Week 1: Understanding the context and gathering user insights
The focus of Week 1 was on defining an area of concentration for design – a specific part of the end-user experience or current service delivery model – where innovation could be applied. The group’s primary goal was to generate quickly a broad understanding of the existing system. Who are the primary stakeholders? What shifts in technology are having an impact on the delivery of services? What new touch-points are emerging?

The project teams then conducted field research to gather inspiration and refine their understanding of their chosen area of interest, distilling insights from the research as rapidly as possible that could fuel possible design directions.

Week 2: Defining an opportunity area and generating concepts
Student teams moved from problem definition to concept development. Initially, the teams brainstormed a wide array of potential service solutions. As work progressed, however, teams refined their design criteria in order to gain greater clarity and specificity. Once brainstorming was completed, each team defined a small number of potential service concepts in the form of user scenarios.

Week 3: Exploring the user experience through experience prototyping
The class then shifted from design thinking to action as students built experience prototypes of their team’s new service offering. The goal of the experience prototyping was to sharpen the students understanding of his or her design intent – How does the prototype help to inform the team’s thinking about and iterative development of the service solution?

Each team tested their proposed service solutions in the real world with real people. The design teams sought to understand if and how these ideas bring value to potential users. Real people were asked to test service prototypes as part of their everyday practice. The student designers reviewed the results of the experience prototyping for clues on how to enhance their service solutions in ways that optimise the activities, needs and expectations of all the people.

Week 4: Concept refinement and communication
The final week was intended to bring the experience of the Service Design course together – a final look at the proposed service solutions and the process used to develop it. Teams incorporated user feedback into the final iterative expression of their design concepts, tracking the changes to reflect user input.