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How to use the Blueprint service

Thomas Huber

February 20, 2020

8 min de lecture


A design service design method, the blueprint consists of an outline device of the user journey of a new product or service. This approach is very useful when it comes to mapping the user's journey of use to define the obstacles or opportunities emanating from the user's experience in his use of a product or service. A true innovation tool, the Blueprint service is thus an essential tool for companies when it comes to responding to complex business / customer issues within the design process.

A design guide essential to innovation

In this digital age and the abundance of customer data, it's easier for companies to know their users and target their needs and experiences more effectively. However, this diversification can also have the opposite effect by obscuring the customer relationship, the latter having become a complex user with multiple aspirations. It is in this context that the blueprint service presents itself as an unstoppable tool in the definition of the user journey. Like the architect's blueprint, as the structural plan of the building to be constructed, the service blueprint is a tool for mapping the nature and the different interactions between the customer and the product or service developed. Knowing more about the user and his experience allows, through the blueprint design method, to define potential organizational issues that may emerge, and thus to anticipate innovative and structural solutions.

Blueprint service: the origins

Directly inspired by blueprints specific to architects, the UX blueprint method finds its origin in an article published in the Harvard Business Review in 1984 published by Lynn Shistack. This banking director calls for the development of a better service design that would avoid the confusion of services and products disengaged from any consideration of the customer experience. Thus, the blueprint service was developed with the aim of "Designing services that are deliverable", the title of his seminal article. Conceived as a design service dedicated to standing out from the competition while promoting ideation supports, the blueprint service has made its way into today's design design methods.

Mapping the user journey: the customer at the center of the design

Dans le design et le développement, le blueprint s’apparente ainsi à une modélisation des étapes d’utilisation d’un produit ou d’un service. Également appelé diagramme de service ou architecture de service, le blueprint permet ainsi aux acteurs impliqués dans les processus de conception de déterminer les différents processus attenants à l’utilisation tout en révélant de potentiels obstacles ou opportunités pour affiner la stratégie. Par ailleurs, le blueprint service permet dans une autre mesure de définir le segment clientèle et ainsi de mieux cibler le produit ou le service. Les blueprints se présentent généralement sous la forme d’un diagramme où se combinent différents blocs de couleur reliés par des flèches qui démontrent les différentes relations dépendantes entre les différents acteurs, départements de l’entreprise et les segments d’utilisateurs. Les éléments principaux d’un blueprint service sont les suivants : 

  • Les Customer Actions : les actions de l’utilisateur préalablement définies dans le customer journey
  • Les Fronstage Actions : associées aux interactions avec les employés.
  • Les Backstage Actions : les actions invisibles à l’utilisateur propres aux démarches de l’entreprise
  • Les Processus : qui définissent les différentes étapes de design de service

In design and development, the blueprint thus resembles a modeling of the stages of use of a product or service. Also called a service diagram or service architecture, the blueprint thus allows actors involved in the design process to determine the different processes adjoining use while revealing potential obstacles or opportunities to refine the strategy. In addition, the service blueprint makes it possible to define the customer segment to another extent and thus to better target the product or service. Blueprints are generally presented in the form of a diagram where different blocks of color are combined, linked by arrows that demonstrate the different dependent relationships between different actors, departments of the company and user segments.

The main elements of a service blueprint are as follows:

  • Customer Actions: user actions previously defined in the customer journey
  • Fronstage Actions: associated with interactions with employees
  • Backstage Actions: actions invisible to the user. to the company's procedures
  • The Processes: which define the different stages of service design

The Blueprint service in 6 steps‍

Logical analysis of the user journey in his encounter with a given product or service, the service blueprint materializes the different stages of design as well as its potential obstacles and ideation opportunities. It is made up of 6 general steps:

  • Identification of the product or service and analysis of the adjoining process
  • Identification and analysis of the user segment
  • Mapping of the product / service from the user's point of view
  • Mapping of the different interactions between the actors of the company and the design stages
  • Association of these with the various support functions and technology
  • Addition and adaptation of evidence and physical elements according to the obstacles and opportunities encountered
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