SERVICE DESIGN  

The semantics of the word ‘service’ itself give us information of how humans perceive service and how it has evolved in meaning.

'Service for me was a set of sequential activities or processes that are intended to impart/add value to the users by meeting their needs or wants.'


During the course of the module, I realized that my definition is missing certain critical characteristics to complete the definition of service.
 

01

The sequential activities of service should be designed.

02

Services shall be designed to have a collaborative nature for both service provider and user.

03

Not all the needs and wants are apparent, we should be able to detect/discover the latent needs.

04

The value imparted/added during the service shall also be recognized by the user.

TL;DR

This service is designed to help students with three major things: 

In-depth Industry research

Effective documentation techniques

Crafting pitch communication

The service is offered through three custom toolkits which were designed to enable the students to approach the organization of their choice. These toolkits were introduced and worked on during a peer guidance journey over three personalized sessions. 

Session: 1

Identifying strengths and area of interests

Session: 2

Project documentation- 5P Project Analysis Framework Session

Session: 3

Crafting pitch communication- Personal Pitch Canvas: Analysis and Articulate

1. Identifying Need

For coming up with a service idea we started looking for the apparent and latent needs of the student community within our campus. During this process, we tried out different approaches to find a unique core need of the addressable market (in this case NID student community) and we define the need within this specific contextual boundary.   

We reflected on the larger goals of students at NID.

 

That made us recollect on our recent placement drive held in December. Only 15% of students from NID-Gandhinagar campus took up graduation projects through placement drive.

 

A lot of students chose to not appear for the placements which were because of several reasons:

 

  • The timing of the placement drive (December)  which was not aligned to the students seeking the Graduation Projects in June.

  • Relevant job roles were not available.

  • Available projects/job openings were dominated by digital design role/UI-UX

We observed and studied the day in the life of a student in NID.

 

This helped us in identifying routine based needs but later on, we realized that there are already enough competent services available that are sufficing their needs. So we started looking for other latent/apparent needs. 

1.1 Research interviews and discussions

Based on the directions from brainstorming we came up with a certain set of assumptions. Those assumptions were tested and validated through research conducted on our user groups. We used questionnaires, structured and unstructured interviews, discussions and metaphor techniques as our observation, discovery and data collection tools.      

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Are students satisfied with the current placement process?

Did the companies offer the roles students were looking for?

How many students have tried/willing to try pitching as a medium to reach out to the companies of their choice?

Do they need additional support in perfecting their portfolios/resumes while approaching a company?

Quantitative Validation

Qualitative Validation

"Not enough time to do research for the companies of choice to strengthen the pitch.

Had approached around 16 companies but with very limited success."

More than 70% of students showed discontent with the placement process.

70%

70% of the students were willing to  try pitching as the medium to approach companies of their choice.

70%

More than 65% student said that    they did not got the desired role  during the placement.

65%

100% of the students wanted support on portfolios/ resumes while approaching a company.

100%

"

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"

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"Want help in structuring the Design Projects to target related/relevant companies.

Facing difficulties in setting up milestones and managing time for completion of project documentation."

"I have limited clarity on what I want to do.

As i am not able to find the relevant companies which had system-level projects."

"

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"

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"I know that I want to work in the field of experience design but I don’t know any organization in India that works in this specific domain and simultaneously aligned to my area of specialization."

*Many such cases found.

Established Core Need

“Students needed help for preparation to approach companies and seek the roles/projects of their choice.”

2. Designing the 'SERVICE'

Any service design exercise shall start by understanding and examining the three most essential things i.e. UNIQUE CORE NEED (UCN), UNIQUE CORE COMPETENCIES (UCC), and UNIQUE SELLING POINT (USP). 

To access these three attributes/properties we need to answer some cardinal questions before beginning with anything.

WHO IS OUR CUSTOMER?

Any student who wants to approach an organization for a graduation project/job and requires help in preparing for the same - with documenting a project, conducting research about companies aligned to their interest, and learning to draft a pitch letter.

WHO IS NOT OUR CUSTOMER?

Students who are not currently aspiring for a graduation project, or have not started building their portfolios. Students who are looking to do a self-sponsored GP, or are confident about pitching to companies.

WHY US?

  • We offer an Interdisciplinary outlook to the projects, that brings in outside in approach.

  • Probe on feasibility and desirability of the projects that help them to present the concepts with the market fit angle.

  • Giving them a tool/framework that they can use for professional conduct while approaching any company/person in the future.

