Touchpoint Vol. 9 No. 2

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: "Measuring Impact and Value"

The ways in which we measure the success of the ‘products’ we consume are well-established. Whether it’s sales figures for the latest iPhone, viewer numbers for a Netflix series, or new customers for an insurance plan, success is easily quantifiable. Similarly, by tightly-defining a ‘service’ to just one element - and looking at the success of design efforts to improve signups or sales on one touchpoint, for example - one can also readily measure impact and value. 

But complex services, by their messy nature, are comprised of multiple interactions with multiple touchpoints, over widely varying time spans. The way they are experienced differs significantly from one customer to the next, based on all sorts of internal and external factors. And this all leads to a long-standing conundrum for service design: How does one both predict and measure the overall impact and value of our work?

For service design to step up and meet the greater and greater responsibilities it is facing (whether it’s playing a critical role in re-designing public services, or being core strategic differentiator of a global corporation), it must become mature in justifying itself to decision-makers, before and after it is applied.

In this upcoming issue of Touchpoint, we want to dive deeply into how service design efforts can be quantified:

  • What are ways to estimate and predict the impact of service design efforts for decision-makers, before the start of a project (the ROI)? And how are they best communicated?
  • How can we model and measure the impact of a service design project, after it has been carried out?
  • What skillsets and expertises do these questions call for? Can providing these answers be expected of a service designer, or does a service designer need specialist expertise from partners (business analysts or economists, for example)?
  • How can a measure of impact be extrapolated from the end of a project to become an ongoing indicator of service performance?
  • Are there existing areas of business theory that offer us guidance, such as Lean Consumption? Or have service design-specific models and theories been developed that are ready to be shared in our community?
  • And when impact and value themselves cannot be measured in dollars or euros - but perhaps in terms of citizen happiness, or employee efficiency - how do we still gauge success or failure in black and white terms?

We welcome contributions from agency- and client-side practitioners, educators inside and outside academia, and those in a position to review and reflect on the topic of this theme through their own research.

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 type of contribution. 
  • 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.

Editorial Timeline

05 July 2017: Deadline for abstract submission

24 July 2017: End of abstract evaluation by the Editorial board | Acceptances sent to authors

07 August 2017: Deadline for full article submission

07 August - 05 Sept. 2017: Review phase (article may be resent to authors for edition)

06 Sept. - 31 Sept. 2017: proofreading and layout phase 
October: pre-order (authors get 25% discount on orders of 10 hard copies or more)
01 November 2017: release at SDGC17

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
    • Share knowledge with the community
    • Your article featured online and in print
    • Get shared on social media