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Service Design Framework

Practices and tools for delivering optimal user experience journeys.


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 problem space.


Catalog of documents Google Sheet

Who’s involved

The research team


Throughout the project, especially during the Initiate and Discover phases

How to use this method

By researching existing data around your topic, you develop a baseline understanding of your project’s context. Data can include both qualitative and quantitative information, and generally fall into two main categories:

  • Internal: Documents created and used by the organization, including metrics, documentation related to the service, or anything else related to the project
  • External: Articles or reports related to the problem space

To stay organized and make the most of this research, follow these steps:

1. Define your topic

Start with a research question or area of interest.

For internal resources, request documents related to that topic or search for them within the organization. For external resources, try to use a research database such as Google Scholar. If you use Google or another regular search engine — or even if you use a research database — make sure to evaluate the reliability of the resources you find. Is a report peer reviewed? Does the author of an article work at a reputable institution?

3. Review

As systematically as possible, review each of the collected documents. Add them to your catalog of documents, quickly summarizing their relevance to the project or quick insights gained from them.

4. Share

Share valuable learnings with team members, socializing the catalog of documents and pointing out resources people should read in full.

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