Touchpoint Vol. 10 No. 1

Touchpoint – The Journal of Service Design

Touchpoint provides a window into the discussion of service design, facilitating a forum to debate, share and advance the field and its practices. In addition it aims at engaging clients to listen in on the discussion, learn about the field, and become involved in the development and implementation of service design for their organisations.

The three key audiences of the publication are:

  • Service design practitioners
  • Client organisations including businesses, non-profits, and public sector/government
  • Academia

Feature theme: From Design to Implementation

As Touchpoint enters its milestone tenth year of publication, we are looking to tackle one of the trickiest problems of service design: How does service design continue delivering value through to implementation? In other words, what happens after that second diamond?

Alongside the user-centred mindset, it’s typically the earliest service design activities and deliverables that make the biggest initial impact in an organisation, getting our proverbial feet in the door. From developing personas, through to visualising a service ecosystem and towards mapping a customer journey, the first steps in a service design project are often safe territory for a service designer. And they (generally) find receptive audiences on the client side.

But there are too many examples where service design fails to follow through to implementation - customer journeys that gather dust on a wall, or service prototypes that fall by the wayside once the realities of the business become clear during development. If you’re a service designer and feel you can’t point to enough real world services you’ve helped design, have you wondered why that is?

In Vol. 10, Number 1 of Touchpoint, we are looking for ways to ensure that service design remains engaged and impactful, right through the development and into the implementation of a service. Amongst the questions we would like to answer:

  • What existing (and new) tools can be applied to ensure service designers can best engage and communicate with those responsible for developing the actual service? Traditional service blueprints, modifications thereof, or something entirely new?
  • To what extent should service designers become engaged with the practical implications of implementing their designed services to ensure success? Should a service designer become a policy expert, or know just what tech stack is powering their client’s service? And if so, how?
  • Are the current language and deliverables of service design really adequate enough to communicate the complexities of our work to those who see it to completion, whether it is a digitally-delivered service, a physical experience, or a network platform?
  • How does service design address the organisational or transformational changes often required to implement improved services (or bring new ones to life)? Do service designers partner with other skill-sets, or expand our own?
  • What complementary activities (employee training, videos, hands-on-experiences) best support implementation? What cases can be shared?
  • Are new ways of working - such as agile rather than a traditional waterfall approach - better at ensuring that service design stays relevant and involved through to implementation?

Regular sections

Besides handing in articles related to this issue’s feature, you are also invited to hand in content for the other regular sections of Touchpoint, which are not related to the theme of the issue:

  • Cross-Discipline: Highlighting the connection between service design and other disciplines
  • Tools and Methods: Introduction to and evaluation of techniques and activities for service design projects
  • Education and Research: Insights from academia and research. 

Abstract submission

At the bottom of this page, you find the 'submit an abstract' button. By clicking the button, the abstract submission form will be shown. On the submission form, you will need to fill in, besides your contact information, the following information:

  • Category: Please arrange your submission in one of the Touchpoint sections (Feature, Cross-Discipline, Tools and Methods, Education and Research).
  • Scope of your contribution: Please indicate which length of article you would prefer to write if your abstract gets accepted. Short article:  700 – 800 words (approx. 2 pages) / Medium article:  1100 – 1400 words (approx. 4 pages) / Long article:  1900 – 2200 words (approx. 6 pages).
  • Title: title of article with 5-8 words.
  • Abstract: Abstract (max. 2000 characters) should outline the objective, the structure and the benefit of your article for the readers.
  • Relevance to service design: Brief description (max. 300 characters) on why your article is interesting to service designers and the service design discipline.
  • Biography:  short biography (max. 300 characters) including background, key activities and projects. 

Language and Tone of Voice

The editorial language of Touchpoint is British English. If you are not a native English speaker, make sure your abstract is proofread by a native speaker before you hand in it.

Touchpoint is a non-academic, rather practice-oriented journal, therefore articles are supposed to be easy in tone, not too academic but rather practical in approach – thus, easy to understand for practitioners, academics as well as laymen interested in service design.

When writing your text please focus on the benefit of your article for the readers – do not only report about project steps, but present project learnings.

Before considering to submit an article for Touchpoint, please make sure to check that the PR/Communications/Legal departments of your company and client side agree with your submission, if relevant. Also note that if the article is approved to be published, authors will need to sign an Agreement for Publication and Transfer of Copyrights

Editorial Timeline

15 March 2018: Deadline for abstract submission

06 April 2018: End of abstract evaluation by the Editorial board | Acceptances sent to authors

25 April 2018: Deadline for article submission

25 April - 31 May 2018: Peer review process (article may be resent to authors for edition, up to approval)

June 2018: proofreading and layout phase | pre-order (authors enjoy 25% discount on orders of 5 hard copies or more) 
16 July 2018: launch and release at SDN website

Become an author of Touchpoint and help to advance the service design field and its practices.

We look forward to your contribution!

We invite you to collaborate on Touchpoint

Submit an abstract
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