If we are looking to improve an existing service, our blueprint has given us a pretty good overview of the component parts of the service and how these are experienced over time. If we are developing something entirely new, we may have less detail but some idea of people’s needs and what some of the key touchpoints might be. Before going further into the details and committing significant resources to the project, we need to develop the service proposition. Read More
If you’re like me, you have a mini-library of those user experience books that are most meaningful to you. No, not the ones hidden away on your eReader, reminding you of their presence only when you see their titles on the screen. Rather, I’m referring to those tangible books, sitting on your office bookshelf or on a side table at home. Perhaps some remind you of the time when you first entered the field of user experience, wanting to absorb everything about the topic. Or maybe everyone raves about a book as being seminal to the user experience discipline, but you keep the fact that you’ve never read it a secret. Regardless of why you have them, where they live, or how much you recall of their content, these books are important to who you are as a UX professional.
I’ve recently finished reading what is now the latest addition to my own professional mini-library: This Is Service Design Thinking, by Marc Stickdorn, Jakob Schneider, and numerous collaborators and co-authors. This book is likely to become the quintessential service design textbook for students, educators, and professionals alike. In this column, I’ll share highlights from the book, along with some of my own interpretations, and tell you why you should add this book to your own personal collection. Read More
At the risk of dating myself, when I purchased my first computer for graduate school, I recall using my friend’s dial-up modem to connect to AOL. Then I pulled up the UPS.com Web site to track its delivery status. I refreshed the status and, when the screen finally read, “Delivered,” ran down to the lobby of my apartment building in Boston to retrieve my precious package before someone tried walking away with the large Dell box. Ignoring the fact that shipping and delivery took over a week at that time, I was thrilled that I could instantly see the status of my package, then have it in my hands five minutes later. I appreciated this service-experience win years before I ever cared about service design as a profession.
The service experience that connects our desire or need to have a product and the speed at which we can get it has come a long way since those early AOL days. Today, we expect free shipping for the things we buy online, and we want them at our door within one or two days. We also want easy returns, in case we don’t like what we bought. But the behind-the-scenes complexity that’s involved in fulfilling of these needs and desires cannot be overstated. In this column, I’ll explore how and why the shipping, delivery, and logistics industry is evolving to be more customer centered and what this means to us as experience design professionals. Read More