Keywords: service design, experience prototyping, sustainability, public transport, transportation, grassroot action, platform, touch-points, service blueprint, user journey.

The Brief
One solution for sustainable transport is that we all help provide it together. In this project students were asked to design a platform for action where Danish citizens can create a cooperative partnership with DSB and provide a new sense of ownership to transport solutions. This would fundamentally change DSB’s role from a provider of transport to a group of passengers, into a relationship where DSB and travelers are equal partners providing transport services together. DSB can act as the initiator of such a platform, both from a value perspective and from an infrastructural perspective. DSB sees this as a long-term opportunity, and not as a short-term business.

Students looked beyond DSB’s established core business, such as rail networks, trains and stations, and address people’s journeys from door-to-door. How can we help each other fulfill needs for transportation in partnership with DSB? Examples of this could be ride sharing, car-pooling, walking clubs, bike clubs or even removing the need to travel in certain situations.

Students could choose to address this on a local level and work with a specific community such as the inhabitants of a street, a public school or a workplace, or they could look at a broader perspective and provide a service that is not based on a geographical location or boundary.

The goal of this project was to present a new service concept for DSB, and use the prototype to develop it and argue for it’s potential success or failure as part of DSB’s sustainability strategy.

Process: Service Experience Prototyping
We experience services using many touch-points, and over time. There are plenty of methods for testing products and interfaces in isolation, but prototyping service experiences is a skill still in its infancy. In this project we aimed to develop new ways to create service concepts through prototyping the experience in real life situations.

In order to test a service experience, we need to design theatre in real life. We need to stage the use of the service for real people in real life settings, using design tools to make it come to life. During the project it was anticipated that students would encounter both ethical and design challenges as they moved away from the screen and into everyday life.

Concept – First Iteration
Service ideas were quickly created and selected to develop during the project. Well-researched and brilliantly insightful concepts were not expected at this point. The service concept was developed through the whole process and the key factor here was that the concept permitted an interesting prototype.

Service Blueprinting
A service blueprint is a way to create an overview of the customer journey and the touch points that make up the experience. Students created simple blueprints for each concept, and used this to compose a rich prototype.

Experience Prototyping
Students then designed touch-points such as on-line communities, advertisements, web sites and DSB information material. The context for each concept needed to be specific, such as a car park, a train station, at home, or on line. They then needed to find ways to involve real potential users, and stage a service flow that is as realistic as possible. The prototypes were improved and changed as they were tested with more people. Based on the learning from the prototype, concepts were then refined and improved.

Final Concept Presentation
Students were expected to deliver at least one concept for a service that enables a platform for action, or vice versa, a platform for action that enables a service. The goal for the services are to initiate bottom-up changes that lead to citizen engagement. In the context of the Climate Change Summit coming up in Copenhagen, there is an ambition that some of the concepts will turn into real life during 2009.