Prototyping for Services

Catherine Shen
Mar 22, 2016 · 2 min read

Notes from Design for Service, Molly Steenson. 3/22 with guest presenter, Simon King.

Provocations as Prototypes

Research never ends. After having done research, there may be some idea of what is broken or what the needs or problems are. However, where people may go down the next step is the belief that there is a direct path from that to an end result. This is because research continues to the end — actually, it never ends.

Sacrificial concepts: Concepts you use just to learn from

  • Testing/validating what you heard in research
  • Helping people imagine and react to
  • Provoke a strong reaction; stay non-linear; don’t go for middle-of-the-road; get different conversations going; pushing new extremes (testing the boundaries)
  • What are you really testing? ex: testing the individual vs. the group experience
  • Sometimes you want to go for quantity and it’s okay to have contradictory concepts

Get the conversation started.

  • When it comes to the concept of speed dating, you don’t want to do the yes/no sort but want it to be more of a conversation

Use everything you hear to develop a point of view and make a case for intensive prioritization; you have to have a point of view and to lead with something and to know what you’re leaving out


Dimensions of fidelity

Fidelity means more than just visual fidelity. Think of it as a triangle with the dimensions of: visual. data. behavior.

Example: Financial Manager as Co-pilot/Enlightened Delegator

What is the relationship people have with their financial advisors? Testing how much control people wanted. People actually didn’t want more control, they wanted to let other people do it — they just wanted high transparency into what was going on.

What is the relationship that you’re trying to create?

Another example. People said they wanted mentorship but what does that mean?

One of the exciting things about service design is that you have this option of people…which can often lead to designing new roles for people.

Ethos of try rather than prove…

Important this notion of being able to throw things away…

High and Lo Fidelity

Research and design phase

A prototype is about answering a question

Match the fidelity of the prototype with the fidelity of the question

Innovation: go down a path and hit roadblocks

Design for Service

Spring 2016, Carnegie Mellon School of Design, Collection of the Seminar/Studio’s Work

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