Testing & Prototyping
Experience some aspects of the service idea with customers, stakeholders or professionals in order to improve the solutions before they are realized. Before getting to the costly development of a new or improved service, low fidelity models are often used to prototype and test the ideas quickly and cheaply. The tools used for service prototyping can go in the direction of mainly evocative simulations but also of very realistic descriptions: from rudimentary acted-out scenarios with hand-sketched screens or improvised props to detailed mock-ups of the system, the environment and the staff. Mark Jones -from IDEO- has recently explained in an interview with Rachel Hinman –from Adaptive Path- how prototyping could support a service design process as it happens in the traditional product design: “If you use an analogy from the product world, a prototype can just be a foam block to gauge the size of a product with no buttons on it or anything else. A rough prototype answers a question. An early prototype for a service may be a group of people role-playing a new service without any technological infrastructure. Or it might be something in the middle, where you’re designing touch points for how a new service might look. Until you start an early pilot, you may not have real data behind a technological infrastructure. You may not have a real protocol but you can set up a simulated environment in a pilot situation.”

(2007) Rachel Hinman in Conversation with Mark Jones, IDEO About Service Design
(2007) S. Holmlid, S. Evenson, "Prototyping and Enacting Services: Lessons Learned from Human-Centered Methods", in Proceedings from the 10th Quality in Services conference, QUIS 10, Orlando.
(2007) Great Britain, Office of Government Commerce, Vernon Llyod, Colin Rudd, Sharon Taylor, Service design, edited by The Stationery Office, London.
(2007) Sperling, C.P., Simons, L.P.A., Bouwman W.A.G.A., Multi-Channel Service Concept Design and Prototyping, in Management of eBusiness, Eighth World Congress, Hamilton, Canada.