Touchpoint Vol. 10 No. 3

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: Managing Service Design

The principles and practices of ‘design management’ offer service design the potential to create a more integrated organisational approach to planning, managing, creating and delivering exceptional design. In the next issue of Touchpoint, we plan to look at what service design can learn from design management, and how our discipline is addressing the structural challenges posed by service design taking place at scale.

The Design Management Institute, one of the leading authorities on design management, offers this current definition: "Design management encompasses the ongoing processes, business decisions, and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance our quality of life and provide organisational success." The ambition of design management has often exceeded its impact. And the complexity of its deployment is all the greater due to the increasingly complex world we design for.

However, the current positive climate for design opens the possibilities of once again tackling the design management challenge. The recent McKinsey research on the business value of design is further evidence that companies large and small are likely to continue their investments in building design capabilities and effectiveness. Service design has some advantages that can help realise the vision of design at every level of management. Our work is grounded in fundamental success factors such as a holistic view of the customer experience, organisational means to deliver, co-creation and collaboration across the organisation, as well as an innovation mindset.

In Touchpoint Vol. 10, No. 3, we will investigate how service design is being managed in and between the three fundamental layers of organisational management: strategic, tactical and operational. Amongst the questions we would like to answer:

At the strategic level…

  • How has service design played a role in driving overall corporate and business strategy?
  • How have service design leaders contributed to and impacted long-term vision and planning for design as one of the tools employed by senior management to drive goals and achieve success?
  • How has service design, and its related design disciplines, become an essential factor and contributor to forming corporate strategy? And if it hasn’t, how might it achieve this status and responsibility? Is this a worthwhile endeavour?
  • Are there examples of how the principles of service design are evidenced in an organisation’s mission, vision and positioning? How have they impacted differentiation and competitive advantage?

At the tactical level…

  • How have organisations addressed the organisation of design resources and processes?
  • How have service design leaders been successful in building design capabilities? How have they expanded the skills and scope of other design practices, such as UX, to a broader service design mindset?
  • How have organisations established consistent approaches to design that are understood by all stakeholders?
  • How have service design managers integrated with other parallel levels of middle management to effectively realise strategy, build support and consensus in business and design visions, create realistic roadmaps, and execute effectively?
  • How have service design managers bridged the gap between ambitious strategy objectives and timely and effective implementation?
  • What tools and methods are being created to socialise and communicate the rationale for (service) design projects?

At the operational level…

  • How have design teams ensured that their work is aligned with overall organisational strategy?
  • What tools and methods are being created to ensure that (service) design work is being created with regards to KPIs and other measurement criteria?
  • How do teams ensure consistent quality?
  • How do multidisciplinary teams work well together? How do design project managers or design leads maneuver through multiple design methodologies and development processes?
  • How do design leads convincingly socialise and communicate their work to management? How do design leads maintain the strategic rationale for the final design output?

We welcome contributions from throughout the service design community, as well as those whose knowledge and experience includes design management, to contribute to this issue. By doing so, you will be helping service designers make the next step towards an even more mature practice of our discipline.

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. 

After filling in the form, click on 'Submit'. You should receive a confirmation email with the copy of your abstract in case of an successful submission (please check you spam folder as well).

In case you experience any problem submitting your abstract via the system or don't receive the confirmation email, please send us via email your abstract submission in a Word file following the information on the abstract submission form. We will confirm the receipt of your submission per email within 2 working days. 

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 abstract 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

30 November 2018:  deadline for abstract submission

20 December 2018: End of abstract evaluation by the Editorial board | Acceptances sent to authors

20 January 2019: Deadline for article submission

20 January - 28 February 2019: Peer review process (article may be resent to authors for edition, up to approval by Editor)

March 2019: proofreading and layout phase | pre-order (authors enjoy 25% discount on hard copies) 
March/April 2019: issue published and released 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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