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Service design tools and methods are available in abundance in written or online materials, guidelines, toolkits and templates. Some of them target an audience who are interested in developing public services; others provide general advice for service design(ers). We have collected a selection of tools that can be used as a ‘starting toolkit’ for a public sector organisation willing to engage itself in service design. This selection of tools is accompanied by short descriptions about what each tool is useful for as well as a selection of links to online resources where further details, guidance, templates or cases can be found.

Create a story for a client. Details about his or her specific situation may influence how he or she approaches the service. You might use personas to represent various types of clients. Describe in detail how your client would experience the service in the future if it was provided in an ideal way. The scenario is basically text-based, however, adding visualisation is also possible. Creating user scenarios contributes to empathising with clients’ needs as well as to a shared understanding about which direction service development should go in.


Templates and examples online:

If you already have some ideas in your mind, try them quickly. Let a team member hop into the role of the client, while others will act as service providers (or the technology in the background). But take the play seriously, even if acting out might feel a bit strange at first. Role playing might also use some rough prototypes. Be sure that there are team members who observe what happens so that they can reflect on how to improve your initial ideas. Or you can drop them early in the process, if they do not seem to work.


Templates and examples online:

Use what’s available (typically paper, cardboard) for creating a mock-up of the service delivery environment and test your ideas. Digital services can also be quickly prototyped: just draw some pictures of webpages or apps. Focus on touchpoints with clients. Creating the prototype together with team members will bring up lots of ideas, and when you are ready you can use the prototype for some roleplaying.


Templates and examples online: