Touchpoint Vol. 11 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: 'Experience Prototyping'

The importance of prototyping in service design goes without question. As service designers, we learn that prototyping allows us to see how our service concepts perform before they are fully implemented. And these prototypes can take different forms; some are physical, making use of full-scale mock-ups of real-world environments, while others are Lego-sized desktop walkthroughs which test the ‘flow’ of an experience. Screen-based prototyping exists too, both as sketches on paper, or as high-fidelity click-throughs which mimic future digital interactions.

However, prototyping holds much more potential beyond just evaluating concepts before their delivery. Amongst other things, it can be used for aligning stakeholders, for informing strategy, and in co-creation settings with end-users, to ideate early on in a project.

In Touchpoint Vol. 11, No. 2, we will look more into experience prototyping, both as a tool but more importantly as a philosophy, to push this most integral component of service design even more forward. We would like to learn more about not just the ‘how’ of prototyping experiences, but also the ‘why’.

Some questions that we would like to answer include:

  • A 2018 McKinsey report found that more than 40 percent of companies don’t involve end users during development. What’s standing in the way of us getting our most important stakeholder involved with our prototypes, at the moment where they can potentially deliver the most value?
  • How can ‘futures prototyping’ - as an element of speculative design - inform strategic decision making, and what do these activities and their outcomes look like?
  • What unique prototyping methods have our community developed, and what new learnings do they support?
  • What can we learn from nearby disciplines in how they apply and learn from prototyping, such as architecture, theatre, retail design, industrial design and interior design?
  • How can experience prototyping be used to align an organisation in a strategic direction, across functions?
  • How end users play a role in experience prototyping, so that they become actively involved in co-creating their own futures?
  • How can the success of experience prototyping be measured? Can we link experience prototyping to business metrics?
  • Can experience prototyping be used as a 'story doing' tool to further develop a brand?
  • Can ‘learning organisations’ apply experience prototyping in order to continuously innovate? How is this accomplished?
  • How can both the creation and delivery of prototypes make use of the power of machine learning and AI?
  • As interactions become more mediated by technology, what does the future of experience prototyping look like? How can augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) be harnessed to deliver immersive prototypes?

We welcome contributions from throughout the service design community, as well as those with knowledge and experience in the feature theme, 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 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 the proposed length of the article you would like to write if your abstract is selected. Short article:  700 – 800 words (2 pages in Touchpoint) / Medium article:  1100 – 1400 words (4 pages in Touchpoint) / Long article:  1900 – 2200 words (6 pages in Touchpoint).
  • Title: the proposed title of your article with 5-8 words.
  • Abstract: the abstract (max. 2000 characters) should outline the objective, the structure and the benefit (three key learnings) of your article for the readers. Please also indicate what existing data or evidence you will refer to or what research will be carried out to support your article.
  • Relevance to service design: Brief description (max. 300 characters) on why your article is interesting to service designers and what new knowledge it will bring to the service design discipline.
  • Biography: short biography (max. 300 characters) of the author(s) 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 a successful submission (please check your 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 required fields 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 key learnings that the reader will take away.

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

11 June 2019:  deadline for abstract submission

25 June 2019: End of abstract evaluation by the Editorial board | Acceptances sent to authors

10 July 2019: Deadline for article submission

11 July - 15 August 2019: Peer review process end editing (article may be resent to authors for edits, up to approval by the Editorial Board)

August/Sept. 2019: proofreading and layout phase | pre-order by authors (25% off on hard copies) 
10 October 2019: issue released at SDGC in Toronto and published online 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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