Touchpoint Strategy Canvas  –  a practical tool for combining service design with UX design

Koos
Emilie van Spronsen

Reading time
7 min read

Date
Oct 16, 2019

In my previous article, I addressed the value of combining service design with UX design. It laid out 3 pitfalls to watch out for when joining these forces. (Read it here: https://www.koosservicedesign.com/blog/3-pitfalls-in-combining-service-design-with-ux-design/) It's no surprise that we've discovered these pitfalls the hard way. But hey, trial and error can bring rainbows and unicorns if one reflects well. It made us - Hidde Burgmans and myself - realise that the two approaches should be regarded as views rather than phases: service design offers a more zoomed out view on the user experience than UX design. Where service design regards the service as a whole, UX design zooms in to one touchpoint (e.g. a digital platform, a website).
Your service compromises multiple touchpoints, with their own strategy and UX.

To combine the approaches successfully and get the most out of your team’s effort, service design should be alternated with UX design. This article presents a tool to do this in practice — Let’s go yeehhh

Alternating the approaches sounded great in theory. However, when we wanted to assess whether our designs were meeting the service outline, we realised we didn’t have something to review.

We tried reviewing the Value Proposition Canvas (which gave an outdated overview on a very high level), and the Product Vision Board that connects UX and Scrum. As there was nothing that really helped us in combining service design, UX and scrum, Hidde and I had a go ourselves.

The Touchpoint Strategy Canvas

So here it is: The Touchpoint Strategy Canvas. It outlines strategy by summarising company aspects, goals of users, and product features that will satisfy the user goals. Thereby, it functions as a strategic compass during the process of UX designing a selected touchpoint.

The Touchpoint Strategy Canvas gives an overview of the strategy for one touchpoint of the service.

The best moment to make the canvas is once you’ve validated the solution, before actually starting to design it. At this point, the canvas helps to be more specific about what the solution entails. While actually designing the solution, the canvas supports decision making by giving an overview of the product/service-strategy. Also, it allows to capture new insights and ideas gained while designing or scrumming — hang the thing on the wall, folks! — so you can keep the strategy up-to-date.

So, how to make one?

A full how-to and the canvas templates can be found on our dedicated tool page. Here’s a summary, because you’ve got more to do in life: Before filling out the actual Canvas you fill in Canvasses per Persona, which helps to get things right per user first. We advise selecting between 2–4 personas.

Step 1: Fill out Canvasses per persona

Per persona you fill a smaller canvas, containing his goals and the product features to satisfy them.

  • Overall goals’  are the user’s reason for using the service overall (often something the person wants to achieve).
  • Immediate goals’  are things that the user is looking for in this touchpoint, in order to achieve his overall goal.
  • Below the line, you fill how you plan to satisfy the user’s goals. We note down hygiene factors:  things that are expected and need to be there, otherwise, users would be dissatisfied with the product;
  • and delighters: stuff that wows your user, and makes their experience go from mediocre to premium.

You can make imaginary links from goals to features, as visualised below, to assess how goals are satisfied in this touchpoint.

Draw imaginary links from goals to features to assess how goals are satisfied.

Step 2: Bring them together in the Touchpoint Strategy Canvas

Once your team is happy with the overview the persona canvasses offer, you high five each other, grab a coffee, and continue to the actual Touchpoint Strategy Canvas.

Prioritising items of our first persona on the Touchpoint Strategy Canvas.

Now the big transfer and prioritise game starts. You transfer the name, goals, and features to the Touchpoint Strategy Canvas, starting with the most important user. Thereby, you prioritise items from left to right per field.

The Touchpoint Strategy Canvas gives an overview of the strategy for one touchpoint of the service.

So ask your team ‘What is most important to achieve for this person?’ ‘What will be the most important features to this person?’ Once you’ve completed all users, do a little victory dance, and give the completed Touchpoint Strategy Canvas a prominent place in your war room.

And now what?

So, you aligned with your team, created a canvas that offers a rather concrete overview of the service outline, and you had a proper kick-off meeting to start the design phase. BOOM! Way to go. This means you’ve completed the first red strategy loop and can start UX designing the first feature/epic/part of the product (i.e. blue loop). The canvas you came up with will direct your design activities like a strategic beacon.

The Touchpoint Strategy Canvas helps us alternate UX design with Service Design.

At Koos, we glance at the Touchpoint Strategy Canvas both before and while designing. Moments include, for instance, when we want to verify whether we’ve got the right design angle or to evaluate whether certain feature designs are well-balanced, or when taking a new epic from the backlog. These are typically moments to interrupt our UX beast mode and review strategy to get a breath of fresh air.

Next time you want to combine Service Design with UX design in a project, hopefully, I hope you consider making a Touchpoint Strategy Canvas with your team. It supports alternating the two approaches and directs your team to a grand design finish. May it help you in realising user-centered services successfully, thereby getting the most out of your team’s efforts! Use it, change things, abuse it. We’re very curious to hear your thoughts and experiences!

Download the Touchpoint Strategy Canvas templates
Not sure you can canvas?

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