  • We nudge them to practice the skill of pitching.

WHAT's UNIQUE?

  • Effort sharing in research on companies, portfolio and benchmarking.

  • Plan the milestones and work to achieve them.

  • Pitching is presently taught in such a way that the students don’t value or practice much. We make that possible by providing schedule and tools.

  • Students get the process of pitching and the drafted pitch at the end of service which can be used as a reference tool going forward in life.

2.1 Defining User Types

We categorized our target user group on two axes of Clarity and project readiness. On the basis of their readiness to pitch to the companies, we decided the service offering to them as different users had different maturity levels.

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2.2 'Core Service Intent' Modeling

While examining what is that people get from a service we should answer the question of what core promise the service is providing to people?

By cataloging and studying services, we became aware of their relation to three core values, that are CARE, ACCESS, and RESPONSE. Most services provide customers with at least one of these or, often the mix of all. The proportion of the mix changes with changing context. 

RESPONSE

CARE

ACCESS

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CORE SERVICE INTENT

 

PITCH PERFECT service is anchored around the core promise of CARE and ACCESS. The intended promise is provided through the components of Support, Help and Nudge stitched in the service composition, enabling the users to approach any organization of their choice.

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SERVICE COMPOSITION MAPPING

2.3 Service Persona

Service persona is a metaphorical technique used to ideate on the attributes of the service composition and its delivery.

We explored real-life personas that could best describe our service depending on the context of offering.

The existing context being the student community which is familiar to the service providers, few personas were ideated that aligned to the service composition.

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2.4 Designing service toolkit

While thinking of ideas to help students at different stages of creating a pitch it was evident that they required a framework or toolkit that could be used across any project, which could also be easily remembered.

After researching over 300 design case studies we designed 3 custom toolkits which could be used at subsequent stages to create an effective pitch.

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FRAMEWORK 1

5P Project Analysis Canvas

FRAMEWORK 2.1

Personal Pitch Canvas- Analysis

FRAMEWORK 2.2

Personal Pitch Canvas- Articulation

After analyzing projects from different portfolios, we started questioning the content from the perspective of a potential employer.

 

We were able to come up with a list of questions which were bucketed into 5 categories -

  1. PROBLEM: Defining the problem. 

  2. PROCESS: Articulating the process.

  3. PROTOTYPE: How the solution was prototyped.

  4. PROPOSITION: what would be the key proposition for the design.

  5. POTENTIAL: what the future potential would be.

The project analysis session was thus designed to be very interactive, with the student answering questions on different areas about a project, with the canvas being filled simultaneously, resulting in a tangible takeaway at the end.

The Personal Pitch session followed a 3 stage process - Analyse, Align, and Articulate.

 

Each of these stages was based on a framework which would be filled as the session progressed.

 

Analysis - Introspection exercise to understand the frame of the student clearly. It was done by the students while fillings up the following blocks in the canvas. 

  1. Interests

  2. Alignment with an organization

  3. Skills

  4. Projects

  5. Experience

 

(which could be memorized as ‘I Aspire to Solve Problems Everyday).

Alignment - This would be based on the research that the team would do on the organization, stakeholder and the industry.

In the last session which helped the students create pitch communication, we used this final framework.

 

Articulation - It is a five-point framework that connects back to the analysis framework:

  1. Flirt: Mention points that interested you in the organization.  

  2. Personal promise: what skills and experience you bring to the organization. 

  3. Motivation: what are the factors that drive you to this role/project.  

  4. Proof: The earlier work that proves your skills and competencies.

  5. Call to action: What you want your potential employer to do after reading the communication (email, message, etc. )

 

Keep practicing this skill using these frameworks.

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3 CUSTOM TOOLKITS

3. User Journey Map

Every step of the service was choreographed according to the service composition designed for different user types as discussed earlier. This composition was then stitched to prepare the user journey map which help us in visualising the ideal flow of a user.​

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4. Prototyping

In the prototyping phase, we started with the marketing our service to gain the attention of our target audience. This was the first set of communication that was put across by Pitch Perfect team regarding the service and its offerings. 

4.1 Teaser

The first set of the communication campaign was designed around the following intents:

  • Address all categories of potential audiences - those who were looking for placements (senior students who were currently pursuing their GPs), students who were looking for a graduation project (second-year students) and first-year students who were looking for summer internships.

  • Communicate the message that the team would be ‘with the students’ through the process.

