Identify your customers’ needs and see the big picture from the customers’ eyes

Customer insights and research

In customer-centred service design, you develop service experiences based on the needs of the the target audience you have defined. By observing and interviewing customers, you can empathize with them to understand their problems, needs, feelings, motivation and behavior. It is also beneficial to engage your own staff to create holistic service experiences that serve both your customers and improve in-house processes and create business value.

Customer insights reveal challenges that can be generated into ideas how to improve current business, processes, service experiences or create totally new business. In addition to customer insights, it is vital to understand who are you competing with and what kind of service experiences competitors offer to customers.

Seeing the big picture from the customers’ eyes helps you to define the vision and goal of the service as well as give guidelines for decision making and development work both in short and long term.

Ideation and concepting

Based upon your user research, you are able to define user personas of your target audience. User personas are archetypes that represent different user types who use your service. With user personas you can recognize that different users have different needs, motivations and behavior and use personas to focus your service. User personas are used in defining the service, they are helpful when modeling the customer journeys, thoughts and feelings, which guide the development of the service. By defining the ideal service experience of the user personas, you are able to understand what are the concrete requirements for the product or service.

After defining the requirements for the concept, it is time to focus on creative problem solving. Based on the requirements, you then ideate what and how things can be improved or how do you create new business from customer insights. Chosen ideas are visualized into concepts that already express how service should be structured, how you navigate and what is the big picture of the service experience.

Prototyping and testing

In order to test your service with customers, it is helpful to build an interactive prototype. Interactive prototype works like a real service and you can test the concept with your customers. Customers are able to tell you what kind of thoughts and feelings the service creates, what works and what does not work and how the service would help their everyday lives. If needed, concept is iterated and re-designed based on the customers’ feedback.

UX and visual design

After concept validation, when you have validated that the service and its functionalities meet the needs of the customers, you then start the UX design phase. In UX and visual design you define the final information architecture of the service, interaction flows, functional specifications, all the details including special and error cases, visual look and feel, illustrations, graphical assets for software developers and copywriting.

Before the launch, usability tests are held and service can also be piloted with a limited user groups. Based on the feedback, look and feel and functionalities of the service can be modified and iterated. The service is continuously developed with the customers based on their feedback and user data also after the service launch.