Appendix A: Methods
Skylight uses these methods — activities and techniques — to achieve the many objectives and outcomes of our service design projects. They’re a starting point, intended to serve as inspiration for those engaging in their own service design project. Methods aren’t prescriptive or rigid; feel free to alter them to meet specific project needs. Also, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all service design methods. Rather, it’s a selection of our favorites and the ones we find most useful in many of our projects.
The methods below are organized by phase. Visit each one to find a detailed description of how to do the activity, what it aims to achieve, who to involve, templates to get you started, and other helpful information.
Alignment / kickoff workshop
During these workshops, align teams and stakeholders around a shared idea of the process and define key objectives and goals for the project.
Read about alignment / kickoff workshop
Quickly build a lightweight representation of your customers to develop empathy and foster a common understanding of needs and goals.
Create a visual representation of all the people who can influence a project and how they’re connected. This can help you include the right people and get their buy-in during the service design process.
Read about stakeholder mapping
Stakeholder and customer interviews
Talk with the people that the project outcomes will impact or who have a stake in the success of the project. This can inform solutions, build trust, and drive alignment.
Read about stakeholder interviews
Desk review or secondary research
Compile and review information related to the project. This can include documentation from the existing service and articles related to the user population and problem space.
Read about desk review and secondary research
Engage your team and relevant stakeholders to collaboratively synthesize research findings. Turn data into actionable insights that help inform the next stages of the process.
Customer journey mapping
Visualize how a customer interacts with a service to get a holistic view of their experience. This provides a better understanding of the customer and highlights opportunities for improvements.
Read about customer journey mapping
Better understand a service and how you can improve it by visualizing the many pieces that work — or don’t work — together to create it. Include people, the tools they use, and their processes.
Align your team and stakeholders on which solutions to pursue based on factors such as value to customers and organizational lift.
Read about prioritization workshops
POV (point of view) statement
Articulate who your customers are, their needs, and important insights about them. Use this statement to gain a deeper understanding of the problem space and start developing solutions.
Act out a service to understand the key elements you should consider in designing a solution.
Wizard of Oz
Get responses to a working prototype without investing in making one. Create responses behind-the-scenes to user interactions to test functionality.
Minimum viable product (MVP)
An MVP is the first iteration of a product that you deploy to market. This should be the simplest product that still solves customer and organizational needs.
Read about minimum viable products
This exercise can help you gain alignment across the team and stakeholders. It creates a shared understanding of a goal and the steps you need to achieve it along a timeline.
Success metrics are the criteria you define to measure how well your service and its implementation meet the goals of the project.
Detail the features you’ll develop in informal, plain language descriptions of user interactions. This will keep the work user-centered and focused on the overall vision.