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Initial Teaser Posters

A series of teaser banners were created around this theme. However, upon doing an A/B test of the posters with a set of users, the following observations were recorded:

  • Only version 1 communicated the idea that the core offering of the service was about helping students to pitch to a company.

  • Versions 2 and 3 conveyed the idea that the service was centered around helping students curate their portfolios and finding contacts to approach for internships, which were only intended to be peripheral offering

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Final Teaser Posters

Taking cues from what we learned from the A/B testing, the teaser campaign was updated to clearly communicate the core offering of ‘helping to pitch to a company’ in both the posters, to reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

4.2 Marketing Communication

Poster Campaign

 

The poster campaign was intended to be more detailed, including the following:

  • Clearly, communicate the core value proposition and service offerings

  • Call to action to be displayed more prominently, with names of the team members promote familiarity

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Impact: The campaign succeeded in generating a lot of attention (probably because the message was fair direct). However, it didn’t generate any leads via phone calls but rather by in-person communication (probably because the names were mentioned on the poster; also being a closely knit peer community, people may not have felt the urgency to call and enquire).

4.3 Designing for moments and Service evidence

Moment of Transition

Since the decision of the user to avail the service would mark a change in their days ahead and lead to working for a goal, the first interaction/session was designed to celebrate this moment of transition through an onboarding kit.

Moment of Insight

Our understanding of the users suggested that in addition to the knowledge sharing (process) in each personal session, the experience should also enrich them with insights. Thus the process, choreography, and evidence were designed to set the ground for an organic discussion which would lead to the creation of moments of insight.

Being informed about these moments that were to be created in the service experience helped us to design the service evidence and processes for each interaction with the user. Service evidence helps the users recognize the value of the service provided and can also act as an element of a recall for the service.  

01

Welcome Kit: Branded Journal and Pencil

02

Post discussion notes

01

Tool kit frameworks- Printed

02

Mood map of the session

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Service evidence

4.4 Service Delivery

This service is designed to help students with three major things: 

In-depth Industry research

Effective documentation techniques

Crafting pitch communication

The service is offered through three custom toolkits which were designed to enable the students to approach the organization of their choice. These toolkits were introduced and worked on during a peer guidance journey over three personalized sessions. 

Session: 1

Identifying strengths and area of interests: This session focuses on giving clarity to students in terms of their alignment to the roles they are seeking with the skills and interest they possess. This is done through a set of exercises designed to get the information and then seen patterns leading to the identification of interset.  

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Session: 2

Project documentation- 5P Project Analysis Framework Session: This session focuses on providing a structure to the potential projects which are in the phase of documentation/prototyping to make the communication effective and relevant for the reviewer.

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Session: 3

Crafting pitch communication- Personal Pitch Canvas: Analysis and Articulate: Using the two custom pitch canvas designed the student is taken through the process to first identify the relevant content and then articulate this information in a concise and compelling pitch. 

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5. Service Blueprint

A service blueprint is a graphical representation of the operational mapping of service. It helps in monitoring the sequence of activities and background activities involved in delivering the service at every point of interaction. It captures every stage of the service and helps in managing operations smoothly and efficiently.

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6. Impact & Possibilities

During the period of  3 weeks, we offered our service to 8 users from 3 different discipline which required more than 110 hours of research on the organizations of their choice. The research involved the background study on the people to whom the pitch shall be addressed, understanding company philosophy and the market fit of student’s projects.

Some of the renowned companies approached during the service were Google, Fjord, Precipice Design – London, and Godrej group.

3

Weeks of prototyping.

26

Personalized sessions. 

110+

Hours of research done.

27

Pitches crafted.

6.1 Possibilities

Pitch perfect service is designed to help and support the student to approach the companies of their choice. Considering the nature of the service model and its personalized approach, it is very easy to replicate the service in other contextual forms. This particular service form is suitable for a design college where we can make use of the peer bonding of knowledge sharing student community.

 

Similarly, if we can adjust and contextually change certain elements in the service impression, evidence and delivery, we can scale this service to multiple such institutions. 

Service as a present model of the offering, scalling by training campus agents/ ambassadors as service executives.

Service as a peer-guided pitching skill sharing club.

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Service Concept

Service as a supplementary toolkit based practice model for support in learning the skill of pitching. 

Service as a workshop model for different colleges, who want to learna and hone the skill of pitching.

PROJECT TEAM

Kritika Vishnoi - SDM'17 | Saurabh Singh - SDM'17 | Vijay Krisjnan - SDM'17   

National Institute of Design  

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