery processes.

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