#TeamBritishTofu – A Briefing on Service Design, Round 3

In our Service Design class, we’re applying our emerging design skills to help improve the service delivery of a local business in Austin.

Our collective passion for sustainable food systems drove our partnership with a company that delivers local produce directly to a customer’s doorstep. More information about the company and its service model can be found in the Appendix.

This blog post presents our third design brief (our first and second briefs can be found here and here, respectively), which includes service breakdowns, opportunities for improvement, and proposed solutions.

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This service design project spans seven weeks, and includes three phases: Discover, Understand, and Design.

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To fully understand the customer experience, we interviewed:

  1. four new customers to get a sense for the entire process from start to finish, with specific attention towards any frustration during the sign-up process;
  2.  three past customers, with focus on why they cancelled their service; and
  3. one current customer to understand what it’s like to interact with the service on a consistent basis.

We then spoke to the company’s CEO and Head of Customer Service to examine our client’s understanding of the customer’s experience.

We synthesized this data into two customer journey maps that presented the actual customer experience and the perceived experience.

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In comparing the actual and perceived customer journey maps, we found several breakdowns, specifically during sign-up, the unpacking of the veggies, and cooking.'our client Proto .006

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Ultimately, these breakdowns culminated in one key finding: a lack of effective communication between the company and the customer.

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We took this data and paired it with the company’s mission and culture to create design principles. These principles guided potential solutions for service breakdowns. 'our client Proto .009

These design principles created a frame for our ideas, out of which we generated vignettes – one-page illustrations that present the moment of the proposed solution’s value.

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We came up with 30-40 ideas to address service breakdowns and add value to the customer’s experience.

To determine which ideas to pursue, we plotted each on a matrix, with the x axis being value to the customer (high to low), and the y axis being value to the company (high to low).


We then realized that even if highly valuable to both the company and the customer, the idea will not be implemented if not feasible. We therefore redid the exercise, changing the y axis to level of company effort.

Lastly, we considered the environmental impact of each proposed idea. Minimal waste is core to the company’s mission. In fact, they cool their bushels with reusable, frozen water bottles, and create only 55 gallons of compost per week.

This design brief does not include solutions for the sign-up process as we will not be able to test wireframes during the class period. However,  we will provide wireframes for the company to consider for their website’s next iteration (to launch in early 2017).

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This assessment brought us to our top ideas:

Idea #1: Addressing Ease of Cooking & Food Waste

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This idea capitalizes on an existing behavior among some customers — some customers received their storage instructions, they would put them on the refrigerator.

Idea #2: Addressing Food Waste and Non-Intuitive Website Interactions'our client Proto .017

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We view the Bushel Card as an intermediary solution to a lack of customer customization. The customer should be able to more easily customize their order online once the company updates their website.

Idea #3: Addressing Lack of Connection to Farms & Farmers

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Next, we will create prototypes of our top ideas, and test these prototypes with real customers. We will use feedback from these tests to create additional iterations for each idea.

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